I was speaking at a conference recently which brought me to my hometown of Atlanta. Since I usually stay with family when I’m home, it was exciting to say at a hotel downtown and get a visitor’s perspective of the city. When I saw an ad in my room promoting the bar program downstairs, the Smoky Manhattan caught my eye and I was hooked.
I headed downstairs, grabbed a seat at the end of the bar, and without hesitation ordered the Smoky Manhattan. The Manhattan is my favorite classic cocktail, and the fact there would be some smoke fuming out of it made me all the more excited to justify the ordering of my go-to as something “new” for this blog.
A lot of preparation went into the drink, specifically the hollowed out ice cube that had been freezing for two days as well as a miniature smoke machine. I not only saw the friendly bartender mixing the bourbon, vermouth, and bitters, but also filling this hollow ice sphere with smoke. I can’t say that I’ve seen a pen-sized contraption to create smoke before, not to say that I haven’t seen common sense go out the window in pursuit of creating an Instagram-worthy cocktail.
The smoke-filled sphere was set in the glass, and presented to me on a gold plate. The Manhattan mixture was then slowly poured over the ice sphere, melting it slightly. Then, the bartender gave the sphere a firm tap, and suddenly the sphere of ice cracked in half and smoke erupted out, like a miniature volcano in my glass. The smell was delightful, frankly, and the effect brought a smile to my face. As they say, presentation really is everything…
A few seconds after the smoke had dissipated. For videos of this drink and more, make sure you follow me on Instagram
The drink itself was pretty par for the course, relatively boozy and not too sweet. I didn’t actually taste the smokiness, but that distinct smell pervaded my first many sips. In short time, I had reached the bottom of my glass and looked to my newfound friend behind the bar for a suggestion of what to drink next.
Lumen Bar is much more than your typical hotel bar – one of the few lobby bars which could be a destination in and of itself, serving creative, delicious cocktails in a fun way to provide an elevated experience for the senses.
Ritz Carlton Downtown Atlanta
181 Peachtree St NE
Make sure you follow me on Instagram to follow me as I visit new bars in real time! @theBibulous