The New York Times published a great article today on the growing trend of mixing cocktails with science. Entitled Two Parts Vodka, One Part Science, the article definitely seems as if it’s written for those who are already passionate about cocktails, yet there is a bit of history in there for newcomers. From leather-infused Manhattan’s to half hot, half frozen gin fizzes, it will definitely satisfy the scientist in you.
I see a few others have already posted about this article, and the topic of molecular mixology, and the opinions are quite varied. Some view it as gimmicky or just for show, while others really embrace the crazy things you can do with a few chemcials and some time. Such innovations, good or bad, can only be good for a budding community.
Take food for example. There is something prized and special about visiting The Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco. Your mouth is nearly assaulted with flavors, textures, temperatures to where you’re ready to submit to Ron Siegel’s every whim and fancy even just for one more petit four, or if you’re lucky, some more of those delicate, fried sweetbreads. Molecular mixology is like a trip to The Dining Room.
But what about those divine shortribs you braised the other night and served on top of 7 cups of heavy-cream laden mashed potatoes? Or how about a simple grilled burger and some boiled corn on the cob, slathered in butter and encrusted with kosher salt? Comforting, consistent, kind of like a crisp margarita or a well-made Sazerac.
If there is a place for both extremes in the food world, why not in the mystical realm of the cockail?