Almanac

Contemporary urban cuisine, flavour centric cocktails and fine crafted events in Frankfurt

About this Almanac

We aim to constantly develop our cocktails as well as our beverage program thus emphasizing research & development. Transparency is a key aspect of our approach and this is almanac presents our ideas, recipes as well as failures. If you have any questions feel free to contact us.

ALMANAC

6174

6174, also known as Kaprekar’s constant is a number that keeps repeating itself through a specific subtraction. This property is reminiscent of the development of this cocktail and pomegranate. We worked with several flavours in order to create a pairing with Noilly Prat Ambre however we always kept coming back to pomegranate.

The original aim of 6174 was to create a mellow cocktail that resembles a Cosmopolitan or a Cosmopolitan 1934. Throughout the development process the pairing of pomegranate, apricot and Noilly Prat Ambre became a central element for this cocktail. We tried several variations incl aronia- and obviously cranberry but always circled back to pomegranate.

On an aromatic level the vermouth smoothers pomegranates top notes and apricot provides a fruity backdrop. In order to create a softer flavor profile as well as texture we reduced the astringency associated with pomegranate juice by turning 6174 into a milkpunch. This treatment highlighted fruity middle and top notes and put another emphasis on the pairing between Noilly Prat Ambre and pomegranate as well as most middle and top notes in general. Due to the general tranquility of Russian Standard Vodka originating in its winter wheat and glacial water it is an apt base for a sous vide infussion with frozen pomegranate. Van Nahem Apricot nectar convinced us with an unparalled intensity making it a perfect ingredient. In order to minimize the dilution we mix sugar and acid directly with the juice.

ALMANAC

MILKPUNCH

The foundation of a milkpunch is protein binding. A group of milk proteins can bind various antagonist. Flavor as well as other compounds form a soluble complex with the protein. If the pH is lowered to a level sour enough (about 4,6) the complex percipates. Filtration is thus removing the antagonist from the mixture and your milkpuch tastes different than the batched cocktail. Because of caseins rather generic binding properties a lot of flavor alternations can be made with a milkpunch all of which are based primarily on the composition of the cocktail. In general, phenolic and heavy base notes tend to be influenced more than volatile top notes or fruity esters.

The first question to be asked with regards to any milkpunch should be: Does it have to be a Milkpunch ?!

Additional dilution (because of the addition of milk) can be an unnecessary element for a lot of cocktails whilst filtration can be quite work intense. The ingredients involved should also be considered. Milk proteins bind several aromatic flavor elements including tannins which can result in diminishing flavor in case the phenolic compounds contribute to the cocktail in a positive manner. In order to avoid dilution, it is possible to work with casein powder instead of milk, however it doesn’t represent a vegan option since most casein sources are animal based. The source of protein can also be further debated. Milk protein can vary in its specific composition thus influencing its binding properties. This means that different milks can have varying aroma binding properties to a certain degree. All of this leads up to a single universal truth with regards to any milkpunch: Experimentation is key. If the flavor profile is off or undesired a change in the base recipe will most likely help. If desired bottom notes are partially filtered out (such as with Peanut Butter in Euler’s Identity) it might make sense to increase their amount in the base recipe or to lower the amount of milk used. A change of milk type can also help.

Our general approach to a milkpunch is that we use about 15 % (± 5) of whole milk with regards to the batched cocktail. We generally add milk as the last ingredient and don’t mind if the cocktail is still warm albeit not boiling hot.

If the milkpunch does not clarify completely it might be due to an incomplete filtration or there simply is not enough protein available. An increase of the milk amount can help, however would further dilute the cocktail.

Fine straining all ingredients before blending will ease the filtration afterwards.

The order of clarification also influences taste. In our experience milkpunch proportions which clarify faster than others tend to have a different flavor profile.

ALMANAC

42

42, “Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything”. True to the motto a Spritz fits at all times.

Our aim was to create a light and fruity variation of a vermouth spritz. A cocktail befitting of our terrace which can fit up to 200 people plus and most importantly can be carbonated in advance and tapped directly from a keg.

