The Cocktail Lab: Unraveling the Mysteries of Flavor and Aroma in Drink, with Recipes

The Cocktail Lab: Unraveling the Mysteries of Flavor and Aroma in Drink, with Recipes

by Tony Conigliaro
     
 

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From the U.K.'s preeminent bartender and one of the leading authorities on "modernist mixology" comes this collection of 60 revolutionary cocktails, all grounded in the classics but utilizing technologies and techniques from the molecular gastronomy movement.

The right cocktail is more than just a drink. It's the perfect combination of scent, color, sound

Overview

From the U.K.'s preeminent bartender and one of the leading authorities on "modernist mixology" comes this collection of 60 revolutionary cocktails, all grounded in the classics but utilizing technologies and techniques from the molecular gastronomy movement.

The right cocktail is more than just a drink. It's the perfect combination of scent, color, sound, and taste. Utilizing a broad spectrum of influences—including gastronomy, perfumery, music, art, and design—Tony Conigliaro has established himself as one of the most innovative and thought-provoking mixologists in the world. In The Cocktail Lab, Tony presents his best and boldest creations: drinks like the Vintage Manhattan, Dirty Martini by the Sea, and Cosmo Popcorn.

These recipes will not only redefine your understanding of what a cocktail can be; they will also inspire you to become a more confident and creative drink maker.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Conigliaro has thought long and hard about the “little moments of time” we spend sipping cocktails: the flavors, textures and aromas involved, and the art and science of mixology. As part of a U.K. collective of bartenders and artists known as the Drink Factory (they create and experiment in a building that was once Pink Floyd’s recording studio), he has invented an entire science fair’s worth of potables and puts them on display in this exciting collection. First Conigliaro blows up some classics. There’s a daiquiri made with dry ice that maintains its constant 21-degree temperature from start to finish, and an aged Manhattan that stays bottled for 6 months up to 6 years, growing ever more complex in flavor. Then there’s a drink called the flintlock made with a gunpowder tincture and ideally served with a flaming ball of flash cotton accompanying the glass. Next, he builds some cocktails around fresh fruit, cleverly employing the juice of a grilled lemon to complement the smoky tequila of a margarita. A chapter entitled “Inspired by Perfume” offers treats for the nose, like the blush, with rose vodka, rhubarb cordial, and a twist of grapefruit. And for serious scientists, Conigliaro breaks out the liquid nitrogen to turn a cosmopolitan into frozen bits of “popcorn.” Other useful and frightening lab tools are laid out and explained in a chapter on equipment and techniques and include such obscurities as the rotavapor and the Soxhlet still, both of which can extract flavor from objects hard and soft, from star anise to rose petals. (July)
From the Publisher
 
“Tony Conigliaro is a revolutionary...He pushes the rules of classic cocktail-making beyond expectation.”
—Heston Blumenthal
 
“The Cocktail Lab is years ahead of its time. Tony uses flavors and aromas that engage all of the senses—and as a result, drinks like the Chamomile Cooler (a Scotch Sour with chamomile foam) are both revelatory and charmingly familiar.”
—Dale DeGroff, author of The Craft of the Cocktail
 
 “Tony Conigliaro has elevated the respected craft of mixing drink to an art form . . . It’s an absolute honor to take a peek inside this artist’s head.”
—Gary Regan, author of The Joy of Mixology
 
“Tony has made some of the best, most elegant drinks I’ve ever had, and now he’s gone and written one of the best, most elegant books on the subject.”
—David Wondrich, author of Imbibe!

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781607745679
Publisher:
Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony
Publication date:
07/16/2013
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
730,023
Product dimensions:
7.12(w) x 9.58(h) x 0.84(d)

Read an Excerpt

“The Cocktail Lab”
The recipes in this book demonstrate the different styles that I have worked in: the simple, the difficult, and the stuff in between. The first five chapters naturally developed their own characters, and it wasn’t until I started to revisit old recipes that they began to evolve into quite distinct areas of interest. I found that the drinks shared a genealogy—an idea was born, then pushed, then pushed further, changing slightly and then being changed again. I would look at the ingredients of a cocktail one way and then this would open up a new line of thinking—a chain reaction—just like my initial involvement in the cocktail industry.
 
New cocktails are usually born from experimenting with flavor connections and listening to a gut instinct. The recipes in this book are often quite romantic in nature. Yes, they have historical references, but they go beyond that. Inspiration can come from many places, not always obviously related to cocktails, and they straddle diverse terrains—from perfume to films, from poetry to an image of a landscape. Others were inspired by well-loved regulars at my bars—characters worthy of a book in themselves! These stories imbue a hint of fantasy to otherwise quite technical products. I have to be very thankful for my distractions!
 
When I said earlier that cocktails occupy a nebulous place, so too does this book. It is not a classic cocktail book, nor is it a bar manual. There are recipes here for the home enthusiast but also for the technician. Some of the recipes are known or have solid references, but here my aim is to demonstrate there can be a new point of interest or perspective—what inspired them, how they came together, how they’ve changed, and why they work. Consider it a guide to liquid flavor…

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Rhubarb Gimlet
 
Ingredients
— 40 ml (11/3 oz) gin
— 20 ml (2/3 oz) homemade rhubarb cordial (page 168)
— Grapefruit twist, to finish (page 221)
 
The natural progression of my interest in the Gimlet remained British in nature and continued to work in accordance with the seasons. I love rhubarb for its complex set of flavors that loans itself to a broad spectrum of cocktails, and in particular rhubarb and gin are a perfect match. The Rhubarb Gimlet is a cocktail with a neat circle of flavors; simple, pared down, and minimal, with a seasonal twist.
 
1. Combine the gin and cordial in a cocktail tin and stir over cubed ice.
2. Strain into a small, chilled coupette.
3. Finish with a grapefruit twist.

Meet the Author

TONY CONIGLIARO is the award-winning bartender behind London’s 69 Colebrooke Row, one of the top-rated bars in the world, and the co-founder of The Drink Factory, a London-based experimental drink collective.

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