Better Cocktails Through Chemistry

The Martha Stewart Show, November 2010

Dave Arnold doesn't just shake and stir -- he clarifies, distills, carbonates, and emulsifies. As the director of culinary technology at the French Culinary Institute, Dave draws on sophisticated equipment to make thoroughly modern mixed drinks.

On "The Martha Stewart Show," Dave prepares a cocktail he calls the "Gin Sac Sac" using these unusual tools.

Centrifuge
Used to clarify juice, a centrifuge separates liquids from solids. "The juice tastes pure because it's not heated, which breaks down the flavor," Dave says.

Rotary Evaporator
A rotary evaporator concentrates the purest flavors and extracts volatile aroma and flavor molecules from a mixture without heating it up. "It basically allows you to distill at a low temperature with 100 percent recovery of flavor," Dave says.

Liquid Nitrogen
Liquid nitrogen doesn't just impart an aura of mystery to cocktail mixing, but it also allows you to chill a drink quickly without watering it down. Dave uses it to freeze Champagne glasses and to chill a large number of drinks in a short period of time.

Carbonator
By carbonating drinks directly instead of adding seltzer or tonic water, you can achieve that fizzy flavor without diluting the drink and you can better control the bubble level.

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