Photo by Liz Banfield
You know how Marvel Bar, in the super-stylish basement beneath The Bachelor Farmer, has been the leading force in super-snazzy elite drinking here in the North for lo these many years? And you know how it’s been led by one Pip Hanson, the Tokyo-trained technical master of all things ice and distilled? Well if you want one of Pip Hanson’s drinks you better go now because he’s moving to London, effective June 1.
Yes, that London, the one of mushy peas, fog, and tube stops. The real London! He’ll be going for one year, he says, to explore the ideas happening in London drinking, such as bone tincture, which is a real thing, and involves dissolving bones in phosphoric acid. No really. No really!!
So what happens to Marvel Bar in Mr. Pip’s absence? It gets taken over by longtime second-in-command, Peder Schweigert, who has worked at Alinea and trained under well known molecular bartender David Arnold. What does this mean for the drink menu at Marvel? I talked to Schweigert, Hanson, and owner Eric Dayton, and they told me: Here comes the new era of collaboration. All the heretofore quiet bartenders will be leaping into the foreground with their new ideas, Pip will be sending back ideas from London, and you ain’t seen nothing yet. For instance, I tried two of the new drinks that are coming to the next Marvel menu, and they were cray-cray-crazy. There was a bright pink drink that looked fruity and sweet, but tasted dry as a bone and deeply, profoundly mineral—because it was made with an infusion of Bentonite clay. (That’s an edible clay used for its medical healing properties, folks.) And it tastes really mineral-y because, well, it’s clay! But that drink was not nearly as crazy as the drink made with Mezcal and barbecue sauce, which tasted uncannily like dry Talisker whiskey.
Bon voyage, Pip! As for the rest of you cocktail sorts: Look for going-away events for Hanson in the late spring, and if you have any mushy peas to offload he probably needs them so you probably should just bring a lot of cans and leave them under the tables.
50 N. 2nd Ave., Mpls., 612-206-3929, marvelbar.com