There's an inescapable showmanship inherent in pouring liquid nitrogen into a champagne flute while a cloud of vapor billows from the -321°F fluid and puffs across the bar. But the show isn't the point at Booker & Dax, a brand-new New York cocktail bar in the back of David Chang's much-loved Momofuku Ssäm Bar, where supercold nitrogen, a laboratory centrifuge, and the like are used primarily to make drinks more delicious, and secondarily to create and serve them more efficiently.
The annual Tales of the Cocktail convention happened again in New Orleans last week, I seem to recall. And somewhere between the sazeracs and the rusty nails, I attended a series of enlightening seminars (each accompanied by appropriate cocktails, of course).
Harold McGee, author of On Food and Cooking and probably the most famous name in food science, was present at Tales for the first time, to lend his expertise to a deserving cocktail world. He sat on a panel with Audrey Saunders, celebrated owner of New York's Pegu Club, and Tony Conigliaro, who pushes the frontiers of molecular mixology at London's 69 Colebrooke Row.
Staying alive on the organ transplant waiting list could get a bit easier with organs that last longer outside the body. That's the hope of Harvard startup Hibergenica, which looks to commercialize a liquid solution that preserves the metabolism of hearts and livers for about 10 days, Technology Review reports.
Robots, alcohol and video games make one tantalizing combination to put on distant-future Christmas lists. Now geek boozers are in luck: the one-man Nonpolynomial Labs has developed interactive versions of Mario and Tetris that incorporate a robotic bartender to mix up drinks during real-time play.
A veteran of the TV show Battlebots, Jamie Price has built plenty of destructive machines. But late last year, he designed a robot with a more mellow calling: offering cold beer and cocktails. The result — a masterpiece of plywood, plastic, aluminum and electric motors called Bar2D2 — serves up everything but the sage advice.