Impervious to the appeal of the multi-coloured cocktail? The Zeta Bar at the Sydney Hilton has added smoke and a splash of science with a new range of cryogenic cocktails and sorbets.
Cryogenics? It refers to the study of the production of very low temperatures (below -150C or -238F). We found out more at the recent launch held for an assembly of media.
Making mojitos at the bar
The cocktails flowed freely at the start, waitstaff making the rounds with a seemingly endless stream of margaritas, negronis and mojitos.
Berries at the bar
Serving sorbets dressed in the 1950s style ice cream parlour outfits
The use of cryogenics to create the sorbets results in a smoother, less icy texture. Dispensed from an ice cream cart, we're told that staff will be dressed in 1950s style ice cream parlour outfits. It seems a little at odds with the "space age" use of cryogenics, but the pink outfits and peaked hats do have a certain amount of charm.
Negroni and spiced black raspberry mule sorbets
The sorbets do pack an alcoholic punch, and come in flavours of mojito, margarita, pina colada, negronic, clover club and spiced black raspberry mule.
Mojito and negroni sorbet samples
Serving sorbet samples
Spiced black raspberry mule and margarita sorbet samples
Pina colada sorbet samples
Of the six flavours, the pina colada is probably my favourite, although the garnish of hundreds and thousands get in the way of the smoothness of the sorbet.
Tomato, pesto and bocconcini spoons
A selection of roving canapes ensure we all have something to absorb the alcohol, because food should always accompany responsible drinking!
Foie gras and capers on baguette toast
Beef sausages with mustard
Berry swizzle sticks
Grant Collins making nitrogen puffs
The production of nitrogen puffs by resident mixologist, Grant Collins, is the night's highlight. Although much of the action is obscured by plumes of smoke, there's a great sense of theatre crossed with visions of a mad scientist at work. The nitrogen puffs involve deconstructing flavours of selected cocktails to create a liquid that can be dispensed from a liquid nitrogen canister that is usually used to create whipped cream.
Dipping the pina colada foam
The nitrogen turns the cocktail mixture into a foam that is carefully placed into a bowl of liquid nitrogen.
The resultant nitrogen puffs look like meringues, enveloped in swirls of dry ice smoke.
Sampling the nitrogen puff
We are told to take a sip of water before placing the entire nitrogen puff in the mouth. "Close your mouth and breathe through your nose," we're instructed, and almost everyone is taken aback when bursts of white smoke are propelled with unimaginable force from our nostrils.
As for the nitrogen puff, it's a strange ice cold sensation, like licking an icicle in the freezer, whilst at the same time, feeling the puff dissolve into nothingness.
Ice block vendor
Champagne ice blocks $5
Champagne ice blocks are a adult twist on a kids' frozen treat, the rocket-shaped icy pole set onto elegant forks.
Cryogenic sorbet and cocktail menu
The Cryogenic Sorbet and Cocktail Bar is available on the terrace bar at Zeta every Friday night until the end of March.
Grab Your Fork attended the Cryogenic Sorbet and Cocktail Bar launch as a guest of Horizon Communication.
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Zeta Bar at the Hilton Hotel
Level 4, 488 George Street, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9265 6070
Open Monday to Saturday 5pm til late
Closed on Sundays
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2/01/2010 12:52:00 am