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Monday, February 01, 2010

Zeta Bar Hilton Sydney - Cryogenic Sorbet and Cocktail Bar

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!

Mushroom tarts

Foie gras and capers on baguette toast

Mini hamburgers

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.

Nitrogen puffs

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.

View Larger Map

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

17 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 2/01/2010 12:52:00 am


  • At 2/01/2010 7:18 am, Anonymous Hannah said…

    Well ain't that just plain kookiness! :P I'm very much not a cocktail person, but somehow translating the sweetness of cocktails into sorbets really works in my mind! Reminds me of the delicious Ciao Bella Blackberry Cabernet sorbet I had here in the US... except buckets more fun :)

  • At 2/01/2010 8:20 am, Blogger Stephcookie said…

    This seems like a clever idea, I think I would go at least once just for the novelty of it! The waitresses are so pink and cute in their 1950s outfits!

  • At 2/01/2010 8:53 am, Anonymous billy@ATFT said…

    looks like a fun night, shamed I missed out. I shall refrain myself from mentioning any innuendos. LOL the nitrogen puff looks like fun, does it have flavour?

  • At 2/01/2010 8:53 am, Anonymous billy@ATFT said…

    looks like a fun night, shamed I missed out. I shall refrain myself from mentioning any innuendos. LOL the nitrogen puff looks like fun, does it have flavour?

  • At 2/01/2010 9:43 am, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    heh i felt like a dragon when i was eating the nitro puff and the smoke came out!

  • At 2/01/2010 10:27 am, Blogger Gastronomy Gal said…

    oh my goodness! Please open a Brisbane version- the mojito looks amazing! YUm Yum!

  • At 2/01/2010 10:59 am, Blogger Charemaine Seet said…

    the outfits might be inspired by the space age
    bachelor pad music craze from the 1950s, with a little Jetsons mixed in...was a robot dog there?
    Great post! "johnny forks"

  • At 2/01/2010 11:34 am, Anonymous foodwink said…

    The nitrogen puff sounds intriguing! Perhaps also useful for scaring innocent little kids, hehe?

  • At 2/01/2010 12:02 pm, Anonymous Tina said…

    Sounds awfully gimmicky - but combining two of my favourite things?! <3 it!!

  • At 2/01/2010 12:33 pm, Anonymous Chris said…

    Teeee sounds awesome! I think I'll have to check it out myself this friday!

  • At 2/01/2010 12:34 pm, Blogger OohLookBel said…

    It's a good thing there was food to counteract the alcohol. I can imagine how easy it would be to have all that 'sorbet'. PS: The berry skewers are a great idea!

  • At 2/01/2010 6:09 pm, Blogger Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) said…

    This is just too cute! And the 1950s ice-cream parlour outfits go so well with the gelato-coloured cocktail sorbets. Now just let me dig up my rollerskates...

  • At 2/01/2010 6:19 pm, Blogger Sara @ Belly Rumbles said…

    Looks so quirky and so so good.

  • At 2/01/2010 10:02 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ooohh wow looks liek heaps of fun!! And the sorbets and cocktails look so cool!!

  • At 2/02/2010 2:07 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Hannah - Cocktails tend to be very sweet but that's what makes them so very drinkable! The sorbets were very refreshing and the sweetness was much more subdued. The cabernet sorbet sounds amazing!

    Hi Stephcookie - There is a great sense of novelty and the outfits were very striking and cute!

    Hi Billy - It was a fun night indeed. Next time you'll know better! The nitrogen puff did taste faintly of the cocktail but it was more of an elusive mist - perhaps part of the appeal!

    Hi chocolatesuze - Yes the smoke trails freaked everyone out!

    Hi Gastronomy Gal - You might have to petition your local bar!

    Hi Johnny Forks - Ahh a clever observation. They do look rather Jetsons-like although the marketing material empahsises it's a 1950s look. And no robot dog, although I would have liked to have seen one!

    Hi foodwink - Ha, the nitrogen puff was quite intimidating at first. A fun idea.

    Hi Tina - There's an element of gimmickyness but then, as you mention, it still has irresistible appeal!

    Hi Chris - Have fun! It does offer something a little different for Friday night drinks.

    Hi Belle - Ha, yes, it was very easy to over-imbibe! The berry skewers were very pretty.

    Hi Mademoiselle Delicieuse - Rollerskates! That's a great idea!

    Hi Sara - It's a cute concept. Will be interesting to see if nitrogen takes off in bars?

    Hi FFichiban - The nitrogen puffs were the most fun! Although hey, I think cocktails add instant fun to any evening. lol

  • At 2/05/2010 3:34 pm, Blogger Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said…

    Wow! It certainly looks like a lot of fun...the champagne popsicles are def a fave!

  • At 2/06/2010 3:50 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Peter G - It was a great night, and champagne icy blocks are such an elegant idea.


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