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thebartrainer

Molecular Cocktails

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I've been asked to represent the future era of cocktails in a '200th aniversery of the cocktail' event in the UK.  There are several teams representing notable eras in cocktail history (Tiki, Prohibition... etc...) and I have had to come up with two futuristic drinks.

The challenge was really to come up with a couple of interesting ideas that could be cranked out at good speed as we are being asked to make 300 drinks in 30 minutes (3 of us!).

Being a lover of all things Molecular I have decided to be as off the wall as possible.  Given that the general public has not really heard of Molecular Gastronomy, I figured using two of the best known cocktails, and messing with them a bit, was the best approach.

I have decided on:

#1 A Bloody mary consisting of a semi frozen layer (churned in an ice cream maker until liquid sorbet consistency) and a hot foam layer, garnished with worcester and tabasco merangue shards.  This was going to be a shot glass with frozen vodka at the bottom, room temperature clear tomato juice in the middle and hot foam on the top but the clear tomato juice has proven hard to source.

#2 A trio of cosmos...  A martini glass of warm water with a garnish of three gel cubes of Citron Vodka Cosmo, Kurrant Vodka Cosmo and Apeach Vodka Cosmo (three guesses who the sponsors are!!) on a cocktail stick.  We are going to have to issue instructions El Bulli style as the idea is to pop a cube in the mouth followed by a sip of warm water to melt the jelly.

I have no idea how these will turn out and whether or not they will be accepted by the guests as valid, quaffable drinks but what the hell.

The event is on the 17th so any advice/comments  would be welcome.  It is meant to be a competition of sorts so any bright ideas may win me a trip to France!!

Cheers

Ian

Ian~

I CANNOT wait to hear how it goes, and how those are received. Please keep us posted........

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Where can one buy liquid nitrogen?  I'm in Scotland so specific retailers are not going to be an option but types of suppliers would be a help if anyone knows.

Cheers

Ian

Any British Oxygen Company Depot should be able to supply you with liquid nitrogen. The minimum order is 25 litres though on this kind of quantity the delivery cost and rental fee for the vacum container will cost more than the gas itself. Your probably looking at £120.

Are you familiar with MSK ingredients ? They supply stuff like Gellan Gum (for making gels that will turn liquid when you chew them), crackle crystals , powdered fruits and all sorts of flavourings and colourings. Theres all sorts of interesting stuff that it could be fun to play with .

Gethin

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I've been asked to represent the future era of cocktails in a '200th aniversery of the cocktail' event in the UK.  There are several teams representing notable eras in cocktail history (Tiki, Prohibition... etc...) and I have had to come up with two futuristic drinks.

The challenge was really to come up with a couple of interesting ideas that could be cranked out at good speed as we are being asked to make 300 drinks in 30 minutes (3 of us!).

Being a lover of all things Molecular I have decided to be as off the wall as possible.  Given that the general public has not really heard of Molecular Gastronomy, I figured using two of the best known cocktails, and messing with them a bit, was the best approach.

I have decided on:

#1 A Bloody mary consisting of a semi frozen layer (churned in an ice cream maker until liquid sorbet consistency) and a hot foam layer, garnished with worcester and tabasco merangue shards.  This was going to be a shot glass with frozen vodka at the bottom, room temperature clear tomato juice in the middle and hot foam on the top but the clear tomato juice has proven hard to source.

#2 A trio of cosmos...  A martini glass of warm water with a garnish of three gel cubes of Citron Vodka Cosmo, Kurrant Vodka Cosmo and Apeach Vodka Cosmo (three guesses who the sponsors are!!) on a cocktail stick.  We are going to have to issue instructions El Bulli style as the idea is to pop a cube in the mouth followed by a sip of warm water to melt the jelly.

I have no idea how these will turn out and whether or not they will be accepted by the guests as valid, quaffable drinks but what the hell.

The event is on the 17th so any advice/comments  would be welcome.  It is meant to be a competition of sorts so any bright ideas may win me a trip to France!!

Cheers

Ian

So?

What happened?

