Pharmacology of the Spirit

Bartending Techniques for the Atomic Age

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Photo by Gabriela Contreras

Tiki Oasis, San Diego’s annual Tiki weekend festival, is aptly named. Sure, because it is a like stepping into another world, it could have been called Tiki Island or even Tiki Planet, but it is quite literally an oasis of Tiki escapism embedded in the heart of San Diego’s metropolis.

As a San Diego local and cocktail enthusiast, I seem to get more deeply involved with Tiki Oasis every year.  From teaching symposiums and hosting room parties to vending my bitters and even organizing the very first Tiki Oasis bartender competition this year, I love every minute of the Tiki Oasis weekend. The feeling that the Tiki Oasis ohana gives is amazing and welcoming, and doing events for them honestly makes me feel like a rock star.

Events, you ask? Well, this year I did a symposium (in line with the conference’s space-aged tiki theme) called Bartending Techniques for the Atomic Age. Me and a few hundred of my closest friends explored molecular techniques that are both easy to do at home and have been trending at some of the hottest bars in the world over the last few years. For those of you who didn’t catch the recipes at the event, or weren’t able to make it out to sunny San Diego for the event, you can find the recipes below:

Techniques:

The techniques covered were a fat wash, a foam, an elixir, a syrup and dried garnishes.  Here is a brief run-down on the techniques.

  • Coconut Oil Fat washA fat wash is simply an infusion of fat that imparts flavor and texture
  • Passion Fruit Foam –  An egg based foam can be easily made with a whip cream canister.  This is a fun way to top a drink and add texture.
  • Lime ElixirWith a similar acidity to lime-aid and made from mixing citric acid with water and an oleo saccharum (This literally means “oily sugar” and is a method of extracting flavors with sugar.) this is a great ingredient when lime juice is in short supply or if you are looking for a different kind of lime flavor.
  • Rosé SyrupSyrups can be made from almost anything and impart sweetness and flavor.  In this case we are adding sugar to a rosé infused with dried cranberry and pineapple.
  • Dried Garnishes- A dehydrator can turn perishable fruit into aromatic and beautiful garnishes that keep well.

 

Recipes:

The Cosmo-Not!

1.5 oz White rum
1 oz Lime elixer
.5 oz Tropical rose syrup
1 ml Serrano cocktail spice

Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a dried lime wheel.

SPF 2001

1.5 oz Coconut fat washed aged rum
1 tsp Raw Simple Syrup
.75 ml Boy Drinks World Passion Fruit Bitters
1 oz Passion Fruit Bitters Foam

Stir all ingredients except foam, strain and top with foam just before serving.

Lime Elixer

11g lime zest
120g sugar
2.5 c water
10g citric acid

Combine zest and sugar in a food processor and pulse until the lime looks incorporated. Seal mixture in a zip type bag and let rest over night in the refrigerator.  Warm water but do not boil, combine warm water with sugar and lime mixture and citric acid.  Strain out lime zest and allow to cool. 

Passion Fruit Bitters Foam

Eggs (5 egg whites)
Sugar (2 oz simple syrup)
Boy Drinks World Passion Fruit Bitters (1 oz)
6 oz water

Combine in a 16 oz N2O Whip Cream canister and charge. Refrigerate before use.

Tropical Rosé Syrup

1 bottle dry rosé wine
2 cups sugar
40 grams dried cranberries
20 grams dried pineapple

Mix all ingredients in a glass jar and allow to infuse overnight. Strain and serve in cocktails…like the Cosmo-Not!

Coconut Oil Fat-Washed Rum 

750 ml Bottle of aged rum
2 oz Coconut oil
Warm oil until it is in liquid form and combine with aged rum in a wide mouth mason jar.  Shake repeatedly and let stand over night. After resting over night place mason jar in the freezer until the oil becomes very solid use a strainer to separate rum from oil solids.

If you missed this year’s symposium, check out some of the photos below, and stay tuned for another recap and recipes from the other Tiki Oasis cocktail event I organized this year: the first ever San Diego Tiki Bartender’s Battle!

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