How Bars Are Using High-Tech Equipment To Make Better Drinks

Cocktail engineers on the cutting edge are borrowing tools from laboratories and industry.
Addie Chinn

As cocktails in top bars become increasingly sophisticated, more work is required to perfect them, and much of that preparation now happens behind the scenes. Rather than infusing fruit into vodka in a big jar sitting on top of the counter, bartenders spend time in a kitchen or laboratory using vacuum machines, tabletop stills, industrial filters, and other equipment. Ice is no longer fast-melting chunks spat out of a machine; it is frozen into specific shapes using specialized gear or hand-carved from crystal-clear blocks by professional ice carvers. A tasty daiquiri may include ingredients that were frozen with liquid nitrogen, distilled, and clarified, all to spare you from getting mint fragments stuck in your straw.

Bartenders are still using fresh and local produce, but they’re fine-tuning every aspect of the cocktails in which they’re used, from temperature to texture to physical format. In this slideshow we look at some of the cutting-edge equipment used in bars around the world.