The Porthole by Martin Kastner / Crucial Detail — Kickstarter

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A simple and beautiful infusion vessel that can be used for cocktails, oils, teas, or any infusion imaginable.

  • Launched: Aug 7, 2012
  • Funding ends: Sep 4, 2012

The Porthole is a simple, beautiful infusion vessel designed by Martin Kastner of Crucial Detail design studio. The Porthole can be used to create striking cocktails, oils, teas, dressings, lemonade, coffee, or any other type of infusion.

Nick's Lemonade
Nick’s Lemonade

The Story:

The idea for the Porthole was born during a conversation with bar chefs preparing for the opening of the Aviary. We were discussing “fast infusions” — cocktails evolving during the course of the time it takes to serve them — and it occurred to me that what we’re really looking for is a window into another world, space, and time. An image of the submarine porthole in Karel Zeman’s 1958 movie ‘The Fabulous World of Jules Verne’ came to my mind and the design direction was set.

Submarine Porthole in The Fabulous World of Jules Verne.
Submarine Porthole in The Fabulous World of Jules Verne.

A small batch of the Porthole vessels was hand-crafted at Crucial Detail design studio. At the Aviary, it is used to create, display, and serve a variety of time-lapse infusions for seasonal cocktails.

Tequila Ginger Apricot cocktail at the Aviary.
Tequila Ginger Apricot cocktail at the Aviary.

Since its debut a little over a year ago, the Porthole has gained significant attention.  Aviary cocktails displayed in the Porthole have been featured in dozens of magazines and blogs, including the cover of Food Arts magazine.

Many Aviary guests have requested to purchase the vessel, including some who, when told they couldn’t buy one, have taken it upon themselves to ‘liberate’ them from the lounge. That’s when I realized that the design and functionality of the Porthole resonates strongly with people. The enthusiastic response to the piece has driven our decision to adopt the Porthole for production.


The technology used to produce the original small batch revolved around our in-house capabilities, utilizing methods suitable for small-scale production. The cost of each unit in the initial batch was over four hundred dollars. In order to make the Porthole more accessible, we have sought higher volume manufacturing technologies and have completely redesigned the components to achieve our target price of less than $100 dollars. The finished Porthole is dishwasher safe, durable, and easy to use. We have gone through a rigorous manufacturer selection process and identified a partner with the capacity and experience to produce the Porthole to our high standards.

We are now ready to pull the trigger. We’ve gone a long way towards our goal of bringing the project to life outside the Aviary but we’re still facing a $ 28,500 investment for molds, first batch manufacturing, and associated expenses. By pre-ordering your Porthole, you help us get it off the ground.

Please check out the backer rewards on the right and help us make it possible to bring this artful service piece to your home.


The Porthole holds 390ml (13 fl oz) of liquid.

It is made of precision ground and tempered Low Iron Glass, food grade Delrin, and Stainless Steel.

Each Porthole comes with a set of three photo-etched stainless steel filter screens of varying densities, and with a set of thumbscrews that can be used as an alternative to the countersunk screws for faster assembly.

Thank you!

Martin Kastner

Special Thanks:  Lara Kastner, Grant Achatz, Nick Kokonas, Christian Seel, and everyone at the Aviary in Chicago.

The Porthole by Martin Kastner / Crucial Detail — Kickstarter.

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