The Cocktail Lab

 The drinks of tomorrow will be packed with a secret ingredient – fun!

Xavier Herit stands before his customers holding a syringe mid-air. But he is not a doctor and it doesn’t contain any medication.

The syringe is filled with strawberry-infused Cointreau and sodium alginate and is part of an arsenal of tools that are pushing Herit’s cocktails to drinking’s cutting edge.

The Cocktail Lab

The head bartender at New York City’s Daniel restaurant is one of many mixologists who are reinventing drinks by infusing non-traditional flavors into alcohol or altering the physical properties of drinks to form gels, foams and mists. “The bar is like a theater,” Herit said.

The Cocktail Lab

After delicately pushing drops of his strawberry-liqueur mix from the syringe into a calcium bath, minutes later they emerge as tiny pink caviar-like beads. At Tailor, another New York restaurant, bartender Eben Freeman tosses rice crispies in Kahlua, dehydrates them and repeats the process. He adds them to a vodka milk mix for a White Russian breakfast cereal.

Molecular mixology is a movement inspired by molecular gastronomy, a science-meets-cooking trend popularized by chefs like Ferran Adria of El Bulli restaurant in Spain and Heston Blumenthal of the Fat Duck restaurant in the English town of Bray.

One of his earliest molecular incarnations was a gelatinized gin and tonic on a lime chip. “If you’re someone who drank gin and tonics regularly, you probably don’t put much thought into it,” he explained. “But if it’s presented in a different way, suddenly it’s like you’re tasting the gin and tonic for the first time.”
Via Molecular Drinks