I have never liked Artcaffè.
Not because of anything it has done to me, not even of the racist allegations that were brought up against it a good minute ago, it is just one of those places that I feel I am not good enough for.
Artcaffè has and always oozes class. The air there is a cocktail of finely brewed coffee, expensive cologne and imported attitudes.
You can’t walk in your Eastlands way inside an Artcaffè. This restaurant demands you conform to it. If you don’t, it will chew you and spit you out.
But on a Wednesday, I am here. First, I came to try their free coffee offer, for the umpteenth time. But on my way down here the sun beat that will for coffee into dust and I came craving an ice-cold cocktail. Been August it sounds odd, the last few months have been cold, but the cold days are seemingly over.
In particular, I like their Remy Old fashion. Which is a normal old fashion only they use a Remy Martin. The guys at Remy refer to it as a fine champagne cognac. The price tag reflects what they think of it. It is a drink that holds itself in high regard. It does not care if you like it. Actually, this drink does the liking. It either likes you or not and Artcaffè are here using it in their old fashion. So, you see? These guys do not play.
Now, the drink looks good. Very good but, it tastes even better. The flavors marry in a colorful wedding attended by your taste buds. The sour, sweet, fruity and the cooling ice melt down your throat like a slow symphony.
However, when I got there I ordered for a New York Sour. The name sound fancy. Actually, it is fancy. The menu being itself let out a few secrets and for god’s sake the drink has Wild Turkey American Honey (which I suspect is a whiskey), sweet and sour syrup and red wine – I did not even know turkeys produced honey. Also informing my decision was that it was on the lower end of the price scale (which is not really that low since this is still Artcaffè). And being happy hour that is a definite steal. You know me and deals yeah?
Back to the cocktail, the drink comes in a whisky short glass – of course, drowned in ice cubes and with a bit of frothy at the top that sits like a judge’s wig. The last time I read about a frothy cocktail it said that they use egg whites to get the froth going. But, I did not have the guts to ask the waitress. Not for anything else but for my benefit. I wanted to enjoy the drink and knowing there were egg whites would ruin that.
Now, the drink looks good. Very good but, it tastes even better. The flavors marry in a colorful wedding attended by your taste buds. The sour, sweet, fruity and the cooling ice melt down your throat like a slow symphony. But, be warned the cooling sensation lasts only for a few seconds. The drink then warms down your throat and gives a lingering feeling of blissful warmth – must be the American Wild Turkey Honey. You savor the drink at every sip and you would be forgiven for wanting to marry the mixologist. The chap is brilliant.
To me the wonderful thing about the New York Sour, or how Artcaffè make it, is that you don’t get the strong taste of alcohol in your mouth. It is there but at a respectful distance. The best thing is, it hits the right spots and it has a nice polite buzz. A buzz that graduated from etiquette school first of its class.
For my first New York Sour I give it an 8. I will try it again as it looks like a stiff competitor to my old fashion.
Price: KES 750