HomeTravelFinest Cocktails in Quito Ecuador Casa Gangotena

Finest Cocktails in Quito Ecuador Casa Gangotena

Artwork is available in many types, however I hadn’t thought of a kind of types in a cocktail. And I actually hadn’t anticipated to search out an achieved mixology artist in Quito Ecuador. However typically the most effective experiences are if you least anticipate it.

After a protracted day of touring round Quito, I sat down for a cocktail at Casa Gangotena within the coronary heart of Quito Outdated City. Whereas sitting on the open air rooftop terrace, I learn the unending cocktail menu and was instantly intrigued. It wasn’t simply giant, but it surely was uncommon…actually uncommon.

Bourbon, Gin, AND IPA all in the identical cocktail…wait…did I learn that proper?

Telling a Story in a Glass

Casa Gangotena’s FIESTA cocktails had been created to take you on a ingesting tour by a few of Ecuador’s loveliest provinces and cities, celebrating the wealth of distinctive native substances generally loved in every of those areas throughout well-liked festivals. This wasn’t only a cocktail, this was an expertise in a glass. From the aromas, to the substances, to the tastes, to the glass itself, it informed a whole story.

Fiesta Menu

For the Fiesta menu they studied the area the place the fiesta was held, decided key substances and flavors, and developed a posh drink that will be greater than merely thirst quenching…it might be transporting.

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Fiesta del Maiz cocktail

I selected to begin with the Fiesta del Maiz cocktail. The pageant is a harvest celebration held in September within the northern province of Imbabura. The mix of bourbon, gin, and beer intrigued and perplexed me; I needed to attempt it. It got here out in a gorgeous ceramic glass with a lid on high that held corn nuts and different crunchy goodness. You merely took the lid off and also you had a bit plate of nibblies to have with the cocktail – it was lovely and ingenious!

I’m gonna say it…it was most likely one of many finest cocktails I’ve ever had. The flavors had been vibrant and refreshing (all the time good in a scorching nation), and the little bites of corn nuts enhanced the entire expertise.

As I watched the opposite uncommon drinks come out for our group, I used to be equally impressed with the opposite cocktails and glasses. Different festivals and flavors are represented on the menu just like the Diablada de Píllaro; the Satan’s Dance Pageant held within the province of Tungurahua south of Quito. The pageant celebrates indigenous liberation and revolt from colonialism. And the cocktail contains rum, apple, ginger, scorching pepper, hominy juice and goldenberry – all served up in an ingenious container that appears just like the satan.

You possibly can see the entire lineup of pageant cocktails right here.

The Artistry Goes Past the Drink to the Glass

I’ve all the time been intrigued with the vessel wherein a cocktail creation is served. I’m a fan of the mid-century trendy glasses that take you again in time if you see them. I’ve additionally been curious concerning the Belgian beer glasses that improve the well-known Belgian beers. However this pageant menu took cocktail glasswear to a brand new degree.

When the fiesta menu was created, Director of Mixology Jossimar Lujan partnered with a neighborhood pottery artist, Claudia Anhalzer to assist create the story of the cocktail. Very similar to a e book cowl is necessary to a e book, glassware is what homes this liquid story and in addition needs to be part of the memorable expertise.

I had the pleasure of going to go to Claudia at her workshop (organized by Casa Gangotena) in Quito’s historic heart. The petite artist met us on the door and led us as much as her rooftop studio.

Claudia confirmed us the variations of prototypes that received her and Jossimar to the completed product. They labored as a group to give you the designs and even engaged artisans from the areas of the festivals to collaborate with.

As soon as they selected the proper ‘e book cowl’ for every story, she made 25 of every glass/container for the bar.

Mixology Taken to a New Degree

And who’s the ‘mad mixologist’ behind these creations? I had the pleasure of assembly Director of Mixology Jossimar Lujan after being wowed by his cocktail creations. And I didn’t simply meet him – I had an entire line up of questions for him.

Jossimar Lujan master mixologist quito
Jossimar Lujan

The person was stuffed with surprises beginning with, he doesn’t actually drink. He stated that he often has a beer. I used to be so shocked by this remark that it left me speechless for a bit. How may somebody create the most effective cocktails in Quito (a number of the finest I’ve ever had on the planet), and never even drink them?!

