How-to create an edible Martini

With these Martinis its not about shaken or stirred. And the process is more elaborate than putting a bottle with Vermouth aside a glass filled with gin. You will need a vacuum machine one of those that are normally used to seal things for either cooking or preservation (we’re sure industry grade ones might work as well). So if your well sorted kitchen includes one of those devices or your friendly two star Michelin neighborhood restaurant will let you use theirs, well here’s a video that shows you how to put the pieces together.

In the video chef Dave Arnold – the head of culinary technology at the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan – shows how to use a vacuum to infuse a rectangular slice of cucumber with the alcohol / martini.

Based on a principle what he calls rapid infusion all the air is sucked out of the cucumber and as soon as the vacuum is taken away the liquid in which the vegetable is lying will be forced into the cucumber where previously the air was kept.

…Infusion is the process of forcing flavored liquids into a food product. This happens during the vacuum process when the liquids begin to ‘boil,’ and then also during the compression stage when the liquid is forced into the micro structure of the food. Instant flavoring, brining, marinating… instant…

At the end of that process the cucumber becomes translucent and looks a bit like a pickle. But in difference to a pickle the cucumber will stay crunchy and crisp like a fresh vegetable. Arnold says that it tastes just like a normal martini.

For the connoisseur sparkle with lemon zest, celery seeds and some fleur de sel.

Click on the image below for the link (multimedia)

link to NYT video

More information:
Cooking web site chadzilla has an excellent post on these processes if you want to learn more about vacuum cooking and the different approaches used (Compression, Infusion, Essences).
The French Culinary Institute in N.Y. is also running cooking classes on sous vide (vacuum) cooking.
If you want to learn more about Dave Arnold here’s some background information.
The NY Times article on edible cocktails
The NY Times video on edible Martinis

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