(Inquiring minds want to know ! :biggrin: )

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Hey guys and gals

First of, Ijusted started a molecular mixology thread that you guys are more that welcome to join :biggrin: didn't see this thread till now.

Second, you might want to check out the sodium alginate thread, which is awesome for ideas on e.g. cape codder and such.

I'm currently working with destilled juices and such and so far is seems to work, we're trying to make a non-alcoholic drinkmenu with flaours ot match the food at the restaurant where i work and so far the ideas look like this:

- first course: mango, litchi and passionfruit juice distilled to look like clear water topped of with a lecithin foam of pine.

-main course: a chocolate varietee cocktail split down the center of a cockail with one half made with dark chocolate, vanilla and chili and the other half a foam made in sifon of white chokolate, caramel, coffee and the whole thing topped of with a smoked oak mist. hopefully it'll work, but the is to design a cocktail that compliments the flavours in the food.

- Dessert: I'm thinking of doing a cape codder style drink, with little pearls of a deconstructed drink in a martini glass

Hope to get this discussion rolling :smile:

BTW I'm working on an idea that I don't want to post yet, but if it works I'll post pictures and recipes, it's very fat duckish :biggrin:

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I'm currently working with destilled juices and such and so far is seems to work, we're trying to make a non-alcoholic drinkmenu with flaours ot match the food at the restaurant where i work and so far the ideas look like this:

How are these ideas progressing? And where do you work?

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A "Hot and Cold Gin Fizz" was the first course at my el Bulli meal last week. Phenomenal drink. (Not to mentiuon a phenomenal location out on the restraunt's terrace, overlooking the Mediterranean.) The waitress brought out two cocktail glasses with an ice cold (possibly on shaved ice) gin-lime (and seltzer?) mixture, foamed the top and said "drink these quickly!" Without being forewarned, the temperature contrast was an amazing surprise. The hot and cold layers differed not only in temperature and texture, but also in flavor, due to the reaction our tastebuds have to temperature (the waitress claimed the ingredients in the base and foam were identical). Anybody else experimented with temperature contrasts in cocktails?

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We've looked at a couple of option that we might try to do at the end of the month and we're gonna take some photos and stuff. I have all the plans in my head and some of the stuff I know will work, but we're gonna mess around for a few days and then take some photos and I'll try to post them..

I succeeded in distilling a lavendersirup at home and it was completely clear and looked like water, but because I used dries lavender the scent was very strong..

The hot and cold gin fizz aounds amazing, I read about this guy in England who tried something similar but also had different textures, the way i remember it he would serve 3 shotglasses, one with fridge cold blueberries, one with warm apricot liquor and one with roomtemperature mangalore foam from a sifon, so one glass solids, one glass fluid and one with plasma..

What else did they serve at El bulli? I'm thinking of buying the new El Bulli book to get some inspiration, have you read it?

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What else did they serve at El bulli? I'm thinking of buying the new El Bulli book to get some inspiration, have you read it?

That was it for cocktails. I'm going to post a full review on the Spain/Portugal message boards in a few days, including scans of the menu. I have el Bulli 1998-2002, which has some very interesting cocktail recipes (I should post a few, or at least summaries), and the book itself is a masterpiece of design. While I was in Barcelona I flipped through the spanish-language 2005 edition, and it looks even better. Adria also includes detailed recipes, sequences of photographs to show techniques, and an ingredient glossary.

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Awesome, I'll pick it up at the book store. Also, I e-mailed Herve This (the "father" of molecular gastronomy) he told me to check out pierre gagnaire's website where he sends his findings in the lab to pierre gagnaire and then pierre gagnaire cooks up a recipe incorporating Herve This experiments... It's definately worth checking out

