Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Is Grant Achatz Reading Cocktail Blogs?

Is Grant Achatz—culinary wizard of Aviary, possible best chef in America, would-be molecular cocktail king—reading cocktail blogs?

After I heard he and Craig Schoettler had created something called Old Fashioned in the Rocks, I grew suspicious. The drink places the iconic ingredients of an Old Fashioned (whiskey, water, sugar, bitters) inside an egg-shaped piece of the ice. The orb is created by filling water balloons with water and then putting them in a device called a blast chiller, which causes the outer layer of the water to freeze before the inside, leaving a cavity inside. The drinker will have to crack the ice, like an egg, in order to get at the booze.

No one's done exactly this before, I grant you. But the water-balloon trick has been around for a couple years, blogged first (as far as I know) in 2009 by San Francisco-based cocktail blogger Camper English, and, later, and independently, by yours truly. (I did not know that English had hatched the idea before me until after I blogged about my water balloons.)

I first began freezing water balloons as an inexpensive way of created large, slow-melting, and attractive ice forms to keep sipping drinks like the Old Fashioned and Sazerac cool for a long time. Most haute cocktail bars have a Kold-Draft machine, or one of these pricey items to do this job. And I openly pondered if bars would take up the balloon idea, or if it would be too low class for them. Well, if its' good enough for Grant Achatz...


frederic said...

I've written about bartenders freezing ingredients in the center of ice cubes so when they thaw, they get released and change the drink. Drink here in Boston made me a Manhattan that turned into a Little Italy with Cynar-filled ice cube bombs.

Robert Simonson said...

Nothing new under the sun, I guess.