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Want To Mix Drinks Like Grant Achatz's The Aviary? Support The Porthole Kickstarter

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Aug 8, 2012 5:20PM


The success and international acclaim of Chicago restaurants Alinea, Next and The Aviary owe as much to the inventive service pieces of Martin Kastner’s Crucial Detail studio as Grant Achatz's culinary vision and Nick Kokonas's marketing skill. One of the highlights, if not the highlight, of a visit to The Aviary is The Porthole, a combination infusion device and decanter designed by Kastner that allows Aviary’s “bar chefs” to create gorgeous displays of fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices by unscrewing one side of the device. When liquid is added to the mix, the flavors of the mixtures enhance the cocktail experience. Like all of Kastner’s designs, The Porthole is simple yet stunning.

The Porthole has proven so popular with guests of The Aviary that there have been numerous instances where people, possibly emboldened by the cocktails served, have tried to leave with a Porthole. Crucial Detail sells some of the service pieces directly to customers via their website and Kastner announced earlier this year he was working on a consumer edition of the Porthole. But that would require some capital that he doesn’t have and Kastner has set up a Kickstarter campaign that, with 27 days to go, has raised more than double the $28,500 he was looking for.

As with most Kickstarter campaigns, different pledge levels get different rewards. The $75 and $85 levels are already sold out, but people who pledge $95 to the campaign will receive a Porthole with a seasonal cocktail recipe from The Aviary. A $250 pledge is worth a Porthole in white trim, a limited edition run of 250. If you happen to have $5,000 burning a hole in your pocket, consider pledging that and you can spend a day with at The Aviary with Grant Achatz and new Aviary head bar chef Charles Joly working the bar and learning recipes and techniques.

To pledge or find out more about Crucial Detail’s Porthole Kickstarter campaign, click here.