A regular highlight of the Melbourne dining scene that pioneered the term ‘ginstronomy’ is making its way to Auckland. Led by premium gin brand Bombay Sapphire, Project Botanicals is a pop up bar and restaurant that aims to showcase the aromatic flavours of the spirit in ways other than commonplace unions like tonic and juice.
Taking inspiration from the ten exotic botanicals found within Bombay Sapphire - juniper berries, coriander seeds, liquorice, almonds and cassia bark - award-winning bartender Chase Bickerton and O’Connell St Bistro Executive Chef Mark Southon have teamed up to create a menu of ten inventive cocktails and equally mouthwatering dishes.
Lemons will be used in a classic Tom Collins style cocktail, joining a Spanish-inspired dish of roast scampi tails with lardo, pecorino gnocchi, almond and red pepper essence; a 'Gin & Java' cocktail boasting fresh cold brew coffee and flavours of pepper and orange will be paired with manuka smoked rakumara red venison, served with coffee mayonnaise, horseradish and celeriac; and Indonesian cassia bark will be the main player in a cocktail tipping its hat to the spice's close relative, cinnamon. The drink will be served alongside smoked duck breast with chicken and duck parfait, madeira jelly and rocket.
The New Zealand debut of Project Botanicals will be open for two weeks at James, Parnell with two sittings each day. The ticket price includes two cocktails and two matched dishes.