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Sous Vide For Cocktails? You Bet! American Bartenders Are All Over It.

Sous Vide For Cocktails?  You Bet! American Bartenders Are All Over It.

Happy hour drinks, cooked low and slow...

At three-Michelin-starred Alinea in Chicago, executive chef Mike Bagale uses sous vide—to infuse blueberries with violet for a floral stock that flavors a new first-course bite.

While sous-vide cooking—French for “under vacuum”—has been widely embraced by chefs worldwide since it originated in France in the mid-to-late 70s, in the last few years, forward-thinking bartenders across the country have also caught on to the benefits of controlled vacuum-sealed cooking, putting the technology to use behind the bar.

In the kitchen, chefs generally use sous vide to cook ingredients. But when bartenders apply the technique, they’re looking to quickly impart flavor to liquids.

At Cassia, a Southeast Asian restaurant in Santa Monica, California, lauded for its innovative cocktails, bar manager Kenny Arbuckle frequently uses sous vide to create various liquor infusions. For his popular Hop Sea Negroni, he uses a sous-vide machine to infuse Cocchi Americano, an Italian aperitif, with hops for a couple of hours; then, he strains out the hops and adds in an oyster shell–infused mescal. For his Rome with a View, he sous-vides a mixture of blood orange peels, blood orange juice, sugar and black pepper pods at 150 degrees for two hours; the sugar and the juice slowly draw oil out of the peel, which in turn infuse with the black pepper.

But perhaps there’s no better application of sous-vide technology in liquid form than Brooklyn bar manager Kyle Eberle’s application at seasonally inclined New American resto Gristmill. Eberle has redesigned one of the most present-day maligned cocktails and given it a sophisticated spin with sous-vide lemon and Meyer lemon peels. That drink in question? The cosmopolitan.

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