Just when we thought molecular gastronomy was over, here comes Nick Farina of Bryn Mawr's Verdad with molecular mixology.
Farina infuses premium tequila with ingredients through a process similar to brewing tea.
He heats tequila in a beaker, which sits beneath the aromatic ingredient being infused. The infusing unit is self-contained and sealed to keep moisture and aromas enclosed. The tequila simmers but doesn’t boil, so that alcohol isn’t burned off. The moisture generated extracts the color, flavor and aroma from the infusing ingredients, which produces a new composition.
Farina then instantly cools the infused liquor by adding liquid nitrogen. Mixers are added and drinks are shaken or stirred, then poured.
Here are Farina’s first three:
The Rose Petal Margarita ($12) includes fresh red rosebuds infused with Camarena Blanco tequila. After cooling, Farina adds triple sec, agave and fresh citrus juice. The cocktail is stirred, then served up or on the rocks and garnished with fresh rose petals.
For the Autumn Anejo ($12), El Jimador tequila is infused with brandied cherries and herbal teas featuring orange rind, cloves and allspice. After cooling, Farina adds Peychauds Bitters. The drink is shaken and served up and garnished with brandied cherries.
The Herbed Watermelon Cotton Candy Margarita ($12) begins with an infusion of fresh mint into Camarena Blanco tequila. After cooling, Farina adds triple sec, agave and house-made watermelon cotton candy. The cocktail is stirred then served up or on the rocks and garnished with watermelon cotton candy. For the watermelon cotton candy, Farina reduces whole ripe watermelons for 24 hours, then adds sugar and refrigerates the liquid back into a solid and dries it. He then pulverizes the dry solid concentrated watermelon into a fine powder and then pours the watermelon powder into a cotton candy maker.