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Blind drunk gets new meaning

Heightening the senses takes on new meaning at Sydney's Zeta Bar where buying a cocktail becomes an otherworldly experience.

by: Pauline Askin: Reuters | 20 Aug 2008

Instead of just giving customers a choice of shaken or stirred, consultant mixologist Grant Collins and the team at Zeta, have been offering patrons a full sensory experience, which they liken to visiting a spa.

Cocktail connoisseurs seeking to unwind can experience drinking at a New York City bar, a Hawaiian beach, a Caribbean hot spot or a bustling Havana street bar without leaving the comfort of their barstool.

Customers are whisked away to a secluded area, blindfolded and fitted with headphones as scented mists are sprayed in their faces.

"We are trying to sell it as an experience," Collins said at the Hilton Hotel, where Zeta bar is located.

"By using your other senses you heighten your culinary experience, and if you can do it with food then you can do it with drink, but it has to be really obvious," he added.

Bar staff bring out a tray bearing the blindfold, a music player and mist bottles, and offer customers a choice of four "treatments", at A$25 each, out of the bar's 35-item cocktail menu.

The longest experience on offer is the 12-minute "Sea Breeze", where customers sip on the vodka and fruit juice cocktail as they listen to the sound of waves lapping at a shore, with the occasional whiff of salty sea spray.

Martini lovers can choose to listen to Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jnr while downing their drinks and the daiquiri experience involves Latino rhythms and cigar smoke-scented mist.

And if you don't have time for that exotic beach break, go for the Tiki experience that involves Polynesian music, a pina colada served in a hollowed out pineapple, and the scent of coconut oil suntan spray.

Collins describes the concept as simple, and so far, it has proven popular with patrons as well as boosting Zeta's overall cocktail sales.

What do you think would be a uniquely South African cocktail... Robben Island Breeze or a Vuvuzela Tini?

- None


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