The general structure of the cocktail is that of a spritz. We work with Noilly Prat Rouge, Companion Sicilian Orange, Cordial & Wine. Our mixture of caramel, silver skin and a bit of acid mixture adds bottom notes and overall body. Strawberry enriches middle and top notes. As a matter of fact, 42 is all about strawberry. Each individual component of the drink is either infused with or made from strawberry. Noilly Prat Rouge and Companion Sicilian Orange are sous vide infused with frozen strawberries and later on clarified enzymatically. 

The basic recipe calls for 1kg of Strawberries to be infused sous vide with 1L of Companion (as well as Noilly Prat Rouge) for 90 minutes at 72°C. An important factor is the size of the strawberries. We generally add add frozen berries to the liquid and press the berries during the cooking a bit. A general guideline is that all of the strawberry flavor needs to be extracted meaning that if the post sous vide berries still feature a desirable flavor profile they can be either infused for an additional period of time or the size can be further reduced. The clarification of the sous vide products helps to highlight the strawberry top notes but also helps an efficient carbonation. We started to experiment with clarifying strawberry juice and wines but the easiest and best solution turned out to be Strawberry Juice and Wine by the Satower Mosterei.

We can make this drink either with Schweppes Soda omitting the Strawberry Juice or carbonate the entire drink and use it as a tapped cocktail. This depends on the demanded volume.

ALMANAC

CARBONATION

In order to ensure that we can properly carbonate and tap cocktails we focused on basic techniques which have been laid out by Jeffrey Morgenthal, Dave Arnold and other and recently presented by Two Schmucks.

As has been outlined before the main points of carbonation are clarified ingredients and an efficient set up. Our carbonation set up is regular a twostep process. In the first step a clarified cocktail is filled into an NC keg which is connected to a bottle of pure CO2 at a pressure of about 5 bar. The keg is the let to rest for at least 12 hours at the lowest possible temperature whilst being under constant CO2 atmosphere. The easiest set up to do this for us was to install a bottle, pressure reducer and line distributor in our cold store. With this set up we can carbonate three kegs at the same time.

Afterwards the kegs can be connected to the general draft system which operates at a lower pressure and be tapped. We also adjusted our general draft system in order to accommodate an additional pre carbonation opportunity. Our set up looks like this (see Picture to the left).

The benefit of an additional line @ 5 bar right next to the tapped cocktail is that a cocktail can also be decarbonated in case it became flat over time by exposing it to a higher-pressure CO2 environment.

ALMANAC

75

75 is an interpretation of a French 75.

Key is the pairing between kafir lime leaves and vanilla. It is a prime example of pairing kafir top notes and vanilla bottom notes that creates a prolonged flavor expression. Rhubarb adds middle notes and an explicit tartness that pairs well with bottom and top notes.

As base ingredient we use Bombay Sapphire which has been sous vide infused with vanilla and kafir. Whilst almost any setting will result in an intense kafir flavor the extraction of vanilla needs a higher temperature in our experience. 72°C and 90 minutes result in an efficient extraction of the vanilla flavor. The post sous vide vanilla remainders can be added to sugar which can extract the last remaining flavor which is still present in the vanilla pod.

Frambozen Rhubarb juice by Van Nahem is a fantastic ingredient and can be used by itself. Clarified Lime Juice balances the sweet & sour proportion and fits better with kafir lime leaves than lemon juice would. However, this drink could also be made with acid mixture.

Prince Salm featuring yeasty and mineral notes matches the overall composition thus creating a light, almost floral version of a classic and beloved aperitif.

We explicitly choose a low amount of Bombay Sapphire in this cocktail thus enforcing a lighter overall flavor profile befitting of an aperitif cocktail. An option in this cocktail would also be to incorporate an additional flavor component in the sugar syrup, however the overall flavor profile is in balance with the style of drink we wanted to create.

ALMANAC

FLAVOR

FLAVOR is an ecumenical language spoken by all of us. Its complex, beautiful yet easily understood. We adapted a separation of flavor into top, middle and bottom notes. Whilst it makes sense to base the definition on the length of the flavor perception, we also like to link them their perceived properties. Top notes tend to be volatile and sometimes even fragile in nature. Middle notes can be a bit more robust. Often times they can form the body of a flavor. Bottom notes are more robust and complex.

