The chemistry lab meets the cocktail lounge with Craig Schoettler's newest tool. Meet the rotovap, believed to be the first used by a cocktail lounge west of the Mississippi River. Schoettler, the property mixologist at Aria, has been experimenting with two of these toys that remove solvents through evaporation, much the same process as evaporating liquids but without the heat. And it's going the change the way you drink cocktails at Aria.
For example, Schoettler took a batch of Fresno chiles, pureed them and put them through the rotovap. On one side, the thick residue of the chiles sits, still bright orange. On the other side, a clear liquid version of the chiles, only instead of tasting the heat, only the flavor of the chiles remains.
That means Schoettler can create lime juice without the cloudiness, cucumber cocktails without the chunks and watermelon without the pulp.
Look for Sage to carry the first cocktail using the rotovap on the new spring menu. The Appearances Are Deceiving features habañero chili that's gone through the machine and Casanova tequila. But be careful; this goes down like water.
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