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The Flintlock ~ Just one of the amazing drinks cooked up in Drink Factory's lab in London. Rotary evaporators, immersion circulators, and centrifuges... all working in service of perfecting the cocktail! featured post *tasteologie

The Flintlock ~ Just one of the amazing drinks cooked up in Drink Factory's lab in London. Rotary evaporators, immersion circulators, and centrifuges... all working in service of perfecting the cocktail!

June 29th, 2011

Science and mixology make for interesting bed fellows.  Drink Factory makes use of some of the workhorses of the chemistry world in order to fine tune and further control what goes on in the glass.  The cocktail comes first, but that doesn't stop them from using a wide variety of fun toys along the way.  Rotary evaporators, vacuum sealers, immersion circulators, and even a centrifuge all have their place in crafting unique cocktail experiences.

Drink Factory recently moved out of a small loft over Tony C's bar at 69 Colebrooke Row and into some significantly more spacious quarters.
Some of the tools like this rotary evaporator we've seen before. The low pressure distillation provides lots of interesting opportunities for the savvy mixologist. The distillate and the evaporate both can produce new base ingredients for cocktails.
The centrifuge also brings a new level of mechanical force to the bar. The extreme accelerations of 50000 RPM make shaking a drink or muddling look like rocking a baby to sleep.
The shelves look more like an apothecary than a bar. From essential oils to hydrosols, the art of perfumery is another powerful influence in the work they do with drinks. Balancing the top, middle, and base notes and making accords of interlocking scents unlocks exciting cocktail possibilities.
Mixologist Marcus Sensalus drops some floral essence into a gin and tonic. The volatiles present in it break down so quickly that the drink tastes significantly different with each sip. It's as if it's the drink is playing a song and as you drink you catch different pieces of the arrangement as they go by.
One of the highlights though was the rhubarb gimlet. Simple seasonal rhubarb stalks are broken down, cooked sous vide, and then placed in a centrifuge. The tremendous amount of force separates the liquid from the pulp and leaves a potent juice with an amped up rhubarb flavor.
The rhubarb gimlet is deceptively simple. Just the rhubarb juice and gin but it was full of a strong, robust rhubarby flavor... much more intense and distinctly rhubarb than any other drink I've had before.
The products of the Drink Factory are currently only available in London at Tony C's bar and the Zetter Townhouse, shown here with its distinctly eclectic decorating sense.
At the Zetter Townhouse they offer this Flintlock. It consists of Beefeater 24 gin, gunpowder tea tincture, sugar, dandelion and burdock bitters, and Fernet Branca. The unsubtle addition of fire from some magicians wool helps accentuate the delicious smokiness of the tea in the tincture and in the Beefeater 24. The people who work at Drink Factory are first and foremost students of mixology. It's just that while they are getting top marks in History, studying the tradition of the craft, they're also paying attention in Chemistry.
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