(Solid Bloody Mary with vodka-fused pear cherry tomato, micro celery, dried roasted tomato and lemon rind, and other ingredients.)
What a treat! On Sunday, May 7, a group of bartenders and a lucky journalist or two were treated to a full-day sensory analysis workshop at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, sponsored by Absolut vodka.
(Tasting mat for multiple vodka tasting flights.)
Vodka is one of the most difficult spirits to taste and differentiate, so the early portion of the evening was focused on honing tasting and taste description skills. I will be writing about that for a magazine, so I can't go into it here.
(An abstract Hurricane cocktail served in a passion fruit.)
At the end of the day we were treated to a meal by Grant Achatz of Alinea in Chicago. Achatz is America's leading chef in molecular gastronomy. We had solid cocktails and hanging food, and it was truly wonderful.
(Miscellaneous wacky food items served on a plate with a plate of floral soup beneath it for aroma.)
Generally speaking most molecular cocktails (in particular) fall flat, as the people producing them seem to spend all their time making the liquids into cool solid shapes and not enough time making them taste good. But this meal, along with one I had at Tippling Club in Singapore, was enough to change my mind. The flavors were bold and bright and (sometimes literally) bursting in your mouth.
(Dessert of sauces, frozen chocolate, and menthol chips was splattered across the surface of the table. )
I think most people left the event with brains abuzz from the information and the meal. I can't believe how many notes I took, though during dinner I stopped to just enjoy it. Nice job Absolut.
More pictures are on my Flickr Page here.