Bizarre Sips: Firewater at Shine

By Ruth Tobias  |  February 18, 2014
Credit: Alive Studios Photography

Google “hidden messages in water,” and you’ll find a fascinating tale about a Japanese researcher who claims that humans can impact the environment through their consciousness. These findings grabbed mixologist Andy Bottagaro - who prefers to be called "Andy the Potion Maker" - so much that he now applies similar techniques to his libations at community-minded, gluten-free eatery, brewpub and live-music venue Shine.

Bottagaro infuses the juice, tea, herb and/or soda "elixirs" with gems and flowers said to possess certain metaphysical properties; he may even read to them to create “story essences” or show them pictures to generate “environmental essences.” Whether or not you believe in his methods, the results are intriguing. We’ve tried several, and our favorite is the Firewater. Nice and fruity, with a sharp kick of spice, it combines hibiscus, ginger root, pomegranate, red chile, lemon and honey, further infused with Rocky Mountain columbine. Andy also exposes the concoction to photos of the Great Pyramid in Egypt and Oregon’s Silver Falls Park, and he shares with it passages from Paulo Coelho’s magic-realist novel The Alchemist. Does the finished product “stoke your passions and ignites your inner fire,” per the drink’s description? That's for you to decide. For us, it's a welcome pick-me-up anytime.

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