Sous vide steaks are flawless, but they’re also old news and, frankly, a snooze. Now high-end restaurants and bars are taking their Anova to the next level, using it to make sous vide cocktails like the gorgeous gin and tonic at Betony, featured in the video above.
Before you get the impression that mixologists are dumping a bunch of liquor in a tepid water bath and call it a day, keep in mind that technically they’re using the sous vide to engineer tastier syrups and other elements necessary for a perfectly blended cocktail. Those finished syrups are then added to the spirits and served freshly made.
Why sous vide? “Ingredients like vanilla and star anise are no problem for cold infusions, but lighter flavors like cacao nibs, black pepper, or green apple pose a bigger challenge,” beverage director Vipop “Tor” Jinaphan at Sugar Ray: You’ve Just Been Poisoned, in Bangkok, told Munchies. “It’s better with a sous vide machine.” Sugar Ray serves a take on the classic Martinez cocktail called the Framboise Martinez, with a combination of raspberries, orange, vanilla, and sweet vermouth cooked in a sous vide for hours, then added to gin, lime bitters, and maraschino liqueur. The bar is one of several on the exploding Bangkok cocktail scene to use sous vide, pioneered by mixologist Joseph Boroski.
San Francisco is also chockfull of fancy sous vide cocktails like the Rae Rey at Chino, with lychee-infused Baijiu, Aperol, tea, cucumber, and lime. They used to serve the cocktail only occasionally, as they’d have to wait a year for the lychee to infuse into the Baijiu before being able to make more. Using the sous vide method allows them to make the drink at almost a moment’s notice.
So what’s next: cake?