Top notes also tend to be more sensitive towards heat while bottom notes can withstand them the best. This however is a very broad statement with (probably many) exceptions.

A key aspect of flavor is that a pairing, a favorable combination of two or more aromas, can equal more than the sum of each individual component. It doesn’t compute and yet it works. As a matter of fact, it is the single key element of all Food and Drinks and thus our cocktails. Flavor parings have been extensively studied and analyzed. A great paper on how flavor pairings and cuisines work can be found here. Flavor pairings can be generic such as Tomatoes & Basil, Chocolate & Nuts or they can recombine ingredients in an unusual fashion thus creating curiosity and delight.

We find that in general a cocktail benefits from incorporating all three: Top-, middle- and bottom notes thus creating a complex sensory experience.

ALMANAC

1

1, represents the beginning. Whilst we don’t know how the menu will develop over time our vision is a focus on essential flavors, their extraction and most importantly their combination thus creating something new.

1 is our interpretation of a punch with a versatile ingredient paired with an aromatic counter flavor. Banana & Dill complement each other yet typically wouldn’t be paired together. Another essential aspect of this cocktail is flavor extraction. The dehydration process doesn’t destroy the flavor. As a matter of fact, additional flavor typically associated with bananas is created in the process. Think of banana bread. After baking fruity notes can seem a bit more oxidized or mellow however new aroma formed that is auxiliary to banana. Similar effects also take place with peanut butter and roasted nuts in general. Because of this effect – or the pure power of imagination we believe that dehydrating (seriously a lot of) bananas can result in an intense and unparalleled banana flavor. It is also easily extracted by a simple maceration at room temperature for 24 hours.

The remaining banana husks are used to create an oleo saccharum.

Dill with its rich top notes works as a perfect counter ingredient for a lot of fruits. It’s also interesting to note that it seems to be rather heat sensitive. Based on a Matt Whiley recipe we found that a longer maceration at room temperature will provide a better flavor profile than a sous vide extraction. Its flavor is also much better soluble in alcohol than it is in water.

Earl Grey tea eases everything up and creates the lighter touch of a punch cocktail. Lime Juice adds a kick of acidity. In general, our drinks tend to be sweet since we believe that acid kills a lot of flavor. Nonetheless this drink is an exception since the acidity adds just so much additional freshness without changing the flavor profile.

ALMANAC

10013

10013, a zip code and tribute to Soho NYC.

Is any cocktail menu nowadays complete without a Garibaldi? 10013 is composed as a complex yet easy aperitif cocktail.

We chose Companion Sicilian Orange for its mild and palatable bitter taste and intense orange flavor. Together with orange juice and sherbet it forms an incredibly fruity base

Aperol enriches convolution of the cocktail base.

In order to create and atypical twist wen decided to incorporate an additional flavor pairing. Pandan adds greatly to a bitter profile. A great article by Mixology summarizes various ways to use pandan in cocktails. As 10013 was heavy in bottom and middle notes we still lacked some delicate to notes.  A bit peculiar we settled on sage. It adds the top notes we want whilst culminating all the other flavors. Our source of sage is CO2 extracted essential oil, sourced from Vegaroma. CO2 extracts are harder to find but provide especially volatile and soft essential oils. This is by far the most intense and pure source of sage flavor we have ever tried. Vegaroma also certifies their essential oils for food consumption.

A foamy mouthfeel can be achieved by using a 1% Methylcellulose solution. This solution is also a basis for our foaming Mixture. Additional mouthfeel can be generated by adding gum arabicum in case it is needed.

ALMANAC

e^{i*Pi} + 1 = 0

e^{i*Pi} + 1 = 0, represent Euler’s Identity. A formula that sums three fundamentally important numbers and thus represents balance. Balance is also the fundamental aspect of all of our cocktails.

e^{i*Pi} + 1 = 0 was supposed to be a variation of a Japanese Cocktail. It’s most definitely not a Japanese Cocktail nowadays. In the beginning we opted for peanut butter instead of orgeat. Once you start working with peanut butter you just can stop. It pairs with everything. It is insanely fun to work with. We started to play with coconut and blueberries which quickly became substituted for raspberries due to its more intense top and middle notes.

