Molecular mixology trends: LAVA LAMP COCKTAILS

An interesting trend in molecular mixology today is the ‘lava lamp cocktail’. A lava lamp is a decorative lamp in which multicoloured globules of wax are placed in a glass vessel that move round inside depending on the heat inside the lamp. Lava lamp cocktails look like these lamps and have little spheres or cocktail caviars that sink or float when dropped into a glass of carbonated drink. These cocktails are a visual delight.

A new ternd in molecular mixology:

Colourful lava lamps can be both alcoholic and non alcoholic cocktails. A delicious non alcoholic lava lamp that would captivate any youngster can be made with ginger ale or lime-soda into which is dropped a spoonful of freeze dried sweetened cranberry raisins. After a while the craisins move up and down in the glass. Flavoured ginger ale adds colour to the drink and looks beautiful when served with a decorative straw.

Now let us talk about some wonderful lava lamp cocktails that are spiked with alcohol:

  • The most popular lava lamp is made with chilled champagne. While a spoonful of freeze dried craisins look and taste delightful, cocktail caviar adds a whole twist to the drink. The bouncy globules of flavour make the cocktail edible too.
  • The lava lamp martini is a stunning cocktail. A concentrated mixture of raspberry liqueur and honey is gently drizzled into the vodka to create the lava lamp effect.
  • Juice of freshly squeezed orange, lime and grapefruit, chilled and shaken with tequila and Triple Sec is poured into a salt rimmed martini glass. Pour Chambord along the side of the glass to create the lava effect.
  • Spherified Cointreau caviar floated on a glass of Remy Martin and served with a slivers of orange bitters and demerrara syrup results in an amazing lava lamp cocktail
  • Vodka jello shots in a glass of champagne is another fantastic lava lamp cocktail
  • A vodka Cointreau cocktail chilled in a shaker served with luscious mango caviar is another lava cocktail. Everytime you bite into a globule while sipping your drink you get a burst of mango flavour.

Cointreau the company has recently launched what they call ‘Cointreau Pearls’, delectable globules, a range even infused with strawberry. This caviar served in a glass of champagne creates a beautiful lava lamp effect.

Molecular mixology has inspired bartenders to give wings to their imagination. Topping cocktails with flavoured foam adds not only visual appeal but also another texture to a cocktail. Egg white or cream with flavouring, is poured into a whipped cream canister and charged with cartridges of nitrous oxide. The resulting foam adds a fruity flavour to a glass of Moet’s, or a Campari infused rose flavour to a glass of gin, Mirto and grapefruit cocktail.

The idea of incorporating foam into cocktail, especially sours have been popular for many decades. The most famous among these traditional drinks is the Ramos Gin Fizz. Nowadays a few of the ingredients of the cocktail are removed from the liquid recipe and incorporated into a foam, created in a whipped cream siphon. Once the foam is layered on the drink it not only adds texture but also a more complex drinking experience. The Vessel 75 is a good example of this method.

Molecular mixology is an arm of bartending that requires learning, practice and imagination. Go for it if you are brave and truly interested. You sure will not regret it.

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