From one of Vancouver’s up-and-coming bartenders at Uva Wine & Cocktail Bar comes this recipe for a Pearled Appletini with homemade pearls that taste like mini-gushers—or cocktail caviar. Just in time for this year’s Science of Cocktails event at Science World, Jason Cheung explains:
The idea behind these juicy little bubbles of alcohol is reverse spherification, a technique which takes advantage of a chemical reaction between calcium salt and alginate. When the first liquid (the cocktail plus calcium lactate) is dropped into a bath of water and sodium alginate, it will draw itself into spheres and cook from the outside—creating a gel-like membrane. The thickness of the membrane and the size of the pearls depend on how long you leave the spheres in the solution. Remember to transfer the spheres into a bowl of water to rinse off any excess alginate before adding them to your cocktail.
0.2oz citric acid solution (1g:100ml)
Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass, add ice, and stir. Pour into a glass.
The apple balls liquid:
500ml green apple puree*
60ml green Chartreuse
100ml green apple syrup
pinch of salt
8g calcium lactate
Blend together with a mixer to ensure all the powder is dissolved. Let it rest for a couple of hours or until no visible bubbles remain.
*Blend the fruit into a purée using pulses from an immersion blender. (If you go too fast, you’ll get lots of air bubbles, which will make rest time longer; you want as few air bubbles as possible. You can achieve the same result using a normal fruit juicer.)
The sodium alginate bath:
5g sodium alginate
Blend together with a mixer to ensure all the powder is dissolved. Let it rest until no bubbles are visible. Pour into a vessel to act as a bath.
Fill a squeeze bottle with the apple balls liquid and slowly drip the liquid into the sodium alginate bath. Scoop out the spheres with a strainer and place them in a bath of water to rinse off the alginate.
After their water bath, your pearls are ready to go into the cocktail
Warning: Be careful when making many pearls at once; if they don’t form a membrane they will stick to or combine with each other.
Jason Cheung will join dozens of Vancouver’s top bartenders at Science World’s annual Science of Cocktails fundraiser tasting event on February 6, 2020, including the Donnelly Group’s bar and beverage director, Trevor Kallies, who helped inspire this cocktail.