By now, most of you know that Julia “Mc”Lish and Brenna Murphy of Barkeep Supply are avid UFO enthusiasts and professional amateurs on the subject of conspiracy theories and all things extree-terrestrialee. But, what you may not know, is that they also make fantastic cocktails! Yes, it’s all true! Bob Lazar fan club members, AND cocktail creators??!!?? WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE!
Meet the Bartenders
At any given point, Julia and Brenna can be found manning (womanning?) the bartop and sales floor at Barkeep—a boutique-esque bar and retail store for cocktail hounds, both pro and amateur—in Midtown, right smack in the middle of the Plaza Court Building. (I affectionately call it my candy AND toy store!)
Both young ladies have a varied experience behind the stick, in high-volume settings, and personal craft experiences. The passion they share for great drinks and unusual cocktail pairings is evident in every libation they’ve served me…and I’ve had dang near every item that’s ever been on any of their always changing menus. Julia is the owner of the fast-growing, worst-kept-secret bar and toy store, and Brenna is her ever-present friend and helper.
They both contribute equally to the amazing service, creativity, and fun of the experience. You might even refer to Barkeep as the joint institute for cocktail research. Lively conversation? Yeah, you’ll find it there alongside amazing drinks and fun bar tools. Becoming a regular is easy because of the incredible hospitality and endless creativity.
Meet the Cocktail
You’re about to embark on a mission into another dimension of flavors with Element 115 (unstable and otherworldly). Be warned when you first pick this drink up: it’s incredibly heavy.
The entire new menu at Barkeep is centered around the concept of alien lifeforms, UFOs, otherworldly beings, and conspiracy theories. Odd motif for cocktails, perhaps, but when the drinks are this good, you go with it.
You might think I’d focus on a drink I’ve been going back to again and again, but that’s not how it was with Element 115. It’s one I’ve had a couple times, enjoyed, and then moved on to others, to be quite blunt.
But when I really drilled down, I realized it was my favorite on their new menu. It’s like Drunk Encounters of the Third Kind.
First you encounter its name: Element 115. Yeah, look into that. Wow.
Second encounter: it’s served in a beaker. I’m a geek for novelty glassware that is actually purpose driven. Complete nerd for that type of thing. Check my glassware collection sometime if you don’t believe me.
The third and closest encounter (and this is a big one): it’s got pretty colors. Yeah, I said it. I fell in love with a drink based on its looks. Fortunately, it can cook and clean, too! I’M KIDDING! It’s actually a terrible cook.
But all those are surface observations. What you can’t gauge just by looking at it is the full gravity of what’s about to happen to your taste buds. The drink is “layered,” in a way, and as such, it should be mixed before fully consuming. Right?
Wrong. Ish. Before you mix it up, take a sip off the top layer. Then probe it with a straw and taste the bottom layer. Then mix it up and taste the incredible differences in each of the samples. You’ll thank me.
It’s unbelievable how such a varied array of intelligent flavors come together in one force to take over your taste buds. (Are you catching all the zingers?!) Much as the flavors blend together, the colorful layers mingle to create something even prettier than the sum of its parts.
In the words of Murphy, co-creator of the drink, “The goal was to be elaborate on the palate, and to overcome the Hawaiian blue drink” or “frat boy blue drink,” as she also put it. I love her.
The builds for every cocktail made at Barkeep are freely available on their menus, which is simply amazing. This is truly a place that cares about the cocktail experience in its entirety, not just in selling you one more tasty treat.
Among the ingredients in this flavor experiment are Control Pisco, Aveze Liqueur, housemade thyme simple syrup, Crème de Violette, and others.
Don’t let the vast expanse of ingredients alienate you—each element of this concoction is intentional, well researched, and scientifically driven by equal parts flavor, visual interaction, and overall experience. The fact that this beautifully creative drink is served in a beaker, filled with great ice, is just an incredible added bonus.
For a square ten bucks, or whatever alien currency equivalent you come up with, you can feel like you’ve been a part of uncovering the greatest hoax ever pulled on mankind—that blue drinks aren’t meant to be stellar.