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I finally got around to mixing a drink out of el Bulli 1998-2002: a passionfruit whiskey sour:

gallery_25246_4203_32877.jpg

Unfortunately, even after 4 packets of gelatin, 4 nitrous oxide cartridges, one frozen hand (screw the top on the cream whipper before inserting the nitrous cartridge. duh.), and a quart of passionfruit juice, I didn't achieve a successful drink. The first problem was the quality of the passionfruit: the Ceres juice I used must be weak compared to whatever is used at el Bulli/minibar: the recipe calls for cutting the juice with water, which results in a very dilute cocktail base, without any sour component to speak of. Second problem was the foam: it was supposed to sit in the fridge for 2 hours, but after 30 minutes or so half the foam had collapsed and the rest had gelled into something the consistency of a marshmallow. The recipe calls for 1.5 sheets of gelatin, but I can only find packets of Knox. Neither 1, 1.5, or 2 packets seems to work, and at the high concentrations you can clearly taste the gelatin (yech!). Has anyone else experimented with foamed cocktails? Any advice?

thanks


Edited by Rob Simmon (log)

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I finally got around to mixing a drink out of el Bulli 1998-2002: a passionfruit whiskey sour:

gallery_25246_4203_32877.jpg

Unfortunately, even after 4 packets of gelatin, 4 nitrous oxide cartridges, one frozen hand (screw the top on the cream whipper before inserting the nitrous cartridge. duh.), and a quart of passionfruit juice, I didn't achieve a successful drink. The first problem was the quality of the passionfruit: the Ceres juice I used must be weak compared to whatever is used at el Bulli/minibar: the recipe calls for cutting the juice with water, which results in a very dilute cocktail base, without any sour component to speak of. Second problem was the foam: it was supposed to sit in the fridge for 2 hours, but after 30 minutes or so half the foam had collapsed and the rest had gelled into something the consistency of a marshmallow. The recipe calls for 1.5 sheets of gelatin, but I can only find packets of Knox. Neither 1, 1.5, or 2 packets seems to work, and at the high concentrations you can clearly taste the gelatin (yech!). Has anyone else experimented with foamed cocktails? Any advice?

thanks

I love Passionfruit Whiskey Sours, though I didn't realise that it was a molecular mixology drink.

2 shots Makers Mark,

1 shot Boiron Passion-fruit puree,

1/2 shot Monin Vanilla Syrup.

Eggwhite (optional).

Shake with ice, and then strain into an ice-filled glass.

Cheers!

George

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As it stands, this particular foam recipe doesn't hold its own--the flavors are a bit boring, and the foam and liquid differ only in texture. In the context of a 30-course tasting menu the same drink (made properly, of course) works very well. I think the potential of foams in mixology lies in using different flavors, temperatures, etc. in the foam vs. the base (see my description of a hot and cold gin fizz up-thread). For now, I'm just trying to figure out how to make a foam properly--further experimentation will follow.


Edited by Rob Simmon (log)

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I finally got around to mixing a drink out of el Bulli 1998-2002: a passionfruit whiskey sour:

gallery_25246_4203_32877.jpg

Unfortunately, even after 4 packets of gelatin, 4 nitrous oxide cartridges, one frozen hand (screw the top on the cream whipper before inserting the nitrous cartridge. duh.), and a quart of passionfruit juice, I didn't achieve a successful drink. The first problem was the quality of the passionfruit: the Ceres juice I used must be weak compared to whatever is used at el Bulli/minibar: the recipe calls for cutting the juice with water, which results in a very dilute cocktail base, without any sour component to speak of. Second problem was the foam: it was supposed to sit in the fridge for 2 hours, but after 30 minutes or so half the foam had collapsed and the rest had gelled into something the consistency of a marshmallow. The recipe calls for 1.5 sheets of gelatin, but I can only find packets of Knox. Neither 1, 1.5, or 2 packets seems to work, and at the high concentrations you can clearly taste the gelatin (yech!). Has anyone else experimented with foamed cocktails? Any advice?

thanks

To make Cocktails with foam there are a few options. Gelatin, Egg Whites, Egg white powder or Xanthum Gum.

With Gelatin for 750ml of liquid I use 2 1/2 sheets of gelatin (be sure to bloom the gelatin in cold)

So first I take the gelatin and bloom it (about 2 minutes)

take about 50 ml of the liquid and put it in a pot let it warm but not to a boil.

pull it off the heat and add the bloomed gelatin wisk it in off the heat until all of the gelatin is dissolved then wisk in the rest of the liquid all the while whisking. Then I just roll it back in forward into to mix everything completely. The let it rests for an hour or so in the fridge. Then transfer it into a foamer bottle (do not fill it completely use about half of the 750ml is usually enough for batches) the add only 1 N2o cartridge shake it vigorously and let it rest for about 15 minutes in the fridge. Then you should be ready. I always put the foam in first and then pour the liquid right in the middle so the liquid goes to the bottom and the foam floats on top.

