Are you tired of drinking beverages that are entirely liquid? Do you believe that America’s decline is due in large part to alcoholic beverages can be made simply by pouring the ingredients into a glass? Is the prospect of making dozens of jokes about “blue balls” appealing to you? Then the Cocktail R-evolution Gin Tonic is probably right up your alley.
You may recall from our last post that Mrs. Bottle and I have recently become chemists. But instead of cooking up meth Walter White-style, we are mixing up interesting new drinks. Even though our emulsification experiment was a bit of a failure, we remain undeterred. This week we went with spherification, also know as balling.
|Actually, this looks a lot like Heisenberg meth.|
Spherification is the process of turning a liquid into tiny spheres (or balls). The spheres have the size and consistency of salmon roe. The good news is that our balls didn’t taste like fish eggs. Instead they were made with tonic water and blue Curaçao so they tasted like tonic water and blue Curaçao. But the consistency was dead on.
Turning a liquid into blue balls takes a lot of teasing and a little chemistry. The first step is to mix the tonic water and blue Curaçao with sodium alginate (NaC6H7O6) powder. Even though its empirical formula spells “nacho”, the powder tasted horrible on a Tostito. That isn’t that surprising since it is extracted from brown algae. Its purpose is to create a gelatin-like substance out of liquid.
When Mrs. Bottle mixed the powder in using our last-century hand mixer, she happened to splash some of the blue liquigel onto the counter. To the untrained observer it appeared to be a careless spill, but the trained observer would realize she was ritualistically pouring some on the counter as a tribute to our fallen homies. Luckily our countertops are stain resistant since the same tribute happened last time she tried to mix something.
|Spherification in action|
|That lime slice looks suspiciously|
like a lemon wedge
|After adding some ice and tonic water|
Ease of Preparation: 1
Drinks Until Blackout: 3 - All gin