Science of Cocktails
Mad science at the bar? A great cocktail is more than the sum of its parts, especially if you sneak in a few cool effects. And you don’t need a chem lab to be an expert mixologist: You can add flavor and pizzaz with just a little effort. If that sounds mad cool, you’ll enjoy these tips for bringing cool effects and new techniques to your mixed drinks. Bunsen burner and beaker not necessary.
Tip #1: Dehydrate spirits to get their flavor without adding liquid volume or more alcohol. The resulting powder can be sprinkled on drinks or used to rim glasses. Try Grand Marnier: Over very low heat in a metal pot, stir until all the liquid burns away. Dry. Then grind for a finer texture.
Tip #2: Blend drinks for frothy tops. Sure, the art of shaking is impressive and everyone should learn to do it right, but for a thick froth atop your glass, use the blender briefly, especially in drinks with egg whites. The foam you make when you pour will be the perfect canvas for a few drops of bitters.
Tip #3: Don’t be afraid of water. Even a few drops can open up a pour of Scotch, freeing the aromatics to enhance the flavor. The iced variety dripped into a glass of absinthe activates the oils that give the drink its distinct flavor, turning the color from chartreuse to opaque. The milkiness is also a sign on a quality spirit.