Powered by Pink Monkey column: Embrace the mixology movement | VailDaily.com

Powered by Pink Monkey column: Embrace the mixology movement

Most people enjoy a well-composed drink. What they don't enjoy so much is going to the bother of producing that perfect concoction each time. That's probably why the fabled cocktails of the Rat Pack generation were so simple — a splash of vermouth, a humble olive and you were done.

Simple has its place. A cold microbrew on a hot Colorado day, especially after hiking or biking, can really hit the spot. But this is Pink Monkey, and we're talking parties and events with wow factor. We're talking custom menus and signature drinks made from fresh ingredients assembled on the spot with personality and flair — drinks so good your guests will marvel over that first sip.

Because when you really think about it, the humble cocktail is an essential part of a formal event: We spend more time with a drink in our hands than we do a fork.

What is the mixology movement?

Mixology is nothing new. Bartenders have been making craft cocktails for more than 100 years. It's not a fad; it's a serious tradition that combines some recent technological innovations borrowed from the world of molecular gastronomy with the chemistry of flavor profiles.

In short, it's both an attempt to get back to basics and a desire to make cocktails as compelling as new innovations in the culinary world. Using natural and seasonal ingredients such as fresh herbs, fruits and spices in unique combinations and creating cocktails that are aesthetically pleasing, mixologists help us see the true potential of the humble beverage.

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Mixology at your event

• Think about the drink — When you plan a wedding, you invest a lot of time deciding your color scheme and coordinating your decor. Your cocktails deserve the same level of scrutiny. They should be deliberately branded to complement the theme, season and nature of your event. For instance, do you want silver and green signature colors, with ivory accents? Consider the pop of a contrasting red drink, such as the Vieux Carre. Whatever you chose, let the drink further define your style and the event theme.

• Feature your signature drink — While you're in the planning stage of your event, consider having a mixologist design a custom drink just for you. This drink can even be the focal point around which you design other elements of the event. You can feature the color of the drink, or ingredients from the drink, in other design aspects; you can even make the signature recipe a part of the event invitation, if you want.

• Leave it to the professionals — Mixology is not just about getting the exact proportions in a standard Manhattan. It's about creating the perfect balance between style and expertise so that your event reflects your personality. And it's about watching a skilled professional macerate, shake, pour and present your delicious cocktail, all with a little showmanship, as well.

• Let your guests in on the fun — You don't have to maintain a formal separation between the bartender and your guests. One approach is to hire a professional team of bartenders who are also willing to assist your guests in creating their own cocktails. You can set up a cocktail buffet with plenty of fresh, seasonal ingredients on hand and make up placards with signature or classic drink recipes. The bartenders can share some of their techniques and knowledge while helping guests create their own concoctions. This interactive component could be just the ticket to set apart your next corporate event.

Where we come in

Pink Monkey is happy to announce our new alliance with The Grand Bevy, a leading high-end cocktail service that specializes in catered events, especially luxury weddings. The Grand Bevy is serious about mixology; they've dedicated themselves to the creation of specific cocktails and highly customized creative bar programs that are unique to each event.

Essentially, we'll build you a beautiful bar that serves as the focal point of cohesive and thoughtful design and then help ensure the cocktails being served across it are just as spectacular. Anyone can give their guests liquor and get them buzzed. Give us a call or shoot us an email if, instead, you want to use cocktails as one more way to create a memorable experience your guests will fondly recollect long after the headache wears off.

Melony Sebastian is the lead event designer for Pink Monkey Solutions, a Vail-born event design and production boutique that's been wowing partygoers for more than a decade. Pink Monkey's passion and expertise for meticulously detailed event design has been on display at weddings, fundraisers, galas and corporate events around the country. Visit http://www.pinkmonkeysolutions.com.