Marcel Duchamp once said “I don’t believe in art. I believe in artists”. Having just visited PURO Kraków, I would say “artists AND cocktails”. Decadent compositions inspired by famous artists have been introduced to the menu at PURO Halicka Eatery & Bar, offering the taste of Vincent van Gogh’s turbulent life, Leonardo da Vinci’s Renaissance splendour, or Salvador Dali’s surrealistically passionate kiss. The richness of ingredients includes syrup made of raisins and roasted sunflower seeds, homemade almond & lime liqueur, the orange blossom, and edible gold. So, instead of the ears, let’s use the palate to listen to the delicious sound of storytelling.
The relationship between art and spirited drinks is as old as the world itself. Artists’ nightlife would often stimulate their imagination which, in turn, would give birth to remarkable works of art. Artists’ biographies, as titillating and unpredictable as their art, nourished the imagination of all mortals dreaming about a life as a creative act. Kamil Skoczek, Head Bartender at Halicka Eatery & Bar, has made it his task to evoke these emotional relationships in cocktails. Is there a better place to taste art than lively and multicultural Kazimierz? We don’t think so, considering that the variety of forms and tastes embodied in the cocktails ideally corresponds to both the artistic atmosphere of the district and the PURO philosophy aimed at bringing together historical contexts and timeless quality.
Each cocktail includes a myriad of details that may be difficult to spot at first glance, but that’s precisely what we wanted to achieve. This hidden symbolism is crucial, for it provides us with numerous occasions to talk to our guests and invites everyone to search for tastes, histories, details. I am sure that such a meticulously crafted menu has its unique character, its very own soul - says Kamil.
Let’s take a look at (and a sip of!) the cocktails - a heaven to the eye and the palate!
The Murder Mistery | Michelangelo Merisi Da Caravaggio
Was he murdered or did he just disappear? The mystery behind the death of “Rome’s most famous painter” remains unsolved, but this doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy its taste. It’s a rather bitter aperitif based on Italian Americano. Bitterness abounds, complemented with a hint of spiciness - everything in the shade of deep red. Served on ice, crowned with a piece of bloody orange. This cocktail breeds conjectures.
The Lost Ear | Vincent Van Gogh
Sunflowers and skies full of stars - the epitome of van Gogh’s painting and the taste of our composition. Based on Dutch genever (we all know where Vincent was born, don’t we?), the cocktail is enhanced with syrup made of raisins and roasted sunflower seeds. Rumour has it that the painter’s casket was sprinkled with sunflower seeds; our cocktail is topped with a sunflower syrup candy wrapped in edible foil. Make sure to check if the glass ear is in place after the tasting!
The Genius And The Toff | Leonardo Da Vinci
Renaissance splendour worthy of being named after one of the greatest of geniuses. Original spritzer, i.e. cocktail on sparkling wine, inspired by the artist’s love of his vineyard. Whether he was tending the vineyard or flying in the sky, Leonardo knew no compromises. In the kitchen, just like in art, it’s the detail that matters - a white chocolate wing sprinkled with edible gold promises the finest of journeys.
Troubles In Eden | Paul Gauguin
Gauguin’s Polynesian journeys birthed bittersweet reflections on the innocence of the tropics (agricole rum from Martinique & homemade almond-lime liqueur) and the bitterness of adventures (French amaro on orange blossoms). The cocktail is served in a porcelain tiki mug with a banana tree leaf and a homemade coconut pyramid evoking both the urge to travel and the craving for the land.
In The Sunlight | Claude Monet
The purity of impression worthy of the master’s style: drinking a cup of tea in the garden bathed in the morning sunlight. The taste is delicate and flowery, subtle and sunny. The earl grey foam topping and rose powder delicately incite the senses. Keep the fleeting moments a while longer by contemplating impressionist paintings and reveling in the taste of our cocktail.
Cannons Go Boom | Winston Churchill
British statesman’s favorite whisky rich in peat flavors and smoky hints - Johnnie Walker Double Black. The matters of the state always went hand in hand with a cigar and a hip flask. When Churchill wasn’t making history, he made art. This cocktail, seasoned shortly in oak barrels and served with burnt cinnamon, perfectly represents the dialogue of art and politics.
Kiss My Surrealism | Salvador Dali
Eccentricity with a Polish touch: digestif on Polish blackthorn and plum vodka with a hint of Spanish sweet cherry, apple cider, and vinegar syrup infused with rosemary and berries. A crazy drink crazily served: in a mini shaker, with a branch of rosemary and a lip-shaped lollipop made of Ruby chocolate. The taste and the form representative of the genius’s surreal imagination!
Sensen Stimulant | Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz
Perception is relative. The world seen through the prism of drugs and stimulants was integral to Witkacy’s oeuvre. Each artwork was signed with a detailed information about substances taken during the creative process. Our journey draws on the fusion of one of Poland’s oldest vodkas distilled from Polish fruit with Absinth blanc, a legendary alcoholic beverage for sensation-hungry artists.