I also use egg white powder in making hot foams for 750 ml of liquid I use about 25 grams of powder I heat the liquid to a simmer and add the powder and wisk vigorously making sure all is dissolved. Then I pour it in a Thermal ISI Foamer and it stays warm for about 2 hours. I use this for a hot sherry cocktail I am doing at our small bar called PX.

With the raw egg whites I was doing a Pisco Sour 3 ways at Restaurant Eve. One way out of the foamer, the other a granite, and the final in liquid form.

Good Luck


Todd Thrasher

The Guy who says YES CHEF and Sometimes makes a cocktail or two.

Restaurant Eve

110 S. Pitt St.

Alexandria, VA 22314

(703) 706-0450

Eamonn's A Dublin Chipper

PX (Upstairs)

728 King Street

Alexandria, VA 22314

(703) 299-8384

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In the "Science of Deliciousness" episode of "Diary of a Foodie" they covered Heston Bluementhal's Hot and Cold tea.

He makes two slightly thickened tea gels (Using Sodium Alginate? I forget.) pours them into either sides of a glass with a divider in it. When they remove the divider the gels do not mix, giving you a drink which is cold on one side and hot on the other.

I was thinking it might be neat for cocktails with different colored ingredients. Vertical Pousse Cafe?

Has anyone experimented with this? How finicky is the gelling agent?


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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I spent a very informative hour with Todd Thrasher at Restaurant Eve last Saturday (thanks Todd!), and he gave me a few pointers on foams, airs, and powders (ideas for bacon powder in a cocktail, anyone?). I got the passionfruit foam working, but using essentially the same ingredients in the foam and the base result in a somewhat uninspiring drink. Fresh passionfruit would likely help, but I think the small number of flavors limit the potential. However, I got home ready to experiment. The result: a Pho 75 (named after a Hanoi beef noodle soup restaurant in Langley Park, MD).

2 oz. thai basil infused vodka (4 sprigs for 12 oz. vodka)

2 tsp. five-spice powder infused simple syrup (1 tsp. spice in 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar, simmered for 10 minutes, then strained)

1 tsp granulated sugar

1/2 lime, cut into four wedges

salt air (12 oz. water, 1/4 tsp soy lecithin powder*, 2 tsp. salt)

Prepare the salt air by aerating 12 oz. of salt water + soy lecithin. Use an immersion blender on the surface of the salt water in a wide pan with a tall rim. An "air" with the consistency of sea foam will form on the liquid's surface. Set aside.

Muddle the lime wedges in sugar, then add the vodka and simple syrup. Shake with ice, strain and serve in a small-mouthed glass. Top with thin layer of salt air.

My significant other thinks I should experiment with noodles (perhaps tapioca), too, but I'm not feeling that adventurous.

*Todd recommended xanthan gum for the air, but I couldn't get it to work--I ended up with salt gel. Soy lecithin is used in el Bulli 2003-2004.

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I've been interested in the idea of cocktails using scented foams for a while now.

Anyhoozle, I was reading an article over on liquid muse about Pickled Martinis. It didn't seem that hard, so, off to the store in search of Soy Lecithin. Sadly, no joy.

However, I did chance upon some Xanthan Gum.

Has anyone had success making foams with it?

According to this website, it seems like it should be relatively stable across a variety of PHs and dissolve at room temperature.

Xanthan gum is mainly considered to be non-gelling and used for the control of viscosity due to the tenuous associations endowing it with weak-gel shear-thinning properties. It hydrates rapidly in cold water without lumping to give a reliable viscosity, encouraging its use as thickener, stabilizer, emulsifier and foaming agent...Being relatively unaffected by ionic strength, pH (1 - 13), shear or temperature it may be used in such products as salad dressings.

