Like the other scientists working at Mashpi Lodge, Santiago has his instruments: tweezers and pincers, shakers and tubes.
But instead of using them to measure and analyze, Santiago employs them to create magic. As chief barman, he is charged with the refreshment, reinvigoration and relaxation of guests – in liquid form.
For breakfast, Santiago suggests an energetic juice of carrot and orange or naranjilla and malt – a traditional drink found in markets across Ecuador – for extra strength and endurance during a tough morning hike.
When the natural light fades and the futuristic cocoon-lamps illuminate the dining room the scene is set for something a little stronger. Santiago has a good hand for martinis (appropriate for a building that could be the backdrop to a James Bond movie), and then there’s the house cocktail: the Mashpi Mojito made of gin, mint liqueur and spearmint.
Other concoctions are inspired by the nature and birds engulfing Mashpi, using local spirits like pisco and caña.
You might be well advised to take it easy on Santiago’s creations: you wouldn’t want to miss the dawn bird chorus, would you?