Most restaurateurs will tell you that customers eat with their eyes, but it turns out they drink with their eyes as well. That’s the philosophy behind the bar cart program at Galley inside the Hilton West Palm Beach. The carts are wheeled to each table so that guests can get a close-up view of how Galley’s three signature cocktails are made.
“Customers want to see exactly what’s in a drink and appreciate the care that goes into it,” says director of food and beverage Mark Huurneman. “They get to understand the art that’s involved, and it’s a great way to launch the dining experience.”
The trio consists of the Smoked Old Fashioned, made with Russell’s Reserve 10-year-old bourbon and house-made bitters; a Deconstructed Old Cuban, blended with Zaya 12-year-old rum and mint-infused simple syrup; and Fire & Ice, a mix of Island Company rum, Cruzan 151, and homemade blue curaçao.
Of the three, the Smoked Old Fashioned offers the greatest spectacle. “We load a commercial food smoker with a combination of applewood, cherrywood, and mesquite chips, and ignite them for about 10 seconds,” says general manager Craig Steel. “It adds a thick, creamy smoke that changes the texture of the cocktail immensely. We’ll serve 15 or 20 on a busy evening. Once guests see it made, it sells itself.”