Investigate the human who has been, who is and who will be.
No, it is not the beginning of the back cover of a critical-philosophical text: it is the main theme of the latest drink list of Drink Kong, among the best cocktail bars in Rome (and not only: it entered its first year of life in the 50 best bars in the world according to 50 Best Bars, also winning the Campari One To Watch 2019 award): New Humans.
A philosophy at the counter
It is legitimate to ask whether it is possible to investigate the human being through colors, sips, flavors. It seems strange, even simplistic. Yet it can and works damn well too.
That through taste it is possible to understand some guidelines of the psyche is something that is known: the experimental psychologist Charles Spence speaks fluently in his Gastrophysics: the new science of eating, if you want to deepen the subject.
What interests us here, to better understand a drink list that bounces between a basic interpretation and deeper readings, is to get straight to the core, the message that the guys at Drink Kong want to convey.
The bar is a place to let defenses fall, which forces us to choose with instinct. And since social conventions, trends, chatting between friends have made the animal instinct for the favorite sip disappear – even unconsciously -, Drink Kong has developed a cocktail menu that tempts the customer to use the own instinct to order. Less "a Negroni please", more "Let's try to understand who we are."
In this sense, the work done by the bartender patron of Drink Kong was interesting Patrick Pistolesi together with the bar manager Livio Morena, to Davide Diaferia and to all the guys who worked on the success of New Humans.
With their own piece of idea, with their own personal and professional baggage, they have built a booklet of 21 cocktails divided by flavor. Here is the first level: nothing is more immediate than the brain that catalogs and gives us a flavor when read only. We are not talking about tastes because New Humans is not divided into the trite and banal wheel of main tastes ranging from sweet to bitter. He touches it, touches it and moves on towards a decidedly more modern and interesting taste classification.
The cocktail list
Newmami it is the category that includes cocktails with a strong flavor, umami; Holus (from the Latin: "all that is green") investigates the vegetable world; Kudamono (in Japanese: "everything related to fruit") reinterprets the omnipresent role of fruit in mixology; Herbs & Herbs are the officinal herbs, those at the base of the Italian aperitif, for a rewriting of the same; Sukoshi (from the Japanese "a little") for an alcohol-free or low-alcohol alternative: a way of drinking that increasingly strives to make itself felt in the cocktail universe.
And if these five are the categories to be read with the first instinct, each of the cocktails enclosed lets mind and soul reconnect to choose based on sensations that are no longer just primitive, but a mirror of the psyche. Each page has the name of a drink. The name is accompanied by one or two evocative words, often not too immediate and the basic spirit used. Stop. The customer, between the bewildered and the amused, finds himself choosing according to his own tastes and instincts. To give an example, the Leaf of Faith drink from the Holus category reports only this as a description: Freshly Light. Then you discover that there is a lettuce cordial inside (if you want to find out, the game is also here in the desire to investigate or let yourself go. This is also a way of investigating the human).
In addition to the first two levels of reading, there is a third, deeper, but always linked to the concept of instinct and very contemporary: images.
A new language
The boys of Lordz studio, first-rate graphic designers based in Rome, have in fact created as many images as there are drinks, each contributing to the non-verbal and implied description of the cocktail itself. Evocative images and symbols, some precise and others smoky, mysterious, to rethink the last and most important bulwark of new humans. The language.
"This menu celebrates new languages," reads the first page of the small black menu. «It is an evocative journey made of shapes and colors. Mankind has always used symbols as its expressive code. The vision of the future draws on the past to find its completed form in the present .
The symbol as the nucleus of the new languages of the new humans. In a way that only Drink Kong, with its architectural features between Japanese and Blade Runner, he could sum up. Minimalism in the glass, there is no need for more than what is not already expressed in the liquid and in the images. Clear, distinguishable, decodable flavors, which upon careful analysis, the last, reveal palatal nuances and, therefore, of such significance as to close the experiential circle.
In a world where every day a media pulp is fed more and more, the result of an acceleration of signs and messages on the web, the one that the philosopher Franco Bifo Berardi in his Futurability he tells us of a «cancellation of the very possibility of discrimination between true and false, between good and evil. Dark Enlightenment ", Drink Kong tries to restore the contemporary and correct dimension of the human. New, but ancient, primitive.
I am a new human. You are new humans.
Each of us has now, in the past and in the future, a little fuse that reminds us of this.
New Humans does nothing but turn it on.
Text by Andrea Strafile