Liquid nitrogen: A smoking hot trend

Though officially, the deadly substance hasn’t yet made its way into cocktails at city pubs, those in the business say it is just a matter of time

Published: 12th October 2012 08:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th October 2012 08:55 AM   |  A+A-


It’s cool to have cocktails in pubs, especially the ones that literally go up in smoke! It’s a trend that is fast picking up in cities like Goa and Bengaluru. And, Hyderabad isn’t going to lag behind. In fact, a new course – said to be the first of its kind in the country – is going to be launched in the city on this latest fad. Wonder what this new cocktail on the shelf is? It’s no cocktail. It is liquid nitrogen and is increasingly being added to cocktails at pubs in the UK and nowadays, in India too. It is primarily used to chill glasses and due to the dramatic water vapour it releases at room temperature, it is considered a crowd-pleaser.

Krishna Chaitanya of the Barmaster International School of Bartending in the city explains, “This technology is called Molecular Mixology. It is a term for the process of creating cocktails using scientific equipment and techniques of molecular gastronomy. We are the first one to introduce this as a course in the country and in the city.” However, he hastens to add that though the technology is quite popular, people need to be educated on how to prepare it. “Liquid nitrogen can be added to any cocktail be it classical or contemporary but it requires a lot of skill, knowledge and practice.” Chaitanya is starting the course for the first batch of 20 upcoming bartenders from 16th of this month at his school. “The instant cooling technology is a very advanced technology. We had conducted a demo session-cum-workshop for bartenders in the city a couple of months ago, but as of today, I do not think this technology is being used in any of the city pubs,” he says.

Popularised by celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal, the use of liquid nitrogen in preparation of drinks has become a rage and hit the headlines in the UK a few days ago after an 18-year-old downed two liquid nitrogen cocktails on her birthday and collapsed in pain the next minute. She was diagnosed with a perforated stomach and doctors had to remove most of her stomach to save her life.

Though pubs in the city do not serve it – at least officially - many are itching to get a man who can mix it and fix it for them. “Companies conduct promotion programmes for such drinks. Once there is the right kind of promotion, we would be able to see it in city pubs too. It is very fashionable and very popular too and certainly will catch up,” believes Mani, manager, Bottles & Chimney. There are those too who believe it is fit for restaurants not pubs. Praveen, manager of Liquids in Banjara Hills, opines, “such drinks are meant for restaurants as it is a very complicated drink and takes a lot of time to prepare.”


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