Saturday, August 13, 2011

Mixing with the nose - Perfumes & Cocktails

Back in 2008 I wrote about fragrances that had alcoholic notes in their compositions, or were inspired by cocktails. (for the article click HERE - in Portuguese).
The most common beverage scents found in these perfumes are: champagne, rum, whisky, tequila, gin, martini, vodka and cognac. Than you have the trendy ones such as caipirinha, mojito, curacao etc... 
Most recently we have seen the other way around - cocktails inspired by fragrances.


Remember when Cosmopolitan became famous because the girls of Sex in the City drank it? Maybe this was the starting point to bring back the cocktail popularity, or maybe the Mad Men TV series brought them back. Fact is there are many common grounds to the art of perfumery and mixing cocktails alchemy. Many famous bar tenders are applying both arts to create amazing drinks, or being trained by professional perfumers to extend their knowledge in scents and aroma combinations.
The introduction of molecular mixology to bartenders and cocktail creators brought a lot more interest for perfumery.

Tony Conigliaro

Tony's drinkable essence of perfume

Tony Conigliaro is the first bartender to work the principles of science to mix drinks. Although he dislikes the term molecular mixology, he was the one who started to experiment with culinary and perfumery techniques and methods to make his cocktails.


“My influences don’t always come from people— sometimes a movement in cuisine or a book can affect me. Perfumers, for example, bring something very new to the equation,” he says.

Just imagine a champagne flute in front of you, and its bubbles are ascending closer to your face, and once they pop and burst open, each bubble will bring an explosion of Chanel Nº5 fragrance essence. That was just possible with a creative technique developed by Tony Conigliaro, under Heston Blumenthal's influence. 


A sugar cube embedded with drinkable essence of the fragrance was placed at the bottom of the champagne flute. He found food grade equivalents to the Chanel Nº5 olfactive notes, and combined them recreating the consumable version of a perfume. The sugar cube was doused with the drinkable perfume. The name of the drink - Nº5 Champagne cocktail.


Tony started to study perfumery to marry this idea of perfumes and cocktails. Once he understood that the art of mixing fragrance notes to create a perfume was very similar to the mix of spirits and ingredients to create cocktails, he developed this idea of creating a champagne cocktail, inspired by Chanel's number one fragrance. It was the marriage of an iconic fragrance with an iconic cocktail. The notes of jasmine, ylang ylang and rose combined with the Perrier Jouet Gran Brut champagne brought a new sensory experience to cocktail drinkers
The drinkfactory was created inside Tony's bar - 69 Colebrooke Row to research and understand how many different fields such as perfumery, gastronomy, science, fashion, design and music could bring new ideas to mixing cocktails. Today it expanded and it is relocated to a new address and it has a blog of its own - DRINKFACTORY. Also click HERE for nice pictures provided by notcot.





And then there's also a trend in perfume events that are presenting cocktail preparation in workshops, inspired by he art of making perfumes. Penhaligons offered one - hard to understand the bar tender, but you can find the videos in youtube. The art of mixing cocktails and natural perfumery alchemy, provided by Julienne Zaleta from the Herbal Alchemy Apothecary is nice and she offers some recipes in her website.

Photo credit: MiN New York

Most of these workshops are a soiree to explore fragrances and learn how to prepare the cocktails inspired by them such as "Perfumed Spirits, a cocktail soiree" by Min - click here to see the program. The MiN New York events are simply fabulous! A must check.


Photo credit: NY Times


Ambergris in cocktails? Here is Meriton Latroon's Batam Punch recipe from the book Punch: the delights and dangers of the Flowing Bowl, page 117:


Ingredients:
1 piece ambergris [size of a grain of barley]
1 ounce sugar [Indonesian gula jawa or other dark, funky sugar]
1 bottle Batavia arrack
5 ounce sugar [Indonesian gula jawa or other dark, funky sugar]
6 fl ounce lime juice
3 to 4 cup water
nutmeg
Preparation:
Muddle piece of ambergris with one ounce of Indonesian gula jawa in a small bowl. Add two ounces Batavia arrack and muddle until sugar is dissolved. Break up 4 ounces of gula jawa, put it in a two-quart jug with six ounces lime juice and muddle until sugar is dissolved. Add the ambergris, sugar and arrack mixture and stir. Add the rest of the 750 ml bottle of Batavia arrack, stir again, and finish with 3 to 4 cups water, to taste. Grate nutmeg over the top.
To read all the history and the concept of this punch, click HERE.











1 comment:

kewiesterrock said...

Tony started to study perfumery to marry this idea of perfumes and cocktails. Once he understood that the art of mixing fragrance notes to create a perfume was very similar to the mix of spirits and ingredients to create cocktails, he developed this idea of creating a champagne cocktail.

nose job

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