Der raum pop-up bar in Stockholm

Luke Whearty and Matthew Bax playing with fire
On November 24 last year, Matthew Bax and Luke Whearty from award winning Der raum in Melbourne, Australia, served some of their signature creations to 30 lucky guests during an exclusive pop-up bar at Scandic Grand Central in Stockholm - all thanks to Bartenders' Choice Awards. Matthew is among other things also known for opening Tippling Club in Singapore, which is considered to be one of the first bars in the world to combine fine dining with molecular cocktails, so it was with high expectations I took a seat at the bar in the intimate hotel suite.

During the 90 minute session, the guests were served seven treats created with a mix of different advanced techniques and unusual ingredients - everything perfectly executed and beautifully presented. The first one was called Kombucha grapes, and it was simply grapes which had been soaked in kombucha and some added spices like cinnamon and vanilla - a nice and fizzy start.

Next up was Tomberry puffs - a mix of cherry tomatoes and strawberries which was frozen in liquid nitrogen and garnished with basil and dried black olives. Very refreshing!

Latin Threesome
The first "real" cocktail was Latin Threesome - cachaça, pisco and rum sweetened with sugarcane and balanced with "spices" and smoked pineapple and lime. Very rich in flavour and the smoky notes added an extra dimension - delicious indeed!

Yuki
Yuki was a very interesting concoction, but it tasted a bit weird... maybe not so surprising since the ingredients were home made yoghurt mixed with yuzu juice and genmaicha tea and garnished with white chocolate. For me, the ingredients didn't really work together.

Pine & Wine
Another refreshing drink was Pine & Wine, in which they had infused vermouth (and a little bit of vodka) with pineapple, then carbonated it and served it with "aromas of wild pine" - a pine destillate aromatized with dry ice creating an effectful "pine fog".

Last but not least, the hot drink Big in Japan which was similar to Swedish glögg - created by heating sake, citrus, palm sugar, cinnamon, black cardamom, liquorice root and other spices together in a Japanese coffee siphon. It was then served in a square cedar wood sake cup which was quite difficult to drink from, but the result certainly did not disappoint. Strong, spicy and a perfect ending of this very successful pop-up event - thanks to everyone involved for this great opportunity to experience a little bit of Der raum without having to travel to the other side of the world. Not that I would mind visiting Australia, though...

Unfortunately, Der raum is no longer open - but it will actually relocate to Munich, Germany, under the new name Gamsei, with a similar concept but focusing on Bavarian ingredients. Doors are expected to open this month - and I can't wait!

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