Friday, 22 January 2010

Shaker Bar School

Any bartender worth his Margarita salt knows a thing or two about Molecular Mixology. It's the new buzz word in the cocktail world, and is proving so popular, there are even courses where budding Blumenthal's can learn to make a molecular cocktail full English breakfast.

On Thursday night I headed down to the Shaker Bar School in Shoreditch to sample the latest in molecular mixology. Hidden behind a black door on East road, the Bar School specializes in cocktail courses, teaching everything from flair classes, where you can learn to twist and shake your Tom Collins like Tom Cruise (there's a padded room downstairs for perfecting your technique), to the more serious five day WSET accredited international bartenters course.

Preparing our full English was Shaker founder Adam Freeth, who set up the bar school back in 2001 as part of his business management degree. The brand has now expanded to Cape Town and Johannesburg, with new schools planned for Cyprus and India.

First on the menu was the Gin-based Earl Grey Mar-tea-ni infused with lemon, served in a mini martini glass. Smokey and citrusy, it was refreshing and smooth. Next up came the Bloody Mary, served with a layer of celery air. Any food or drink with 'air' in the title screams pretentious, but I love flamboyant food, as long as the flavour backs up the fanciful robes it masquerades around the plate (or glass) in.

Round three saw us sipping on a Pancetta and Porcini Martini; a Vodka-based Martini mixed with a Porcini mushroom infused Vermouth served with a salty Pancetta strip. See-through and seriously strong, I'd be falling off my Shaker bar stool after a few of these.

The pièce de résistance came at the end, in the form of an egg. The barman diligently filled a dozen empty egg shells with pineapple and coconut foam, crowning each with a mango yolk, known as a ravioli, made from a sodium solution dipped in a calcium bath. The Pineapple and Mango Egg Colada would certainly turn Heston's head, but did it tick the taste box too? Adam assured us that if we tipped our heads back, it would fall out of the egg in one. It didn't, even after much coercion. I enlisted the help of a spoon. It was delicious.

I wonder what will be next on the molecular cocktail menu – a Sunday roast perhaps, or maybe an American breakfast; blueberry pancakes and cream soda. Whatever the mad mixologists come up with next, I can't wait to try it. Innovation should always be applauded.

1 comment:

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