A Quick History on Molecular Mixology

A Quick History on Molecular Mixology

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While it may be a popular trend these days, molecular mixology is not something you are going to find in just any neighborhood bar. This is a special Jabs Bar cocktail development philosophy that uses the equipment and techniques associated with molecular gastronomy to create wild, fanciful, and unique new drinks.

What is Molecular Gastronomy?

To understand molecular mixology we first need to understand molecular gastronomy. Molecular gastronomy is very specific subdiscipline of food science that investigates the physical and chemical properties of ingredients in cooking.  Originally coined by the late Oxford physicist (really, a physicist coined a cooking term?), Nicholas Kurti and the French INRA chemist (and a chemist; really?) Herve This, “molecular gastronomy” has also been called—by contemporaries—multi-sensory cooking, modernist cuisine, and culinary physics.

Molecular Gastronomy attempts to analyze—and prepare—food according to the isolation and congruence of three recognized components of cooking:

  • technical
  • social
  • artistic

Originally, the fundamental objectives of molecular gastronomy was—as defined by This—as:

  • investigating culinary and gastronomical (digestive) proverbs and sayings
  • explore existing recipes
  • introduce new tools and ingredients combined with new methods in the kitchen
  • invent new dishes
  • use these tenets to encourage the public understanding of the scientific (culinary) contribution to society

Here are some examples of molecular gastronomy areas of investigation:

  • how do ingredients change when subject to different cooking methods?
  • How can all the senses play a role in experiencing and appreciating food?
  • The mechanisms of aroma and how it affects our perception of taste/flavor
  • how cooking methods influence/improve flavor and texture
  • how the brain interprets signals from all the senses to inform on the “flavor” of our food
  • how additional, exterior influences affect the way we enjoy or appreciate the food we eat

What is Molecular Mixology?

Now that you have been introduced to the fundamentals of molecular gastronomy you can begin to understand the tenets of molecular mixology; after all, they share philosophical roots.

Spherification

This is, perhaps, one of the most classic molecualr mixology techniques.  And is a prime example of the methodology at work. Originated by molecular gastronomy Chef Ferran Adria, this technique can utilize various methods to, basically, semi-solidify a liquid into a “sphere” or “pod” that almost resembles caviar. As an example, you could make a “caviar” of Cointreau to be added to  champagne or to the other components of a Cosmopolitan.

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