The events and tastings in New Orleans during Tales Of The Cocktail ran a pretty impressive gamut, from fancy cocktails in an antique store or sit-down dinners, coursed with cocktails, to poolside parties and the ritual late night meet-ups at the Absinthe House. But an unexpected foray into the Don Q suite provided the most surreal and undeniably cool set-up of the week.
I'd been hanging out with Meaghan Dorman of SpiritMeAway.com at a lame party in the ballrooms of the W Hotel that was going for a decadent 7 Deadly Sins theme but landed instead on Holiday Inn, Wichita singles mixer--of course, Hendrick's had set the bar impossibly high, so perhaps it's not fair to judge. On our way out we ran into freelancer Liza Weisstuch who invited us to tag along to some mysterious tating that involved liquid nitrogen. On the 16th floor we found ourselves in the Don Q suite along with some other strays, Tom Conte, an affable large fellow from Don Q and bartender Esteban Ordonez. And a giant canister of liquid nitrogen.
Estaban bade us all stand back, and began releasing some of the liquid nitrogen into a pitcher, with the fringe benefit of monster movie fog spilling out everywhere. Note the bowl of orange liqiud on the right.
That's an instant party right there. Very dramatic, very satisfying, particularly for someone who's favorite book at age 10 was 'Monsters, Monsters, Monsters'.
Esteban carefully poured some of the nitro into the a pitcher with water that turned to a sort of liquid ice, and then pour that into the metal mixing bowl containing a mixture of rum and mango juice.
When the smoke cleared: instant rum mango slushy.
Aside from the science fiction appeal of the nitro the resulting drink was better by far than anything we'd had downstairs-a slushy created without adding almost any ice and so perfectly rich.