Bartending as storytelling

Brit Lp    20190321 1683
2019 04 29 Brittania 4052

The bar manager of this long standing establishment may be young, but his age belies his experience and sophistication. According to himself he grew up tending bar, and you can tell.

For the re-opening of the bar he designed a selection of signature cocktails around the history of Trondheim and Britannia’s place in it. Every detail of each cocktail – content, creation and presentation – plays a role in the story it tells.

A simple ad in the paper announced the opening of Britannia in 1870. The cocktail Origins is designed with an imaginary grand opening in mind, using ingredients that would have been available at the time with a contemporary twist. It is made with Britannia’s very own Ayala champagne. While the collaboration with the champagne house of Ayala is recent, it came about as a result of discovering joint history between the two establishments that were started within a decade of each other all that time ago.

Britannia Bar Photo Lars Petter Pettersen 2008

Trondheim, a city of mainly wooden houses, was regularly ravaged by fire. The cocktail Smoke invokes the memory of the last great fire, which finally extinguished itself against the brick wall of a distillery a block away from where Britannia would open a few decades later. The smoke adds both flavour and dramatic effect to this homage to the resilience of the city.

To create Canon, which is technically a punch from a time before cocktails, the bar manager revived near forgotten techniques, using milk to clarify and soften the flavours of the drink. As you toast the memory of local privateer Captain Kaald, take a moment to appreciate the efforts, creativity and love of the craft it took to create such a modern, mellow rum punch.

Britannia Bar Photo Dreyer Hensley Job 12343