Mmmm... Bacterial slime! So appealing! And people have a hard time with egg whites. I've no idea how you'd explain Xanthan Gum without having the customer run screaming from the bar.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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See, this is why I tend to look askance at molecular mixology.


aka David Wondrich

There are, according to recent statistics, 147 female bartenders in the United States. In the United Kingdom the barmaid is a feature of the wayside inn, and is a young woman of intelligence and rare sagacity. --The Syracuse Standard, 1895

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i use xanthum gum to make foams.....

textures need to be more important to mixology but you need to use the "classical context" or it is lame.... the ramos gin fizz is an advanced emulsion and all about texture.... yet so few bartenders know how or why it works....

i've actually made it with alternatives to eggwhites and gotten similar textures but went back to the egg whites because my glasses came out cleaner in the dish washer.... some emulsifiers gel and make slime stick to your glasses....

i only use a foam in my version of the hurricane.... i thought the origional was fruit mud so i deconstructed it sorta and used the passsion fruit foam as a garnish.... to keep it from being gimmicky the foam needed to be highly aromatic and "whimsical".... meaning sit on top of the ice, have very large bubbles, taste good, and not fall.... the hardest part is mastering the bubbles and it becomes something almost cool but definitely better than the origional hurricane.....

i do use powdered egg whites in all sorts of drinks because i can portion them better and then different gums as well to create viscosity and stabilize any froth....

with froth you need to be careful because you can't always emulsify acids and only sugar gets sucked up into your froth....the sugar also seems to come out sharper like going from white sugar sweet to sweet and low and can be disgusting.....

my favorite thing to do is stir a bitter into the froth because it is divine with the texture.....


abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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Folks,

just so you know myself and Bastian Heuser have just finished a 5 city German Bar Coaching tour of Germany sponsored by Bols and they wanted to continue with their 'ownership' of MM...

Quite a fun time and some good ideas but our crowning moment was creating Campari Candy Floss...

We created some fabled Campari Dust and put it into a Candy Floss machine and voila!

We then played about with atomising gin/vermouth directly into our mouths and eating some...

Was huge fun.

aw

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Having been working through the excellent Hydrocolloid recipe list at http://blog.khymos.org/2007/08/14/hydrocol...ipe-collection/ its given me the idea to start compiling some technological cocktails in a thread here. I'd like to include alcoholic and non alcoholic cocktails which can be in any form - liquid, solid or gas and use interesting preparation techniques or equipment such as Cream whippers, spherification etc. Its a fine line between whats a food and a drink but it'll be interesting to see where this is crossed.

For starters, here are two links to some ideas

Wired Cocktails

Tony Conigliaro Cocktails (Guardian Newspaper)

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Having been working through the excellent Hydrocolloid recipe list at http://blog.khymos.org/2007/08/14/hydrocol...ipe-collection/ its given me the idea to start compiling some technological cocktails in a thread here. I'd like to include alcoholic and non alcoholic cocktails which can be in any form - liquid, solid or gas and use interesting preparation techniques or equipment such as Cream whippers, spherification etc.  Its a fine line between whats a food and a drink but it'll be interesting to see where this is crossed.

For starters, here are two links to some ideas

Wired Cocktails

Tony Conigliaro Cocktails (Guardian Newspaper)

the jellied gin and tonic sounds pretty cool.

i've made things like the pink lady in the soda siphon....

i like to take a simple espresso martini to the malt mixer.... you get a very cold drink with very little water break down but unreal amounts of air mixed into it.... a really interesting textural element that can be done really quickly at a very busy bar....


abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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I am hoping to have someone either design for me or adapt from available equipment a special shaker. It would need to be insulated and capable of withstanding a fair amount of internal pressure, and will need some kind of pressure release valve to let off gas before the shaker is opened and the drink is poured.

My idea is that one would build a cocktail as usual, including putting the usual amount of water ice into the shaker, but would then add an approximately marble-sized piece of dry ice into the shaker. Seal, shake (this is why the shaker would need to be pressure-tight), release the pressure valve, open the shaker, strain. I think this would result in a cocktail that is not only extremely cold, but also hopefully smoking and lightly carbonated.


Edited by slkinsey (log)

--

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