Chemistry + cocktails? I mean, it makes sense to me. Mixologists might as well be called
cocktail chemists or dubbed liquid cooks in my book as the art of the cocktail is all about
perfect proportions, precise measurements and innovative combinations. More and more
bartenders are applying molecular gastronomy to their craft, mixing spirits with stuff like
liquid nitrogen and chlorides resulting in “foamy” libations among other science project
inspired sips. Check out this weeks Sippin’ 5 Foamy Libations in Hawaii to learn about
the best haunts in Hawaii to test and sample a cool chemistry style cocktail.
The Lobby Bar
The Waikiki Edition, the hippest new boutique hotel in Honolulu, houses the cozy Lobby
Bar. The bona fide cocktail lounge serves up drinks with an urban beat thanks to the
hotel’s beverage program headed by internationally acclaimed trade expert, Tobin Ellis
of Las Vegas’ BarMagic. Ellis and his Hawaii counterpart, master mixologist, Christian
Self developed some of the most cutting-edge spirited selections found on Oahu with
foamy libations strewn through out all of the venue’s menus. In the Lobby Bar opt for
the Basiado that blends Leblon Cachaca, fresh squeezed lime juice, lemongrass simple
syrup, cilantro, cucumber and topped with house-made coconut foam. The Basiado
(which is Brazilian slang for “joint”) takes the classic Brazilian Caiparihina and gives it
an isle inspired kick with coconut and fresh herbal flavors.
Another foam-friendly pick is The Dos Cubanos that’s made with Flor De Cana 4-year aged rum, mango nectar, fresh
squeezed lime juice, habanero simple syrup, and topped with house-made smoked Mojito
foam. Dos Cubanos (or two Cubans) combines two popular Cuban cocktails: the Daiquiri
and the Mojito. It’s literally a layered drink with the Daiquiri sitting on the bottom and
the Mojito beneath the foamy topper. Del Maguey Minero Mezcal imparts the smoky
flavor. In addition to sophisticated classics, The Lobby Bar does foam oh-so right.
The Lobby Bar is located at 1775 Ala Moana Blvd. www.editionhotels.com
The Bar at Private Sunset Beach
Also at the Waikiki Edition, hit The Bar at Private Sunset Beach. This poolside gem isn’t
just for guests as in-the-know locals can also enjoy its innovative libations at the weekly
movie nights on Thursdays or at the weekend South Beach style pool parties. The must-
have foamy cocktail here is the award-winning Deconstructed Mai Tai. Don’t discount
the classically tiki-inspired drink until you’ve tried the Editions version, that combines
Pyrat XO rum, orgeat (almond syrup) and house-made citrus foam. The Deconstructed
version is a riff on the 1944 Mai Tai recipe which calls for aged rum, orgeat, orange
curacao and lime juice. Instead bar consultant, Tobin Ellis (who created this take), took
the orange curacao and fresh lime juice and turned it into foam, garnishing his invention
with a shiso leaf instead of the traditional sprig of mint. “Molecular is just another tool
in a chef or bartender’s repertoire and should be used sparingly to enhance flavors and
aromas or bring interesting, delicious twists to drinks”, says Ellis. We’ll take his word for
it since he’s the expert.
The Bar at Private Sunset Beach is located at 1775 Ala Moana Blvd.
“Foam cocktails are something we’ve been playing around with for a while now”,
comments David Newman, Nobu Waikiki’s Bar Manager. “You want to strike the right
balance of foam and liquid so sipper isn’t forced into gulping down mouth-fulls of foam.”
The latest foam cocktail on the Nobu Waikiki bar menu is the Lilikoi Matcha made with
sour honey syrup using local organic honey, Yuzu juice, bitters, lemon and a touch of
cinnamon. Plymouth Gin, Grand Manier, orange bitters, passion fruit and a splash of OJ
are shaken and poured into a wine glass then topped off with a dollop of green tea foam.
A touch of caviar is placed on the foam to finish the garnish giving it a real gourmet kick.
Overall, the Lilikoi Matcha is very refreshing and the textures of the cocktail are truly
amazing and a must-try on your next pau hana (happy hour) trip to Nobu.
Nobu Waikiki is located at 2233 Helumoa Rd. www.noburestaurants.com/waikiki
Merriman’s offers locations on three-different islands in the Aloha State; Kapalua, Maui,
Waimea, Big Island and Poipu, Kauai. All Merriman’s restaurants believe in working
with fresh, local ingredients whenever possible and that mission holds true in their
cocktail ethos. In-house Master Sommelier and Certified Spirits Specialist, Jason “Cass”
Castle favors their fresh, organic philosophy and combines the pure approach with his
creative cocktail flair. Cass opened the first foam bar in Maui at Merriman’s Kapalua
where there’s always something new to discover. The “Merriman’s Foam” is a cutting-
edge cocktail that uses simple ingredients such as fresh squeezed lime juice, home-made
simple syrup and xantham gum for the foam. Sip fresh. Sip local.
Merriman’s Kapalua is located at One Bay Club Place www.merrimanshawaii.com
Red Salt is the Garden Isle’s latest culinary gem that incorporates molecular gastronomy
into its cuisine and cocktails. It’s their mission, as the mantra on the top of the cocktail
menu clearly states: “If you don’t see your favorite cocktail on our menu, or if you
just plain feel adventurous and would like our bartender to mix up something different
to entice your palate, please let us know and we’ll make every effort to exceed your
expectations.” So, you’re bound to find or create your own foamy libation or two here.
But, if ordering off the tried and true menu is more your thing then sip the Shipwreck
Mist that blends Bacardi “8” Rum, Midori, tropical orange juice, banana, sweet and sour
with a foamy, mist-ified floater.