The Vodka Martini Designed To Resemble Melting Glacier Ice

In our world, everything is political, including the food and drinks you consume on a daily basis. From the organic baked beans you buy to the Peruvian-grown avocados you have on your toast in the mornings, food and drink cannot be separated from global politics. That's exactly what the cocktail bar Boticario, based in Buenos Aires wants to showcase its cocktail menu. According to Punch, previous cocktails have been mixed with zero-waste sustainable living, botany, and medicine themes. Their menu rotates every 2 months, with special care given to seasonality and political messaging.

In their latest cocktail, an icy and clear whiskey-flavored vodka martini, Boticario explores the changing and deteriorating landscape of the arctic glaciers, a heartbreaking result of a warming planet. While the typical vodka martini is known for its simplicity and few ingredients, Boticario has made its take on the classic anything but. From their hand-crafted, and in-house-distilled spirits to their disappearing salty sea foam topping, this martini tells a story with every sip. 

A story of oceans

Buckle in, because this cocktail is as high-concept as you can imagine. In a conversation with Punch, Nahuel Chenquelof, head bartender of Boticario states, "With our most recent drinks and menu, we investigate the five oceans and their contribution to the coasts of each continent, from cultural exchange to gastronomic influence and the different histories that were traveled by each one of them." When it comes to the arctic ocean, nothing comes to mind as quickly as the melting ice caps, a certain sign of climate change

Additionally, they drew inspiration from Denmark and Canada — two countries who duked it out for 50+ years over a small island in the arctic, in a skirmish known as "The Whiskey Wars," per BBC. In tribute, Boticario infused vodka (a nod to Denmark's vodka makers) with wood chips and 'Caramel 60' malt (hello, Canadian distillers), then re-distilled the vodka so it could maintain its icy, piercingly clear color. 

For the vermouth, Boticario didn't just reach for a bottle off the liquor store shelf, but created a unique dry vermouth from frozen grapes — another nod to Canada's ice wine, as well as chardonnay, absinthe, and more. 

But perhaps the most moving and theatrical element of the cocktail comes from the sea salt foam. It serves a flavor purpose, subbing in for olive brine or a lemony twist, but also disintegrates into the drink, representing the rapid melting of the arctic ice caps.