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Bartenders Get Creative with Molecular Mixology

A hot new trend in bartending is “molecular mixology“. Molecular mixology is a new funky bartending term used to describe the use of creating drink recipes with non-traditional ingredients. Molecular mixology is the art of taking flavors we are used to ingesting in liquid form and turning them around so we get solid cocktails and alcoholic foams, sprays, and smoke—sensations we don’t typically associate with happy hour. It’s more like cocktail hour at a haunted house.

The name is taken from the cooking term molecular gastronomy. A term that was coined by Hervé This, a French scientist who wrote a book explaining the scientific interaction of food ingredients. He believes it’s important to understand the application of scientific principles to cooking and apparently drink recipes. Mr. This was the attraction at a symposium that Bols Liquors, held for bartenders from around the world on the subject in Paris.

Many of the new drink recipes, don’t make much sense. They may be fine for a bartender tasting competition but don’t ask your local bartender to make it for you. They’re kind of like concept cars, look good at the auto show but are impractical for everyday driving.

This example “molecular drink recipe,” was taken from the L.A. Times. Although this recipe may appear extreme – most molecular cocktail recipes are equally as difficult to make.

The Pickled Pig Molecular Cocktail Recipe

Cucumber simple syrup
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar

Place the chopped cucumber in a heat-resistant bowl and set aside. Place the water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes. Pour the simple syrup into the bowl over the cucumbers. Cool the mixture, then strain. This makes about 1 cup syrup, which will keep for about 1 week, refrigerated.

5 strips slow-cooked bacon
1 teaspoon tri-color peppercorns
1 (750-ml.) bottle Hendrick’s gin

Place the bacon and peppercorns in an open-mouthed container with the gin and set aside for 6 hours to allow the gin to steep. Remove and discard the bacon and peppercorns, then freeze the gin overnight. The next day, remove and discard the frozen “fat cap.” Store the gin in the freezer until needed.

While this new trend in mixology is interesting, I doubt many bartenders will be mixing them.  The ingredients are difficult to find and the drink recipes are labor intensive.