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That’s once I realized it’s all concerning the flavors, tastes, and science.

He begins usually by breaking down the flavors first. For the Fiesta del Maiz cocktail he defined that he wished to make use of grains to honor the pageant harvest theme. He selected to work with Bourbon to spotlight the grains. He wished one thing bitter, so he introduced within the hoppiness from the IPA. He wished tart, and used the goldenberry well-liked from that space. Then it’s a matter of discovering steadiness within the drink in addition to contemplating the colour.

Coloration? Sure…shade.

That is the place issues actually received fascinating to me.

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He talked about how he was distilling substances to make use of within the drink in order that they’d have intense taste however no shade. I used to be fairly confused by this idea – once I consider distilling – I consider the method to make liquor. However he was speaking about an entire different degree of distilling merchandise.

That’s once I realized concerning the lab…

Discipline Journey to the Mixology Lab

I adopted Jossimar by the back-of-house and into the basement of Casa Gangotena, by the parking storage and into a bit brightly lit room. In a bizarre method – it felt like a becoming place for a mad mixology scientist.

A giant machine sat on the desk spinning a bottle. There have been beakers and bottles on the desk that had tape on them with handwritten names. The white board was stuffed with numbers and measurements. And there have been industrial refridgerators stuffed with plastic luggage and bottles of liquid.

I had actually simply walked right into a mad scientist’s lab.

Distilling Isn’t Only for Liquor

The machine was a distiller, however as a substitute of distilling issues like gin or whiskey – this was a small model that occurred to be distilling peach yogurt on the time.

mixology lab

He pointed to the miniature distiller machine the place the bottle was spinning and stated that they had been at present distilling peach yogurt. I used to be confused at first – I had by no means ever thought of why you’ll need to distill issues like peach yogurt. Jossimar defined that there are occasions if you don’t need use a bitters, amaro, or oil/essence – you simply need the sturdy taste in a transparent liquid kind for the cocktails. That is purely about style and presentation/shade.

He put a drop of the clear distilled peach yogurt on my finger to attempt. I licked it off my finger. This single little clear drop of liquid packed a strong punch; it performed methods along with your senses. It was a drop of liquid that tasted as when you had been consuming peach yogurt; a tart and candy combo in a bundle you wouldn’t anticipate.

He defined that by distilling it, you should use small quantities to infuse intense taste and never add shade to the cocktail. I considered it and understood as soon as I thought of what a spoon of peach yogurt added to a drink would appear to be…not very appetizing proper?

He continued to indicate me across the small lab letting me style numerous infusions and syrups that had been made within the lab to check out new flavors, textures, and in the end cocktail tales. All of this stuff come into play when Jossimar creates a drink. He’s searching for the proper mixture of flavors.
This took mixology to an entire new degree that I didn’t even know was doable.

Nevertheless it does clarify why the cocktails at Casa Gangotena are the most effective in Quito.

Even the Customary Cocktails Have Flare

You would possibly surprise when you can simply merely order a typical drink like an quaint at Casa Gangotena. Sure – you may…however there appears to be nothing easy in Jossimar’s world.
Even my Outdated Customary got here out on a particular wood attempt created particularly for this drink. There was an entire hands-on technique of placing the drink collectively on the desk. The waiter needed to stroll me by the method!

And at last he’s even educated the bar employees in his artistic methods to make a cocktail particularly for YOU. The bar employees will hearken to individuals’s preferences and supply a customized cocktail personalised to your tastes…and temper in the mean time.

Casa Gangotena bar quito

You want bitter?
Or a mix of those?
No downside.

You need blissful?
No downside.

That is how I ended up with a beautiful martini with a couple of twists.

I not solely cherished the cocktails, however I cherished this whole idea of serving up a narrative that brings you nearer to the native tradition. You don’t simply drink, you study and drink on the identical time! In case you are visiting Quito, you should definitely cease in and benefit from the tales at Casa Gangotena the place you’ll discover the most effective cocktails in Quito.


I used to be a visitor of Metropolitan Touring on this journey.  Nevertheless, all opinions expressed listed here are my very own.



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