Thirsty Writer, Libations Marketer
Published in the Fall 2013 issue of Boston Common Magazine. Click here for the full print article.
This scientific approach to cocktailing is being used by a few Boston bartenders with fascinating results. A leader in this movement is Todd Maul at Clio, who explained to be why he goes geeky behind the bar: “What molecular mixology is trying to do is encourage the idea that everything is possible. So I think about how I want to build a drink and if I want a certain effect in the glass – what do I need to do to achieve this?”
The coolest thing he discovered while playing around with his prized rotational evaporator (also known as a rotovap) is that he could salvage spoiled wine and make it in to an essence, then a “paint” to stroke on the inside of a cocktail glass. A bottle of 1974 Dom Perignon was refashioned in to a deliciously drinkable mix of Plymouth gin, Cocchi Americano, Dolin sweet vermouth.
If you’re curious to play mad scientist at home, below is his (relatively) simple recipe for using smoke oils to flavor a cocktail (also featured in the article).
2 oz. Sage-infused rum* (or use El Dorado 3 Year Old Demerara Rum)
¾ oz. Lemon-honey bourbon syrup**
¾ oz. Sparkling cider
½ oz. Clarified cider (or reduced apple juice)
First, smoke your glass: take a small piece of brown oak (or other type of wood) along with a cinnamon stick and light until it begins to smolder; quickly turn your rocks glass upside down over the wood and let it smoke until it extinguishes itself. While the glass is being smoked, combine all cocktail ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain over a big ice cube in your prepared rocks glass.
* To infuse rum, simply mix together 10 or more fresh sage leaves and a bottle of amber or dark rum and wait at least a day for the flavors to meld.
** To make lemon-honey bourbon syrup, mix together 2 oz. of honey with 1 oz. very hot water and stir until dissolved. Then add 2 oz. lemon juice. ¼ oz. bourbon, a cinnamon stick and stir. Let the mixture sit for about 30 minutes before using.