Sip in style on Dior inspired couture cocktails at Sofitel Melbourne on Collins’ Atrium Bar.
You can always tell Dior when you see it. Sharp lines and angles contrasted against deep curves, bold silhouettes, and an air of feminine romance that harks back to an earlier time. The heart of the design house’s distinct style has remained unchanged in the decades since Dior released his “New Look” in 1947, with each new designer incorporating these core principles into their modern designs. Christian Dior’s design code has created a legacy of style that is modern, while still remaining undeniably classic. And now, thanks to master mixologist Marc Dasan, you can sip in style on cocktails inspired by Dior’s design code at The Atrium Bar at Sofitel Melbourne on Collins.
Following on from their smash hit ‘Lunch Like Van Gogh’ dining experience, the Sofitel have again collaborated with their partner, The National Gallery of Victoria, to create a unique menu of four limited edition cocktails to celebrate the NGV’s ‘House of Dior’ exhibition. The exhibition, already a hit with fashionistas, art lovers, and design devotees alike, showcases seventy years of Dior designs in the city that held Dior’s very first fashion show – that’s right, little ol’ Melbourne!
Inspired by Dior’s design code, Dasan has created four unique cocktails to create the Code of Conduct collection, a menu that pairs perfectly with a visit to the exhibition. Here’s a little teaser of what lies ahead for those of you who want a little taste of Dior:
Synonymous with Dior are the distinct lines that informed the immortal, and instantly recognisable, silhouette. ‘The Line’, a luxurious mix of spiced rum, Pedro Ximenez, and Mozart Dark, embraces this shapely form with the sharp lines of the martini glass playing off against the soft curves of the fresh fig it’s garnished with. The herbal kick of the spiced rum contrasted against the intensely saccharine Pedro Ximenez creates a flavour profile that is sweet without being cloying, and the Mozart Dark chocolate liqueur adds a richness and indulgence that makes this little number a real treat. ‘The Line’ is sweet and strong, just like Dior’s idealised vision of femininity.
Studying political science and running an art gallery before embarking on his career in the fashion industry, Christian Dior wore many hats in his life. Among them was that of a passionate historian, obsessed with 18th century France – particularly the Château de Versailles and arguably its most stylish resident, Marie Antoinette. This fascination permeated his designs in many ways, with the palace’s famous gardens inspiring many of his early floral designs, and the ill-fated queen’s nipped-waist corseted aesthetic and richly embroidered silks making cameos in his grand evening gowns and daywear alike. Dasan’s “The 18th Century” cocktail captures this indulgent decadence with a sweet and fruity mix of Kettle One Vodka, Crème de Cassis, Crème de Mure and lime juice with white chocolate and pineapple foam, and garnished with a sugary cloud of Persian saffron fairy floss that evokes the high powdered wigs worn by Marie Antoinette herself. Definitely one for the sweet tooths (and the over-the-top Galliano fans) among us!
Throughout his career, Dior took inspiration from the flowers of Versailles – and of his own youth, having spent many happy days in his family’s walled garden in Granville – in the structure of his gowns, and in the embroidered embellishments they were adorned with. He used florals to imbue his designs with romance and femininity, and ‘The Flower’ cocktail embodies the gentle beauty that Dior himself loved. Grey Goose Le Citron mixed with Lillet Blanc creates a fresh and zesty flavour, while Crème de Violette gives the cocktail a strong floral kick and a stunning colour. The addition of a rosewater ice sphere housing rose petals makes this cocktail next level floral romance! As the sphere melts, the rosewater infuses the cocktail with yet another floral note, and adds a hint of citrus that enhances the orangey touch of the Lillet Blanc. ‘The Flower’ is a pastel dream.
They say a lady is never fully dressed without perfume and, indeed, scent is one of our most primitive and evocative senses and, arguably, our most intimate. Even Dior himself said, “A woman’s perfume tells more about her that her handwriting”. So, when he launched his “New Look” in 1947, Dior launched his now iconic Miss Dior perfume alongside it. Bold and elegant, Miss Dior is still a best-seller today. ‘The Parfum’ in the Code of Conduct collection captures this boldness and elegance in an absolute showstopper of a cocktail. My personal favourite from the collection, this heavy hitter has a base of Remy Martin VSOP and Tanqueray Gin, with Earl Grey syrup and a dash of Pernod adding a floral base, and the addition of grapefruit bitters cuts through the heaviness of the cocktail with a sharpness that rounds out this very bold offering. But the icing on the cake? ‘The Parfum’ is served in an ice ‘perfume bottle’, complete with an ice stopper that doubles as the drink’s ice cube. The ice bottle was designed and handcrafted especially for this cocktail, and looks absolutely stunning. There was an audible gasp of delight from both my table and the neighbouring table when this beautiful cocktail was delivered. The smoke fumed glass ‘The Parfum’ is poured into at the table adds a smokey complexity that will wow even the most reticent of Cognac drinkers.
So, if the NGV’s Dior exhibition has left you dreaming of couture, or even if you’re just looking for something a little different to sip on, The Atrium’s Code of Conduct cocktails collection is definitely worth checking out.
Code of Conduct at The Atrium Bar
Level 35, 25 Collins Street, Melbourne
Open 7 days, 5pm-late