Aspen Times Weekly Libation: High-Tech Tastes |

Aspen Times Weekly Libation: High-Tech Tastes

Juan Coronado, a cocktail innovator from Jose Andres’ ThinkFoodGroup, demonstrates the use of a a rotary vacuum system that is used to extract flavors and aromas, in the making of a Nasturtium drink at Barmini, Tuesday, March 3, 2015 in Washington. Want that cocktail shaken, not stirred? How about centrifuged? These days, it’s possible as high-tech tools shake things up behind the bar with a razzle-dazzle flair that could make even an old fashioned feel newfangled. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


“Cocktail innovator” Juan Coronado boasts an array of equipment worthy of a pharmaceutical lab. Along with centrifuges and a dry ice maker, he also has a rotary vacuum system. One use for the latter is extracting the aromas and flavors from roasted fresh peanuts to create the Veruca Salt cocktail. A Polyscience Sonicprep, which emits ultrasonic sounds waves that create low-heat vibrations, is used to emulsify and create a type of instant barrel-aged flavor. When making a Ramos gin fizz, he puts real vanilla in with gin, turns on the Sonicprep and “we get to create the most amazing vanilla gin profile ever.”

As part of my gig writing about cocktails for the Aspen Times Weekly, I try to keep up on the latest and greatest in the bartending world. So when I stumbled across an Associated Press article about high-tech mixology, my interest was piqued. Among the hot tech trends: floating clouds of aromatics, drinks served in ice balls after being created in a super chiller, nitro muddling, centrifuged concoctions, garnishes from 3D printers, rotary vacuum systems, ultrasonic sound waves and more. As ThinkFoodGroup “cocktail innovator” Juan Coronado said: The technology’s been around a while, “it’s just we are finally using it for cocktail applications and food applications. And it’s fantastic.”

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