José Andrés to Open Cocktail Lab Called Barmini
José Andrés' secret is out: The restaurateur is opening a 23-seat "cocktail lab" next to minibar called barmini, featuring avant-garde libations, antique glassware, and ice carved exclusively by handsaw. It opens Feb. 15.
The seasonal menu, broken down by spirit, will include more than 100 cocktails. Expect plenty of modernist techniques and ingredients, including "airs" that capture aromas and flavors in their bubbles and emulsifiers like whey that add texture to the drinks. Carbonation, espumas, extractions, infusions, and barrel aging will also be in the mixologists' arsenal.
The cocktail program will be overseen by ThinkFoodGroup's "cocktail innovator" Juan Coronado, along with research and development director Ruben Garcia. Among their creations is "La Sevillana" with Pedro Ximenez sherry, apple jack, and Yellow Chartreuse smoked and served in a capped mason jar. There's also a drink called "Big in Japan" with a mescal marshmallow, Japanese whiskey, and Salers and Suze aperitifs as well as a the "Rye Here" with passion fruit salt, cayenne spice rub, lemon juice, maple syrup Kasteel cherry beer, and barrel-aged bitters. Prices will range from $14 to $20.
The cocktails will be served in a collection of antique glassware in more than 30 different styles. The glasses, most of which date back to the 1930s, were found in glass shops, antique shops, and glass collections around the country.
There's also a bar snacks menu ($5 to $16), which includes mac uni, minibar Philly cheesesteak, butternut squash meringue with yogurt and honey, and Pan de Cristal with tomato an Iberico ham.
Like minibar, the space was imagined by Spanish architect Juli Capella with the help of Georgetown-based architecture and design firm CORE. White pod counters make up the bar, and antique glassware, vintage barware, and classic cocktail books line the white wall behind the bar. You'll also find Spanish designer Cerruti Baleri's funky furniture with photo-realistic fabric, including a cactus sofa and fruit ottomans.
Barmini will be open Tuesday through Thursday from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. and Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Reservations can be made beginning Feb. 15. UPDATE: Reservations can be made under the "reservations" section of Minibar's website.
Reservations for minibar are separate and will now be done seasonally. That means the restaurant will begin taking reservations from March through July on Feb. 15 and for September through February on July 1.
Barmini, 855 E St. NW; (202) 393-4451; minibarbyjoseandres.com