The Blueberry ($20): This cocktail steeps white verjus, Carpano Antica vermouth, and Bulleit Rye whiskey with a dazzling mix of dried hibiscus, fresh berries, lemon and grapefruit zests. The impressive capsule comes with a small serving glass—Achatz hopes you sip and savor slowly. Over the course of the drink, take note of its evolution of both color and intensity.
Amuse Bouche: compressed watermelon with soju, topped with sesame seeds. The tiny stand allows you to gulp this square shot with dignity.
The Rooibos ($18): Drastically understated on the menu as lavender, almond, vanilla, and gin, The Rooibos is a marvel of a warm drink, brewed and infused tableside with the help of a vac-pot. As the liquid heats up, it rises to the top, where Hendrick's gin and maraschino liqueur come together with Rooibos tea, water, cinnamon, cardamom, peppercorn, lavender, lemon peel, orange peel, vanilla, almond, saffron, mint, lemon verbena, simple syrup, and an orchid. Once the heat shuts off, the drink returns to the pot, now a warm shade of candlelight.
Cocktails In Progress: Tucked back in the caged kitchen, a chef builds the Bloody Mary, complete with dry ice.
A Dramatic Pour: The Bloody Mary ($18) comes deconstructed. Either the guest or the server pours a carafe of tomato juice and Karlsson’s vodka into a glass stacked with cubes of ice, frozen celery orbs, tomato-flavored ice, and frozen Worcestershire sauce.
The Hemingway: The Hemingway ($15) is one of Aviary’s more classic offerings—a clean version of the writer’s favorite cocktail with grapefruit, lime, maraschino, and rum. Sure, it's a good drink, but it's not nearly as fun as the other items on the menu.
Bites: The Aviary offers a small selection of single-bite dishes ($3-$6, ordered in sets of three). We tried the cantaloupe with prosciutto, basil, and Champagne, the lobster on a tiny cracker with Comté and lychee, and the chowder, a warm croquette filled with clam and spicy corn pudding. It's elaborate bar food that's a fitting accompaniment to the flashy drinks.
Behind The Blueberry: Ever think about how the custom-made capsules come together so nicely? The answer: each is opened by hand, cleaned, and then restocked with fresh ingredients. The spirit mixture is poured in right before serving.
The Pineapple ($16): Made with mint, Sanbitter, and Chartreuse, this drink is on the sweeter side. The ice is made to fit the cone-shaped glass perfectly.