Key Lime Bowl


Key Lime Bowl Cocktail
Photo: The Rookie Barkeep

It's been a while. 

Have you seen Drink Masters on Netflix? It's a cool-ass show. It's like Chopped or Master Chef for mixology. I'm hopeful that there will be such a show for home bartenders someday, since I don't have the space or cash to invest in smoking cloches, Perlini cocktail carbonators, or centrifuges. 

Airs, however, are much more accessible to home bartenders. 

Airs are a type of emulsion, which is a suspension of fat molecules in water or a water-based liquid. You know how oil and water don't mix unless it's mayonnaise? Yeah, that's because mayo is an emulsion.

Unlike mayo, which comes out of the process more like sauce, airs are a delicate river of tasty bubbles you float on top of your cocktail or dab onto your tiny, gourmet small-plate dish. For its fat, airs call for soy lecithin, a vegan, soy-based lipid, and liquid tends to be on the acidic side, often citrus or other fruit juices. 

They're also hella easy to make if you have a mason jar and an immersion blender, both of which I happen to own. 

Also unlike mayo, you want the immersion blender to pull in some some air, not just juice. This gets you your bubbles.  Like so:

Another cool and very easy thing about this drink is the graham cracker simple syrup. Just crush up some graham crackers in regular ol' simple syrup, let it sit while you're crafting the other components of your cocktail, and strain off the solids before adding to your shaker. 

What's with the "bowl," though? 

Well, friends, that's a nod to the University of Michigan Football Team, who pounded Ohio State on the day I invented this here cockail. The "bowl" doesn't refer to the serving vessel, but rather the imaginary Bowl game I invented for my team. I'm not all that creative sometimes, so if you have better ideas for the name of this cocktail, I am all ears.

The wife said it was "delicious," smacking her lips in a way that told me this cocktail was definitely a keeper.

Photo: The Rookie Barkeep

Vanilla-Lime Air

250 g lime juice

25 g granulated sugar 

2 g soy lecithin.

Combine the ingredients into a mason jar with a large enough mouth to accommodate the immersion blender. Blend with an immersion blender, putting the blender just below the surface of the liquid and tilting occasionally to pull in more air. The liquid should convert to bubbles – it might take a while (10+ minutes), so be patient. I often go at it a few times, pulling the foam off as I make the cocktails.

Allow to sit for a minute or two before using.

Graham Cracker Simple Syrup

1 c simple syrup

2 graham crackers 

Add 2 graham crackers (full crackers – not broken along the perforations first) to the simple syrup, break up the crackers, and set aside. Shake every few minutes, tasting as you go. When it tastes "right," strain out solids, or spoon them off and eat them (they'll conveniently float to the top). Keep cracker-infused simple syrup refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Marshmallow-Infused Vodka

Bottle of decent, but not top-shelf, vodka (I like Svedka for infusions)

Marshmallows. Whatever you have around the house is fine, but if you don't have any, get little ones for faster infusion time.

1 vanilla bean pod

Split vanilla bean pod in half with a sharp knife and scrape out the tiny seeds and goo inside. Add all of it to a quart-sized mason jar, and pack in marshmallows about 3/4 full. Top with vodka to fill the jar (you might not be able to fit all of the vodka depending on your marshmallow situation).

Infuse for 5-7 days or longer to taste, shaking the jar. once per day.

Strain liquid from solids. You can either toss the solids or make some sort of boozy marshmallow brownies (toss the vanilla bean pod either way).

Key Lime Bowl Cocktail
Photo: The Rookie Barkeep

Key Lime Bowl

2 oz house-infused marshmallow vodka

1 oz Italicus bergamot liqueur

1 oz graham cracker simple syrup

1 oz lime juice

Scofflaw Bourbon County Reserve Bitters

Vanilla-Lime Air

Lime zest

Graham crackers, crumbled

High-quality sea salt

Small lime wheel

Jumbo ice cube

Combine liquors, lime juice, simple syrup, and bitters over ice in a shaker and shake until chilled. Pour through a strainer over a jumbo ice cube. 

Gently layer the air on the surface of your cocktail, top with lime zest, sea salt, and crushed graham cracker. Garnish with the lime wheel and serve.

Note: if you don't have soy lecithin handy, you could treat this drink as a flip. Add an egg white with the other cocktail ingredients into a shaker, and dry-shake vigorously (i.e. without ice in the shaker) before pouring over ice. Dilution will be off, but I hazard to think it will be mighty tasty anyway.