Remember those old-school viewfinders from childhood?
You’d pop in a thin paper reel, hold the View-Master up to your eyes and click through through to see scenes from movies or pictures of animals. For kids of the ’80s and ’90s, these things were A. Big. Deal.
Smallman Galley is amping up the nostalgia by printing its new bar menu on viewfinder cards — yes, you’ll actually look through the viewfinder to flip through the menu and pick your drink. It’s a part of the Strip District bar’s themed “Flashback Flavors” menu, which launched today and seeks to stir up cocktails and memories.
In addition to the viewfinder menus, communal tables will use Twister boards as the menu. Imagine the fun of flicking the spinner and letting it pick the drink for you. It’s like a fortune teller for booze.
Then, there are the cocktails, which draw on flavors from childhood, like Cool Ranch Doritos and pizza rolls. You read that right. There’s a drink with pizza roll syrup.
Remember these things?Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
Smallman Galley’s themed menus have drawn on nostalgia in the past, from The Sandlot to Tony Hawk Pro Skater. This time, the bar staff bounced around ideas about the theme each trying “to one-up one each other,” said Tim Garso, beverage director of Galley Group.
They settled on viewfinders, and Galley Group marketing intern Taylor Blocksom designed the reels with the help of a company called Image 3D.
“We knew we were dialed in on nostalgia,” said Matt Zelinsky, Smallman Galley bar manager. “This time we wanted to meld it a little more into the cocktails, too.”
Matt Zelinksy making a LAN Party.Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
Zelinsky’s pride and joy is a drink called LAN Party, which involves tortilla chip-infused tequila, Mountain Dew Code Red bitters, pizza roll syrup, Cool Ranch Doritos and lime.
It demands a multi-step preparation that starts with the tequila, then a tomato-based simple syrup, homemade bitters, powdered MSG and ranch powder.
“Your brain puts it together in a way that’s very reminiscent of a pizza roll,” Zelinsky said.
The first sip will take you back to slumber parties with your friends (whether that was a LAN Party with computer games or a sleepover party with other childhood staples like Ouija boards and Mall Madness).
“Matt’s been threatening to use Mountain Dew Code Red bitters in a drink,” Garso said with a laugh.
Holy Grail.Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
Garso’s favorite is the Saturday Morning ‘Toons, a pale pink drink that comes with a Froot Loop garnish.
“It’s evocative of those memories when your bowl of milk is dyed with those colors and those soft flavors,” he said.
These drinks will be available through the end of July and each costs $12.
- 21st Birthday: Boyd & Blair vodka, Amaro di Angostura, Yellow Chartreuse, cranberry, orange, lime, Jamaica’s Finest ginger beer
- Baby’s First Curry: Maggie’s Farm dark rum, Batavia-Arrack van Oosten, curry syrup, aquafaba, pineapple, lime, Wigle molé bitters
- Beach Road Trip: Smith & Cross rum, Green Chartreuse, Coco Lopez, Woodford Reserve chocolate bitters, pineapple, lemon
- Grandma’s Oatmeal: Slane Irish whisky, Jack Daniel’s rye whiskey, tea infused Tito’s (aka Tea-to’s), Ardbeg Islay Scotch whisky, roasted oatmeal, cinnamon, orange bitters
- LAN Party: Herradura reposado tequila, Cool Ranch Doritos, pizza roll syrup, Mtn Dew Code Red Bitters, lime
- Melody Maker: Victory Prima Pils can, Old Forester bourbon shot
- Saturday Morning ‘Toons: Boxer gin, Momokawa coconut-lemongrass sake, Peychaud’s bitters, Froot Loop garnish
- School’s Out: Maggie’s Farm spiced rum, Jannamico Super Punch, Rumchata, Red Ribbon Root Beer, Angostura bitters, lime, grapefruit