Last week we shared the edible Pod-like cocktail made with The Glenlivet Scotch Whiskey. Though Glenlivet made most of the headlines it was actually the pod that caused the buzz. A clever cocktail chemist took notice of the idea and decided, ‘Hey, that looks interesting, it can’t be that tough.’ Turns out he was right, like most things it’s easy once you know how to do it.
Nick of Cocktail Chemistry teaches us the step by step process in this video to show the rest of the world how to make your own totally safe cocktail pod using ‘Reverse Spherification’. He shares three specific recipes along the way but really, this is about how to make the pod. Once you know the trick (the science) you can use this technique for virtually any cocktail.
With that, let’s get started.
Just like The Glenlivet cocktail pod the process starts with sodium alginate an extract from brown seaweed. The powered sodium alginate is a gelling agent when combined with calcium salts. In this case he uses calcium lactate glutinate. The two combined ingredients get blended then placed in the refrigerator for one to 24 hours. The complete process of creating the membrane and the cocktail is included below.
Creating the Pod — The Reverse Spherification Process
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- 5g sodium alginate
- 1L distilled water
- Frozen cocktail with calcium lactate gluconate
- Using an immersion blender, combine sodium alginate and distilled water in a large bowl
- Let sit for 24 hours to allow bubbles to dissipate
- Create a cocktail and blend in the calcium lactate gluconate
- Freeze cocktail in the ice cube trays
- Warm the sodium alginate bath to about 125 degrees F and prepare two bowls with cold water
- Drop one frozen cocktail pod into the sodium alginate bath and gently stir the water with a spoon (be careful not to touch pod with the spoon until the membrane has formed)
- Pick up the pod with a spherification spoon, wipe the bottom of the spoon with a paper towel, and transfer to the first cold water bath
- Rinse thoroughly by stirring the water, repeat the process with the second bath
- Serve or store in a mason jar filled with a holding liquid made up of the cocktail (minus the calcium)
Creating the Cocktail — The Maple Old Fashioned Recipe
Makes about 5 pods
- 2oz (60ml) rye whiskey
- .25oz (7ml) maple syrup
- 3-4 dashes angostura bitters
- 1oz (30ml) water
- 8g calcium lactate gluconate (2% of cocktail by weight)
- Add all ingredients to a small bowl
- Blend with an immersion blender (or regular blender)
Want more? Visit Cocktail Chemistry Lab for two additional cocktail recipes including a Boulevardier and a Whiskey Sour.
Down the Hatch!