by Shaun Layton | I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural Science of Cocktails event last week at Science World. The night brought together many of Vancouver’s best bartenders to raise money for an excellent program that takes local kids on class field trips to Science World. It was by all accounts a smashing success (over 1,100 attendees raised over $185,000); so much so that they’re already preparing for next year’s event.
Hosted by the Canadian Professional Bartenders Association (CPBA), the event focused on demonstrating everything that is scientific in the world of cocktails. And at $120 a ticket, this was no side show; the lineup of Vancouver barkeeps read like the Pro Bowl roster!
Some pretty incredible things were being made on site. We’re talking carbonated cocktails crafted a la minute; lots of liquid nitrogen and dry ice; even edible cocktails were being churned out for the crowd. Everyone bartender’s inner mixologist was unleashed. My favourite was the El Ritmo, a cocktail made by Giancarlo Jesus of The Diamond. Every cup of the Cynar-spiked Pina Colada variant was passed through a huge ice block. He had me at “Pina Colada”.
There was also a live cocktail competition (judged in part my Scout colleague Talia Kleinplatz), which saw The Fairmont’s Mike Shum take home the key hardware with his CO2 Cool For School cocktail. You’ll find his complex recipe is below, and good luck with it!
CO2 Cool for School
60mL coconut oil-washed Bacardi Maestro
30mL lime juice
2 heaping bar spoons of granulated sugar
1 egg white
30mL good quality Beaujolais wine
mist of jasmine essence
Fill a rocks glass with water and dry ice to make the glass very cold.
Juice a fresh lime and add 30mL of juice into a shaker tin.
Add sugar and stir to dissolve.
Add Bacardi Maestro and egg white and shake with ice.
Strain out ice and shake again briefly (this will create a very fluffy cocktail).
Strain into a mixing glass and add dry ice to super chill the cocktail.
Fine strain into the chilled rocks glass (with water/dry ice removed).
Ensure all dry ice pieces are removed from the cocktail.
Carefully float red wine on the drink.
Mist with jasmine essence to make a flat surface.
To make coconut oil Bacardi Maestro: Melt 60mL of organic, unrefined coconut oil in a pan (this has more coconut flavor than refined coconut oil). Pour melted fat into a jar with 500mL of Bacardi maestro. Let sit at room temperature for 4h, shaking occasionally. Place the jar in the freezer for until the fat has formed a solid layer on top of the liquid. Remove the fat cap and strain the remaining liquid.
To make jasmine essence: In a spray bottle, mix 2 drops of jasmine essential oil with 30mL of Bombay Sapphire gin.
* All steps in italics are the steps containing dry ice, which are optional. Images: Christopher Guy.