Behind the Bar with Asprey
Asprey unveils a collection of green diamonds and a new bar trolley inspired by the art deco era at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel de la Paix, Geneva.
There was a time not too long ago when cocktail parties were elevated to an art form. One imagines that Asprey had in mind Jay Gatsby and the diamond-adorned guests of his glittery soirées when it put together a celebration of carats and cocktails over two nights in June at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel de la Paix, Geneva.
Among the exquisite Asprey bar and homeware that decorated the space, a glinting corner brought some very old visitors into sharp focus: green diamonds, whose color was created millions of years ago from exposure to radiation from the earth’s core.
Green diamonds, says Mahyar Makhzani of Sciens Diamond Management BV, a partner of Asprey, are in a class all their own. “Think of it in terms of buying stock,” Makhzani suggests. “White diamonds symbolize an investment in a couple’s relationship, while green diamonds reflect an investment in the stone itself. While much more expensive due to their rarity, naturally occurring green diamonds make for a better asset, since their value is more stable and appreciates over time.”
To prove his point, Makhzani and Asprey decked out the hotel’s bar with a selection of necklaces, rings and bracelets artfully displayed alongside succulents, whose natural green hue highlighted the rare beauty of these enviable stones.
The other gem of the evening was something of a double-take on wheels. Asprey worked with The Ritz-Carlton to produce a new bar trolley that was reimagined from its glamorous drink carts of the 1920s and ’30s. It was rolling out a world tour in Europe, and two more will make rounds in Asia and America.
The trolley, whose silver-plated brass framework walks the tightrope of bygone ritz and the stylish subtlety needed to let cargo shine, tips its hat to Gatsby-era revelry.
“It’s a twist on one of our archives. We’ve streamlined it, so it looks more modern,” said Ciara Hurley-Stewart, Asprey’s head of retail marketing and partnerships. “You have the art deco theme with a contemporary feel.”
Of course, there’s no better way to celebrate that throwback splendor than with something to, well, throw back. Making their own splash were mixologists from Geneva and Berlin who creatively connected the themes at play for the occasion. Take the Green Jasmine, a melon-sweet, bubbly-topped cocktail that channeled the emerald-like hue shattering from the stones.
Taking it all in with a glass in hand, Lars Boerner, a guest at the hotel who was unplugging from information technology work in the U.K., said he was looking for an experience that would make him feel special while on holiday. “Today has been amazing,” he said. “I think Asprey is a heritage brand that still prides itself on producing quality.”
Slinging from the trolley in friendly fashion, Arnd Heissen of Fragrances, an aromatherapy-based cocktail establishment at The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin, gave guests a taste of the city’s zeitgeist: “Berlin is getting a big Latin touch, and right now mezcal is becoming very, very popular,” he said. “It has a little touch of nature, like opening the door of a barn.”
As Heissen carefully mixed patchouli, turmeric eau de vie, sweet Giffard maraschino, jasmine syrup and orange with the mezcal for his patient patrons, another theme seemed to emerge for the evening: In a world fiending for shortcuts, quality still takes its sweet time.