Miguel Aranda grew up in Mexico City with a love for cooking instilled in him by his grandparents who took him on his first trips to the market. He learned the art of mixology from the best in the business, and began his professional career behind the bar in some of New York City’s most well-respected establishments including Town, Bar Masa, Daniel Wallsé and the critically acclaimed Apothéke. Botanic Lab is the culmination of Aranda's career as an established mixologist, and is his first solo endeavor. In Botanic Lab he has created a space that not only features well crafted cocktails and infusions but also as a venue to showcase the talents of musicians, DJs, artists and performers from around the world.
Aranda began his bar career in 1998 at the restaurant Patroon, where he worked learning the ins and outs of bar service. It was there that he met restaurateur Geoffrey Zakarian, who brought Aranda with him when he opened Town restaurant in 2000. Three years later Aranda began consulting at Kurt Gutenbrunner’s restaurant Wallsé, where he created the cocktail menu, and in 2004 did the same for Bar Masa in the Time Warner Center. Bar Masa marked a turning point in Aranda’s career. He was heavily influenced by Chef Masa Takayama, who taught him how to blend different flavors and also how to pair cocktails with food. “I learned that it’s not about how many ingredients are in a drink, but their relationship with each other,” Aranda says.
In 2008 Aranda joined his mentor Albert Trummer at Apothéke, a high-end cocktail bar in Chinatown inspired by European apothecaries and French absinthe dens. He combined his knowledge of Asian ingredients with the culinary cultures of the Aztecs and Mayans. In 2012 he was commissioned to design the cocktail list for the Flatiron Room, and continues to work as a consultant to the hospitality industry.
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