Just as molecular gastronomy is the future of food, molecular mixology is the future of drink. One of the leading figures of both is none other than cutting-edge chef Grant Achatz, who just opened one of these future bars in Chicago.
The molecular movement in food, which we've covered before, is all about applying scientific techniques to the preparation of food. Freezing things in Nitrogen. Separating ingredients in a centrifuge. Cooking at precise temperatures for precise amounts of time. When applied to alcohol, it's no different.
The Atlantic's Wayne Curtis writes about Achatz's new bar, The Aviary, and how techniques such as reverse osmosis, stills and vacuum pots factor into these concoctions. Curtis describes the quality of drinks using colorful references such as fungus, steampunk, and the Wizard of Oz. But the most interesting aspect he discusses is the X-axis drink, or the cocktail whose flavor changes over time.
Another x-axis drink, the Root Beer, is made by first producing a murky tea of sassafras, vanilla, licorice, star anise, birch bark, cardamom, and the like. Processed through a rotary evaporator, this becomes a clear but intensely flavorful liquid that is then mixed with kirsch brandy. The crystalline concoction-it looks like a tall glass of water-is served over three uncommonly perfect ice cubes infused with vanilla. As you drink and the cubes melt, the flavor ripens into something resembling the best, and most sophisticated, soda-fountain drink ever.
Anyone else wanna get drunk tonight like it's the year 3000? [The Atlantic]