The Orbium Files - Tales & Spirits
Words by Ingmar Voerman & Tess Posthumus
Photography by Ming Chao
The Orbium Files: a series of eleven cocktails, especially created, developed and tailored by the best cocktail bars throughout The Netherlands.
Orbium, a reimagining of Hendrick’s Gin by Master Distiller Lesley Gracie is a limited quininated gin, based on the iconic Hendrick’s recipe of distillates from both the Carter Head- and Bennett-still with infusions of rose and cucumber. Orbium is then enriched with flavours that are traditionally associated with classic gin libations; quinine found in tonic (Gin & Tonic) and wormwood found in vermouth (Martini cocktail). The mysterious blue lotus flower adds an aromatic, floral sweetness and harmonizes all flavours of the gin.
Orbium is what Hendrick’s would taste like in a parallel universe. The eleven carefully selected cocktail bars are the only venues in Holland where Orbium will be poured and can be experienced, till the limited supply of 1000 bottles has dried out. For cocktail number ten of the Orbium files, we’re going to ‘critically acclaimed’ Tales & Spirits in Amsterdam.
Tales & Spirits
Tales & Spirits opened its doors 6 years ago and has been praised ever since. It proudly and firmly holds a position in Drinks International’s World 50 Best Bars list and has been housing the best national and international bartenders for years. Owners of the bar are Lydia Soedadi, Boudewijn Mesritz and Airto Cramer. Airto has been the face of the bar since opening, and a true bartending legend in The Netherlands. The consistency in the cocktails’ quality is admirable, and so are the original flavours and presentation.
Cramer: “The Agamotto cocktail is based upon the talisman of Dr. Strange, one of the main characters of the legendary Marvel comics created by Stan Lee and Steven Ditko.
Dr. Strange’s story is one of a surgeon who loses everything, and seeks help in the dark world of magic. ‘Agamotto The All-Seeing Eye’ helps Dr. Strange to see through disguises and illusions. It’s one of the three powerful mystical creatures of the Vishanti, and part of Dr. Strange’s themes: magic, Buddhism, circularity and parallel universes. Hence the bridge to Orbium, it’s all related.
The cocktail is dry, herbal, fresh, effervescent and a parallel twist on a French 75. The vermouth and the sherry interact with -and strengthen Orbium’s wormwood and quinine, and the basil garnish emphasizes the sweet characteristics of blue lotus.”
Agamotto by Airto Cramer
15 ml Hendrick’s Orbium
15 ml Dolin Rouge vermouth
15 ml Tio Pepe Fino Sherry
Dash of Regans’ Orange Bitters
Top with champagne
Garnish: basil sprig
Method: Pour the ingredients (except the champagne) in a mixing glass filled with ice. Strain in a highball glass filled with ice, top with champagne.