MOLECULAR MIXOLOGY 101- What you need to mix it up with the pros.
FOAM - Difficulty ** Foam is infusing Carbon Dioxide or Nitrogen into a liquid that has had a thickening agent added to it or egg white.
For egg white foam - add 6-8 egg whites to a soda siphon; add your flavouring agent and gas using a NO2 bulb. Make sure if using alcohol that you add the right amount to flavour the foam and not break down the proteins in the foam.
For flavoured foam - Add a gelatine sheet to every litre of liquid that you are making. Bloom the gelatine in cold water, heat the flavoured liquid that you are using and once simmering add bloomed gelatine sheet. Dissolve sheet and pour into soda siphon, refrigerate. Once cooled, gas it with two CO2 canisters and serve.
SMOKE- Difficulty *** Using a relatively inexpensive cold air smoker you can infuse real smoke into liquids. By using the smoker you can smoke anything that will burn into any medium. Simply pack the bowl with wood chips or teas, turn on the pump, and guide the smoke through a rubber hose to the bottom of liquid and let it bubble through till you attain the desired amount of smoke flavor.
BRULEE - Difficulty ** Brulee'd is similar to the technique in the kitchen. It's the caramelisation and crisping of an egg white top. Bartenders use the traditional method of adding egg white to a cocktail and hard shaking to create a thick head on a cocktail and then using a blow torch to caramelise the top. You can also place a high alcohol spirit in a spritzer or spray bottle and spraying it through a flame therefore caramelising the top with a "flavoured" flame.
FREEZING - Difficulty**** Freezing items in the freezer or liquid nitrogen changes the way your taste buds perceive taste. The easiest method is using sorbets to replace already prominent flavours in the drinks. Using Liquid Nitrogen to super chill your spirits is another method.
CAVIAR, SPHERING & RAVIOLI - Difficulty**** One of the most popular in the MM circle is caviar, spheriction & ravioli. All of them use similar ingredients but are different sizes. It starts with blending the flavoured components with xanthum gum and calcium gluconate then dropping it into an "algin" bath which is a mixture of sodium alginate and distilled water. The reaction creates a "skin" which traps the liquid inside. Using different implements create different "balls" out of a dripper it becomes caviar, on a small spoon it becomes a sphere and if it's big enough ravioli.
LIQUIDS TO POWDERS - Difficulty *** Reducing liquids to powders can be done by adding iota carrageenan, 1teaspoon to 10 oz liquid, to create a gel. Then pour it into a food dehydrator overnight to create brittle sheets that easy turn into dust with a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder.
DECONSTRUCTION - Difficulty **** Deconstruction is the process of deconstructing a cocktail into separate parts using different techniques to accomplish the same taste profile.
TEMPERATURE - Difficulty** Changing the temperature of the cocktail as you drink it changes the perception of your taste buds making them taste different things at different times. Simply placing super chilled foam on a hot cocktail can change the way a customer tastes the drink.
FAT WASHING - Difficulty ** Infusing fat flavours into spirits in easy but can take some time. Bacon fat, duck fat, popcorn butter and olive oil are very popular. Cook off 1 lb of good quality fat producing item as above, reserving the bacon fat. Add bacon fat to a 750 Ml bottle of good quality spirit. Cover and store in a cool dry place for 1 week. After 1 week, refrigerate the mixture to congeal the fats, and strain through a coffee filter to remove fat.
GRILLING - Difficulty * This technique is pretty self explanatory, grilling fruit and vegetable changes their makeup and taste. The natural sugars in fruits caramelise and become more predominant, sour fruit gains sweetness & sweet fruit gets a buttery taste and texture. Just place fruit on a grill in the kitchen and grill for a few minutes each side, this can be prepped in advance.
FLAMBE - Difficulty ** Similar to Grilling, Flambe takes it to another level adding a spirit component. In a hot wok or fry pan, place fruit and then add a corresponding spirit. Light on fire and flambe until flame goes out; add a couple of ounces of sugar syrup to the fry pan. Separate fruit and syrup, you now have cooked infused fruit and corresponding syrup to use.
CARBONATED FRUIT - Difficulty * Simply take any fruit, small fruit with skin generally keeps the bubbles better, and fill them into a whip cream canister. Charge the 1/2 litre containers with 2 co2 cartridges, refrigerated for a couple hours, then release the pressure and serve.