A couple of weekends ago we were invited to Frankfurt for a night out at Breeze by the luxury international hotel and restaurant company lebua. Already a roaring success in Bangkok, India and New Zealand the business capital of Germany is the company’s first venture into Europe. It’s a brand who like to do things a little differently and at the core of its brand is the aim to create an ’emotional connection’ with the customer and the praise, worldwide recognition and numerous awards its received over the years shows it’s definitely doing something right!
It’s also no stranger to theatrics and as well as its numerous awards, the Sky Bar, which is suspended 820 foot above Bangkok’s skyline is so striking it was featured in many of the key scenes in the Hangover 2 movie. As well as its award winning food it’s known for its creative and flamboyant cocktails created by a team of talented mixologists gathered from all corners of the globe. Its most famous is the fun ‘Hangovertini’ cleverly connected by lebua mixologist Alex Holzer to commemorate the brand’s luxury hotel in Bangkok being featured in the famous movie. A mix of green tea liquor, Martini Rosso, green apple juice and rosemary-infused honey it packs such a punch it’s often hailed as Thailand’s answer to the Singapore Sling. Apparently even Hangover II director Todd Phillips approves.
Both the cocktail bar and the restaurant are located below the luxury Steigenberger Hotel. The basement has been beautifully transformed into an oasis of calm and wow-inducing decor cleverly designed by the renowned architectural firm Eight Inc. Inspired by both by nature and Asia, the unique space combines water features, sleek dark stone walls and a liberal use of timber. Bright pink natural flowers and small glowing lights punctuate the black corridors and the seating areas are made up of the series of dimly lit alcoves. The result is a seriously stunning and achingly cool bar and this is where the master mixologists work their magic.
The team are affable, easy on the eye and clearly devoted to the profession. Portuguese barman Joao Paulo Feliciano Franco is the brains behind Breeze’s captivating signature cocktails and we watched transfixed as he skilfully and artistically mixed up a handpicked sample of drinks taken from the bar’s impressive cocktail menu.
First up was the ‘Bold and the Beautiful’, part of the Smoked Series, these cocktails feature flavoured woods burned which are smoked using a “Smoking Gun.” The drink is a potent but sensual fusion of whiskey, lavender, chambord, lemon, cedar wood and the smoking effect added a very effective dramatic touch. Next was the delightful ‘Summer Blossom’, part of the thrilling ‘Ice Series’ it was a crisp and fruity mix of gin, cinnamon, peach, grapefruit and chamomile but in this series all the liquids are served at a chilly -1.9°Celsius with an atmospheric dry ice. The more the ice melts the more flavoursome the cocktail becomes and the result is beautifully theatrical but seriously delicious drink.
Next we witnessed the creation of the clever ‘Bombay Chai’ which mixed potent dark alcoholic sprits with a spicy Asian tea. The drink came with a capsule of Chai flavoured liquid which was was to be drunk first swiftly followed by the heady combination of rum, grand marnier, chai tea and lime. The drink was endearingly served in clay mug with a frothy head and delicately topped with sprinkling of spice.
The last cocktail from the session was ‘Saketini by the Sea’. Sake, wasabi, ginger, mango, lime may sound like an inexplicable combo but this Asian inspired drink was my personal favourite and was again, exceptionally presented. Served in a black sake pot with dry ice mist pouring out of the spout it had it a very mysterious – and very Eastern – aura. Apparently inspired by sushi (a very unique concept for a cocktail!), this drink was part of the ‘Art’ series – a collection of drinks which aim to arouse all the senses!
We’ve been to a few cocktail bars now but we have to admit that the mixology session at Breeze was exceptional – with expertly handcrafted cocktails, fantastic bar staff and a unique menu which showcases just how far they go to stand out from the crowd, it’s no wonder this luxury chain of bars and hotels are so highly regarded. For more details on how you can experience the cocktails for yourself head to lebua Breeze Frankfurt.