Moments of Clarity: Considering Clarified Cocktails

Image: The Aviary's O'Doyle Rules clarified cocktail

The resurgence of Cocktail Culture has ushered in an era of experimentation and unrestrained creativity. Whether creating variations of classic cocktails, reimagining glassware, coming up with creative garnishes, or otherwise reimagining presentations, the best and brightest in our industry are constantly innovating. Charlotte Voisey presented a creative way to reimagine cocktails at the 2016 Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show. If you’re looking for an elegant and graceful way to present beverages, Charlotte urges you to consider clarified cocktails.

To be clear (pun perhaps intended), you’re not removing color when clarifying. What you’re actually removing is particles. Charlotte explained 4 reasons that clarified cocktails should be in your repertoire. First, the presentation is pleasing to the eye. Second, with particles removed there’s nothing to which bubbles can cling, so clarified cocktails are superior to other beverages in terms of carbonation. The bubbles are able to keep their form and remain tight, delivering a beautiful mouthfeel and a cleaner, crisper drink experience. Third, clarified cocktails offer different or improved textures, giving guests a new way to experience their favorite beverages. And fourth, you’re leveraging the element of surprise and, in turn, delighting your guests.

There are a number of ways to remove the particles that imbue cocktails with color. Before you choose your method it’s important that you understand the need to organize your bar. Clarifying takes time so and you don’t want your workspace to be disturbed or in the way. As far as techniques, you can use diesel filter bags (they’re available on Amazon), cheese cloth, and coffee filters. You can also use gels. For example, using agar and a whisk allows you to use the quick method of agar clarification. There’s also the option of using a centrifuge. That may sound crazy but they’re coming down in price, so keep an eye out. Whichever method you go with, take it slow, invest small, and keep close tabs on how your guests react to clarified cocktails.

Of course, it won’t mean much to put forth the effort of creating clarified beverages if you don’t steer your guests towards them. In other words, put them on your menu! These types of cocktails are a homerun but you need to bring them to the attention of your guests. Just be sure that the cocktails you create match your concept.

Clarified cocktails also make for fantastic social media content, so your channels are another way to let your guests know about them. The visual appeal of beverages makes a difference, and those that are clear can make for beautiful pictures. So, make sure to take advantage of their appearance by photographing in the daytime at your bar. One way to make such posts stand out even more in the sea of pictures flooding your followers’ feeds is to post the images taken during the day at night. As you can imagine, clarified cocktails are Instagram friendly.

Charlotte shared a few of clarified cocktails that we think will get your creative juices flowing:

  • O’Dolye Rules is a cocktail featured at The Aviary that makes use of rum, cognac, banana, lemon, and green and red curry.
  • The Aviary’s Dark & Stormy includes such ingredients as black garlic, blue cheese and carrot tops.
  • The King Bee is a Madeira cocktail with clarified milk and strawberry.

And there you have it. Clarified cocktails present incredible wow factor while giving your beverage program a massive dose of sophistication, elegance and innovation. For more innovative cocktail ideas and beverage program development be sure to save the date for the 2017 Nightclub & Bar Show!

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