Nightbell Takes Nightlife to the Next Level

Nightbell Takes Nightlife to the Next Level
Speakeasy offers freshly crafted cocktails, bar fare


Courtesy of Jason Sandford at Ashvegas.com.
This evening, downtown welcomes one of Asheville's most anticipated new nightspots. Nightbell, described as "a sophisticated contemporary nightclub designed in the spirit of the speakeasy," is the newest creation by the owners of Curate tapas bar.

For their new project, husband and wife team Felix Meana and Katie Button both draw on their experience at the famed elBulli restaurant as they bring a modernist flair to traditional cocktails and American bar food. (Think lobster rolls poached to order, boneless chicken wings with celery apple slaw, and steak tartare served in crispy cones.)

In addition to the menu, Nightbell also offers an unpretentious space (expertly designed by Liz Button) to spend the evening, as well as upbeat music spun by resident DJ Cesar Meana.

Cocktail enthusiasts will definitely be interested in the drinks that Felix and bar manager Kyle Beach have developed, and adventurous home mixologists may want to try their had at this rosy recipe, perfect for a Valentine's Day treat.

Recipe: Cold Roses Cocktail
The bartenders at Nightbell use quite a few tricks of the trade to create this fancy beverage. To make it yourself, combine the following items in a Collins glass, and look below for additional instructions.
  • 2 oz. rose infused Tito's vodka
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • ¾  oz. St. Germain
  • 1 ½ oz. soda
  • berry ice
  • lavender foam

Infusing the Vodka: The bartenders at Nightbell rely on a rapid infusion method that uses a nitrous oxide-powered cream whipper to meld the flavors in a much shorter period of time. If you want to learn more about that method and try it at home (you'll use one N2O charge for 5 minutes), check out this informative video by Gizmodo. Alternatively, you can soak the vodka in rose petals for about 2 hours.

Making the Berry Ice: The ice is made from raspberries, strawberries and blackberries that are pureed, strained to remove the seeds and diluted before being frozen into ice cubes. The mixologists at Nightbell use a Collins ice mold that makes cubes the same size and shape as the glass, but you could freeze the mixture into any shape and use enough to fill the glass about halfway.

Adding the Lavender Foam: Foams have long been a signature of modernist chefs and bartenders, and this one does require the use of a N2O charger or cream whipper, as well as 12 oz. lavender simple syrup, 10 oz. water, 2 sheets of gelatin and 2 N2O charges. For a similar flavor without the foam effect, add ½ oz. of the lavender simple syrup to your drink.

Learn more about Asheville's local food culture.

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