A few months ago my husband gave me The Aviary Cocktail book. The Aviary, from Chef Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas of Alinea, is a bar set up like a restaurant and serves complex and imaginative original cocktails. Most of these drinks require complicated ingredients, a plethora of specialty tools and sometimes custom glassware. This is not how I usually make my cocktails, but I kept looking at these recipes, intrigued by the flavors and the techniques. So I started at the beginning, the first recipe in the book, The Aviary’s spin on a Gin and Tonic.
I’m not going to reprint the entire recipe, it is long and somewhat complicated. The lead time to actually serve this drink is at least a day or two because you need to freeze the cucumber spheres and set the Sodium Alginate bath in order to create what is essentially popping boba. I attempted this twice and never did figure out how to get those spheres the right size to fit through the 10mm glass straw (the biggest sized straw I could find on the internet). Other than the time requirements and the actual spherification process this was a pretty easy drink to make and the ingredients and tools were pretty straight forward and easy to get. If you plan to use a Frizzini to carbonate this cocktail I recommend making a batch because the single serving will be too small to properly carbonate in the device.
Gin & Tonic
fever tree tonic water
Ultimately, this was a very interesting take on a G&T, I really liked the addition of the Green Chartreuse. The cucumber spheres were fun to learn how to make, and they add an element of texture and color. I didn't think that they were worth the work though, and I would prefer my cocktail without them.