Bols, the world’s oldest distiller, took the future of cocktail making to the next level in October 2005 with a two day masterclass and experimental workshop exploring the emerging discipline of ‘Molecular Mixology’.

Eight of the world’s most respected bartenders came together in Paris, France, to attend the first interactive seminar of its kind, led by the celebrated father of ‘Molecular Gastronomy’, Hervé This.

Investigating different ways of applying lessons learned in the science of food to the science of drinks, the bartenders were taken on a gastronomic exploration at the Michelin three-star ‘Pierre Gagnaire’ restaurant (famed for its pioneering dishes and accompanying cocktails), The Ritz Hotel’s ‘Hemingway Bar’ (well known for its experimentation in creating the perfect cocktail) and the ‘Ecole Ritz Escoffier’ (renowned French cookery school).

Through discussions, practical experiments and tastings, Hervé This demonstrated how creating unforgettable dishes and drinks depends on three principles:

  • “Technique” (the craft of cocktail making)
  • “Art” (the innovation, expression and beauty in creating cocktails)
  • “Love” (the passion that drives the art and technique).
The bartenders were challenged to question conventional associations, to consider mixing the unmixable, but also to think about the psychology behind the perfect serve.

 
 

Notable cocktails tasted during the event were:

  • Pearls, instant jellies created by mixing your chosen flavour composition with sodium alginate and calcium chloride (Hervé demonstrated a savoury Cucumber recipe and a sweet and colourful sensation using Bols Blue Liqueur, which are delicious accompaniments to classic and contemporary cocktails)
  • Bols Advocaat Ice Cream, powered with Liquid Nitrogen to melt in your mouth as a frozen cream
  • Gin & Tonic, a 21st Century take on this classic cocktail brought to the Master Class by Eben Freeman, renowned mixologist from New York City, and served as a canapé of gin and tonic-infused jelly on a sugared lime chip, fizzing with bicarbonate of soda and citric acid.
 
 

Hervé This, who trained in physical chemistry and has worked since 1995 at the prestigious Collège de France in Paris, commented, “I created this science with my friend Nicholas Kurti in 1988. There were many objectives for this creation. In particular, to help give sound knowledge to culinary professionals. I am really excited that this is now being extended to the bar environment. Of course you need technique and art to make a great cocktail, but just as important is the love that you share when making it.”



 
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