Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Molecular Mixology

El Bulli pioneered the concept of molecular gastronomy that has seen worldwide popularity. But how much do you know about molecular mixology? Read on to find out how to experiment with your cocktails using this technique

The concept
Molecular Mixology is a special practice of mixing drinks using scientific analysis and techniques to understand and experiment with cocktail ingredients on a molecular level. Inspired by the practice of molecular gastronomy (which works in a similar way with food dishes, wherein the dish is completely deconstructed into different elements, but tasting it together retains its original state) this practice has become a popular study of many mixologists. “It is very interesting from the research point of view, and really opens up a new era for cocktail making,” informs Richard Lambert, Cointreau’s Global Brand Ambassador. Through this method, one can create a wide variety of flavours, unique combinations and attractive presentation. You can try gels, powders, foams and even atomised sprays.

How it works
“We, for example, transform fruit juices into foams by thickening its texture using yeast and then carbonate to spray them on shots of different flavours. Another practice is to create little fruit caviar balls, which we add to our drinks. There are limitations when it comes to technique, but the opportunities are endless when it comes to what we can do with the flavours,” explains Lakhan Jethani, owner of I BAR.

Enter: India
Jethani is one of the first few to introduce this concept in his interactive bar and lounge. He says, “The concept is big abroad and has been around for quite some time. Now that people are more open to newer things here in India, with the bar culture changing, I feel that it will be well accepted now.” And he couldn’t be more accurate, as the feedback from his guests has been very positive. “They simply love the way the cocktails and shots taste, and appreciate the surprise element when they have it for the first time. People are open to suggestions and trying new flavours. Especially the women; they love the foam shots in innovative and fruity flavours.”

On his recent visit to India, Lambert was pleasantly surprised at the overwhelming response he received from the bartenders and mixologists in India. “More and more bartending professionals understand the importance of blending cocktails and trying new techniques. It was an eye opening experience.”

Signature cocktail
“I have always enjoyed mixing cocktails, but creating a cocktail for Ms. Dita Von Teese was a memorable moment for me. While creating the cocktail, I kept in mind Dita’s sumptuous and seductive image of controversial Ambassadress and burlesque artiste. It resulted in Cointreau Teese. She adores violets, so this flower stood out as the obvious choice. Like her, this drink is subtle and incredibly refined.


Pour into a shaker with ice:
  • 50ml (1.6 fl oz) Cointreau
  • 30ml (1 fl oz) Cranberry juice
  • 20ml (0.6 fl oz) Lemon juice

Shake and strain into a martini glass.

The bartender's tip: add the orange zest to your drink.

•    One can add different ingredients like fruits and spices, and it tastes even better.

Recipe courtesy: Cointreau

- Featured in Time 'n Style Luxury magazine's December 2011 issue, with inputs from my  colleague Alisha Fernandes

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