Glasses clink. A bartender shakes a drink behind the bar while someone slices up limes. Upbeat bluesy music wafts across a room full of muffled voices. I’m not describing an actual bar scene, though it’s as close as I’ve been to one lately.
I’m actually listening to a digital tool called I Miss My Bar. The website isn’t heavy on visuals but uses sound design to re-create the ambiance of an evening in a crowded bar. It features adjustable sounds like a bartender working, the ambient sounds of a full room, and a curated playlist. Throw it on while sipping a drink at home, and consider the tool an immersive and intoxicating cocktail of its own, which will transport you back to an evening out before COVID-19.
But while the tool is easy listening, it took some trial and error to get just the right mix. Created by Monterrey, Mexico-based design agency Tandem with the help of technology studio Lagom, the project was initially developed to promote to-go cocktails at a favorite local bar called Maverick. The site’s only visual is an illustration of Maverick’s bar by Damián Treviño. However, the “bar soundscape,” as Tandem founder René Cárdenas described it, has universal appeal.