A fitting formula

Science of Cocktails shakes things up at Science World

The Clough Club’s Andrea Civettini won the cocktail competition at Science of Cocktails at Science World on Feb. 8, 2018. Science of Cocktails photo.
A sign outside the Science of Cocktails at Science World on Feb. 8, 2018. Joanne Sasvari photo.
Bartender and Diageo World Class Canada 2014 winner Grant Sceney at the VIP Lounge at Science of Cocktails 2018. Joanne Sasvari photo.
Bartender J-S Dupuis at Science of Cocktails 2018. Joanne Sasvari photo.
Bartender Kevin Brownlee at Science of Cocktails 2018. Joanne Sasvari photo.
Bartender Colin MacDougall at Science of Cocktails 2018. Joanne Sasvari photo.

With a puff of dry ice, the 2018 edition of Science of Cocktails has proven once again that physics, chemistry and thermodynamics are as important in your glass as the spirits and bitters.

Bartenders from all over Vancouver, as well as Calgary, Toronto, Halifax and Las Vegas, headed over to Science World last week to put their skills to the acid test.

They made drinks using fermentation and fat emulsification, sous vide and centrifugal force, robotics and reverse spherification, and transformative ingredients such as citric acid, vegan foamer, glycerin, liquid nitrogen and the magical colour-changing butterfly pea blossom.

These might sound like concoctions that would be served up at a Star Trek cocktail lounge, but many of these skills, tools and ingredients are already being used in bars all over the city.

“A lot of the stuff we used is repurposed form our bar programs,” says Trevor Kallies, the president of the Canadian Professional Bartenders Association, which largely organized the event and provided many of the volunteers. “I don’t think a lot of bars are using liquid nitrogen, but some of the techniques are easy to use on a daily basis.”

Some 1,500 attendees showed up to sample the fat-washed Negronis, nitro-muddled Margaritas and science-flavoured small bites, raising $276,695 for the Science World Class Field Trip Bursary, which gives kids from underserved schools the opportunity to go on a free class trip to Science World.

The Clough Club’s Andrea Civettini won the cocktail competition with Jess Mili of Toronto’s Civil Liberties in second place. Chef Jesse Hochhausen of Showcase Restaurant & Bar won best dish for his char sui pork rillettes, with honourable mentions going to The Dirty Apron’s David Robertson, Peak of Catering’s Michael Chan and Aubrey Pingitore of Parallel 49 Street Kitchen.

This was a sold-out event, so plan ahead now for next year. Tickets for the 2019 event are already on sale, and it’s not too soon to nail yours down. General admission is $125 and VIP tickets are $225 at www.scienceworld.ca/cocktails.

—by Joanne Sasvari

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