A World Tour in a Glass with Jing Zhang
Did you know that you can tour Europe in a single martini glass? Take some dry gin from London, toss in a bit of vermouth from France, and drop in an Italian olive or two and you have the perfect martini filled with the gifts of three different European countries. But it doesn’t stop there: Sangria made of European wines with fruit from the Americas and Australia gets you to two hemispheres. That Sazerac that drips of New Orleans’ spirit has a twist of Florida orange peel hanging off its side. Every cocktail is a voyage, and no one knows that better than Jing Zhang who has taken these little trips and turned them into illustrated compositions that bring it all to life.
Jing's "Classic Cocktail Recipes" is a series of six different illustrations that illuminate the ingredients and provenance of each element of beloved drinks: the Moscow Mule, the Bellini, the Martini, the Singapore Sling, the Sazerac, and Sangria. It's easy to remember each of these mixtures from a dinner in a friend's backyard or a late night at a steamy bar, but they are messages from other places and times. A cocktail recipe, like any other recipe, is a function of the community that bore it: it's cobbled together from every tasty thing within arm reach – and just as often things that aren't tasty. They're blended together into the perfect balance to make a beverage that tastes as good as it makes you feel.
Jing uses her signature architectural style to create impossible realities in which an olive orchard is perched on top of a martini glass, or 16th century Russian architecture fits inside a copper mug. But by combining each of these impossibilities, Jing opens our eyes and our minds to see what's swirling around in our glasses for the first time. So, cheers! And don't forget: there's more where that came from.