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If you’re making one of Dave Arnold’s cocktails, you might want to trade your apron in for a lab coat — and perhaps a pair of goggles. His French Colombian libation requires a red hot poker device (heated up to 1,500 degrees) to mix Pernod, lime juice, sugar and water. The burning, he says, takes the ingredients to a whole new place.
At Arnold’s New York City bar, Booker and Dax, most cocktails are made with unusual methods like rotary evaporation, centrifugation, liquid nitrogen and hand-carbonation. Even chilling Champagne flutes in the freezer is passé at his libations laboratory. Arnold gets his flutes nice and cold with a swirl of liquid nitrogen in each glass.
While most home kitchens aren’t equipped for these kitchen science experiments, you can steal one of his tricks for opening a bottle of bubbly. Next time you’re looking to impress your guests, try “sabering” that Champagne cork right off (as shown here). Of course, please "saber" with caution.
Check out a couple of Arnold's cocktails:
Sleepy Hollow margarita
Take 4 oz of mezcal and pour into the bottom of a jack-o-lantern. Mix with red hot poker, and it will light on fire for about 30 seconds and then go out. Strain liquid through strainer into a glass. Build cocktail in a rocks glass: 2 oz pumpkin mezcal, 1/2 oz simple syrup, 1/2 oz lemon juice. Add a rock ice cube. Garnish with pumpkin skin ribbon.
Butter popcorn apple cocktail
Take 1oz butter soda and 1 oz of centrifuged vodka and apples. Shake in cocktail shaker with ice. Pour liquid nitrogen from coffee carafe into a coupe and swirl to chill glass. Pour cocktail shaker contents into chilled glass.