There’s nothing like a day beside the seaside to invigorate one’s constitution and put a spring in the step.
This, and the thought of playing in the arcade on the pier and tasting some unusual cocktails, is why BarLifeUK were as excitable as 15 year old boys on a school trip when we stepped off the train for the Brighton leg of the Molecular Mixology / El Dorado Rum cocktail competition.
As ever at molecular competitions, the drinks on offer ranged from subtle deconstructions of the classics to out-and-out experiential designs, using ambient scents, fat washes and in one case, a heated hollowed-out coconut that fed smoke to cocktail glasses via rubber tubes.
Honourable mention must go to Myles Cunliffe, whose handsome mug you will have seen in the Shaker training videos. Hobbling behind the bar on crutches after a recent, and very heroic accident, he busted out a fire extinguisher and captured its CO2 in a pillow case to create ice cream. The process was dramatic and the result very tasty.
But such was the standard that this didn’t quite clinch Myles top spot. Congratulations go to Michael Stringer for his El Dorado Breakfast and Edible Bramble creations, and Maxwell Whitney who went through with Sanguine and Gold and Baked Scotsman cocktails (specs and methods below).
Michael and Maxwell join London’s Joe Petch and Quentin Berode as finalists. The next regional heat takes place in Leeds. Contact Matthew Wilkinson for entry details.
Fuse the chorizo and butter together in a vacuum sealed bag. Place in a pan of hot water for 45mins. Strain off the butter whilst still a liquid and fat wash the red wine; stir and settle for around an hour. Place in the freezer for 2 hours while fat solidifies. When it has, skim the fat off the top. Place red wine mixture in a soda siphon and charge. Cut orange and nectarine into small pieces and place in a vacuum sealed bag with 10g sugar. Place in a pan with hot water for 1 hour, making sure not to boil. Remove and place on pre-chilled metal tray. Flame orange peel in 25ml El Dorado 12 year old, strain off and mix with agar and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and cool slightly (before it starts to set) and add 25ml El Dorado 12 year old and gold colouring and pour into fruit “marmalade” mixture. Place in the fridge to set. Once set cut gold bars of marmalade into small pieces (depending on taste balance required). Siphon the wine into a wine glass and serve with gold bars on the side.
50ml Glenfiddich 18yo
1 Granny Smith apple – cored
1 Quarter red onion – finely chopped
20ml Balsamic vinegar
2.5 tsp Demarrera sugar
50ml Apple juice
Preheat oven to 175C. Place apple on enough foil to wrap it in. Put layers of onion and sugar in the cored apple and then pour on balsamic vinegar. Wrap in foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and once cooled puree the apple. Take 50ml of the puree and add to a boston glass with 50ml apple juice and 50ml whisky. Shake and strain into a rocks glass over cubed ice. Garnish with the biscuit.