When I think of molecular gastronomy, images of olive gel bubbles from El Bulli or liquid nitrogen starters from The Fat Duck spring to mind – not so much cocktails. But really, the concept is the same. So why not?
I went to Hush in Mayfair with nearly the same crew from last year’s A Rum Do* with Element’s 8 Rum to take part in what can only be described as drinking with science. The idea is that a cocktail is just a cocktail, so screw it – let’s have a bit of fun with nitrogen!
Among a few, we tried a foam mojito made with a deep concentration of gelatin and mojito ingredients squeezed out of this:
And the crowd favourite, a pina caviada, which is basically a pina colada made with little pearls of rum pushed out a syringe. Weird, but surprisingly tasty!
There are some fantastic pictures over at TikiChris’ Flickr page. All the drinks are around 8 quid, which is good.
The verdict though? Interesting? Yes. Strong? Oh yes. Tasty? Sure. But would I get them again? I don’t think so. There’s something about molecular gastronomy – whether food or drink related – that just seems so gimmicky to me. I appreciate it, I think it’s really cool, but if I want a mojito, I usually want a mojito – and no amount of kitsch is going to replace that.
I think everyone should try it just once to see. It’s worth it for that, at least. But I’ll happily sip my boring old regular cocktails any time.
*Disclosure: The lovely Elements 8 people treated us to these drinks, just as they did last year. They’re really good guys, and not just because they gave us foamy mojitos.