Posts Tagged ‘Ektoras Binikos’

Arts vs Crafts

Monday, October 13th, 2014

Art vs Crafts

By gaz regan

A Blog Posting Commissioned by Absolut Vodka

#MeetPerfection

I’ve always wondered about the difference between art and crafts, so I questioned a few people about it recently, and it turns out that the main difference is that crafts are useable—think a knitted tea-cosy or kiln-fired vases–whereas art is to be admired, looked at, and groked, as it were.  Both, I’m told, require humans to be involved, so a machine that cranks out 1,000 tea-cosies an hour isn’t crafting them—it’s just making them.

My friend, Ektoras Binikos, manages to combine art and crafts—he’s a very serious artist, and he also crafts some fabulous cocktails.  His Absolut Kelly cocktail, for instance, tastes beautiful, and it’s also a joy to behold.

In using Absolut vodka in the drink, Ektoras is using a finely-crafted product.  Sure, the stills in Ähus, Sweden, where Absolut is made, produce a great deal of vodka on a regular basis, but without the guidance and expertise of Per Hermansson, the Master Distiller at Absolut, and another personal friend of mine, their vodka wouldn’t be such a finely-crafted product.

Distillation is a very complicated process, and although I could probably ramble on for a couple of hours about how it all works, my knowledge of this subject is miniscule when compared with the likes of Per Hermansson, so I’ll just ask you to trust me on this one.

Try an Absolut Kelly, and taste art and crafts coming together as one in the glass.  It’s a thing of great beauty.

 

Absolut  Kelly

Ektoras Binikos, 2nd Floor on Clinton, New York

ABSOLUT KELLY by Simon Jutras

 Picture by Simon Jutras

“I created the Absolut Kelly cocktail to be a transformative experience based on Joseph Beuys’ idea of the ‘anti-image’.  The outward appearance of the Absolut Kelly—with its gray, muted tones—belies its combination of unexpectedly colorful, complex flavors. All components were carefully selected to represent the ethos and sensibilities of this great art institution that is the Sean Kelly Gallery.” Ektoras Binikos

1.5 parts Absolut vodka

.5 part Becherovka

1 part lime juice

1 part yuzu juice

1.5 parts gum Arabic syrup or simple syrup

3 shiso leaves (2 for garnish)

2 lime wedges

4 drops of Mastiha water

3 drops of Hella Citrus Bitters

3 drops of Bergamot Bitters

Meyer lemon zest (or lemon/lime zest)

100 mg of activated charcoal powder

Smoked sea salt for garnish

In a martini shaker, muddle 2 lime wedges, one shiso leaf, the gum Arabic syrup and the Mastiha water.   Add ice and remaining ingredients except for the Bergamot bitters. Shake well.  Strain into a high ball glass filled with ice and rimmed with smoked sea salt.  Garnish with 2 shiso leaves and top with 2-3 drops of Bergamot bitters.

Sign Up for Gaz' Email Newsletter

Facebook Twitter

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in gaz's Cocktail Book |

101 Best New Cocktails: Absolut Kelly by Ektoras Binikos, 2nd Floor on Clinton, New York

Sunday, August 11th, 2013

See more of this year’s 101 Best New Cocktails HERE  Click HERE to submit your recipe for a chance to be included in an upcoming list.

Absolut  Kelly

Adapted from a recipe by Ektoras Binikos, 2nd Floor on Clinton, New York

Picture by  Simon Jutras

“I created the Absolut Kelly cocktail to be a transformative experience based on Joseph Beuys‘ idea of the ‘anti-image’.  The outward appearance of the Absolut Kelly—with its gray, muted tones—belies its combination of unexpectedly colorful, complex flavors. All components were carefully selected to represent the ethos and sensibilities of this great art institution that is the Sean Kelly Gallery.” Ektoras Binikos

[See more about Joseph Beuys HERE]

45 ml (1.5 oz) Absolut vodkaABSOLUT KELLY by Simon Jutras

15 ml (5 oz) Becherovka

30 ml (1 oz) lime juice

30 ml (1 oz) yuzu juice

45 ml (1.5 oz) gum Arabic syrup or simple syrup

3 shiso leaves (2 for garnish)

2 lime wedges

4 drops of Mastiha water

3 drops of Hella Citrus Bitters

3 drops of Bergamot Bitters

Meyer lemon zest (or lemon/lime zest)

100 mg of activated charcoal powder

Smoked sea salt for garnish

In a martini shaker, muddle 2 lime wedges, one shiso leaf, the gum Arabic syrup and the Mastiha water.   Add ice and remaining ingredients except for the Bergamot bitters. Shake well.  Strain into a high ball glass filled with ice and rimmed with smoked sea salt.  Garnish with 2 shiso leaves and top with 2-3 drops of Bergamot bitters.

gaz sez:   I’ve been wondering how long it would take before someone created a drink that would be a transformative experience based on Joseph Beuys’ idea of the ‘anti-image,’ and of course, there’s only one bartender in the known universe who would tackle this job.  Ektoras Binikos is the most creative bartender I ever did come across, and I’m so impressed that an artist of his caliber chose to use cocktails as a vehicle for some of his work.  Get yourself down to the 2nd Floor on Clinton in NYC and be prepared to be impressed.  Be prepared to be very impressed.

And in response to a couple of questions, Ektoras added:  “The charcoal goes into the shaker like the rest of the ingredients and you just shake and strain into a high ball filled with new ice. No need for a cheesecloth. The active charcoal adds no flavor to the cocktail is purely visual.

“The cocktail is very conceptually based. All components were selected to represent the ethos and sensibilities of the Sean Kelly Gallery which is very much a conceptual based gallery. The visual aspect of the cocktail was very important to me. I wanted to create visually something very provocative . . . [and] I took inspiration from Joseph Beuys, a great German  conceptual artist that I admire.  J B used  lots of gray in his work . . . He had a theory based on the idea of the ‘anti-image’ and by using gray he tried to make you see colors.   ‘So it isn’t right to say I’m interested in gray.  That’s not right.  And I’m not interested in dirt either. I’m interested in a process which reaches much further,’ Beuys said.

“So the goal here was to create a transformative experience.  The outward appearance of the drink with its gray muted tones – belies its combination of unexpected complex flavors creating a  lucid and colorful experience.

“The medicinal properties of the active charcoal as a natural detoxifier render it a survival elixir in the Beuys tradition.

“Also as a mixologist and visual artist I have this idea that my cocktails are components of a large social sculpture. I love the way people interact around them and [this] is a very meaningful process to me.  At the Sean Kelly inaugural gala you had the impression that people were holding little statues referential to a black winged Victory of Samothrace.

PS: Drinking the Absolut Kelly may cause temporary darkening of the stool.”

Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in 101 Best New Cocktails, 101 Best New Cocktails 2013 |