This flavor combination just blends incredibly well. Bombay Sapphire, with its vapor infusion process pairs well with the fruity aroma of the cocktail and adds notes of juniper.

Our Coconut flavor consists of coconut milk as well as coconut water. Once we mixed the ingredients, we created a milkpunch due to the protein content in the coconut milk and the acidity of the raspberry cordial. The resulting punch is much lighter in its overall flavor profile yet still very rich.

The most interesting change occurs with the peanut butter. An overall shift highlighting the middle and top notes takes place as the milkpunch is formed. Few ingredients are as interesting in their relative change as peanut butter in this milkpunch. The pairing with coconut is also a key aspect of said change and an example of how choosing the protein source in a milkpunch influences flavor. The flavor transformation is so intense that the recipe had to be adjusted. We actually triple the amount of peanut butter infusion in the milkpunch in comparison to a regular cocktail.

Please keep in mind that our peanut butter infusion is already clear after being strained with a coffee filter. In this case it’s not about clarification.

Raspberry’s flavor profile also shifts with an emphasis on middle and top notes thus creating an overall lighter profile in the clarified punch. It also needs to be noted that the mashing of the raspberries improves the sous vide product tremendously.

We can’t talk about peanut butter as well as top notes in a cocktail without mentioning the Kinly Bar. Michele Heinrich was, to our best knowledge, the first bartender to re-distill peanut butter in a rotovap. The resulting produce is truly extraordinary and a prime example of an extraction of top notes. If you have the chance: The King Clear cocktail is a must try!

Another interesting aspect of e^{i*Pi} + 1 = 0 is that due to its silky texture it works as an even better dessert drink.

ALMANAC

40.72699, -73.99944

40.72699, -73.99944, are the GPS coordinates of Pegu Club. A legendary bar in SOHO, NYC in which the inspiration for the cocktail, the Old Cuban, originated.

The Old Cuban, one of the most iconic drinks of the 21st century originated at Pegu Club in Soho, New York. It was only befitting to create our own twist of this beloved cocktail. Our original aim was to pair mint without using fruit. After some experimentation the pairing of mint and green cardamom emerged. Mint’s iconic top notes pair very well with green cardamoms complex as well as pungent middle and bottom notes and results in an interesting piquancy.

The caramel recipe was developed by our kitchen team and aims for soft and interesting notes. Whilst caramel is formed new flavors are being created. The manner in which the caramel is produced heavily influences what type of flavor the caramel will have.

During the development of our Espresso with our Coffee Roaster Due Mani we came across silver skin. Initially the most inner layer, next to the coffee bean itself silver skin is a byproduct of the roasting process. Its flavor profile is somewhat unique due to the roasting process but can be described as sweet and funky. After all, it undergoes a complex series of reactions which can be attributed to Maillard just as the coffee bean itself. 

Caffè Due Mani have specific roasting profiles for each coffee they roast, aiming at a good degree of caramelization and the perfect balance between acidity and sweetness. This also benefits the silver skin. Because of its rich profile it pairs beautifully with our caramel and provides the cocktail with incredible complexity and yet does not overwhelm.

Mint is rightfully one of the most beloved (cocktail) ingredients. Its incorporation is as diverse as are extraction techniques in general. The flavor is somewhat delicate towards heat whilst also incredibly volatile. In a classic Old Cuban Mint leaves are simply shaken. Spheres filled with terpenes can be found on the mint surface and thus an easy flavor extraction can occur. The liquid does not need to penetrate the cell walls in order to extract flavor – it’s readily available at the surface. For simplicity a mint syrup based on blanched mint leaves can also have a nice overall aroma. Following Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s recipe we found a sequence of blanching mint at 90°C for 20 seconds and cooling it in an ice bath for 30 seconds the best sequence. Whilst the flavor profile is slightly different due to the exposure to heat the benefit of consistency and time by far outweighs the marginal flavor deterioration. The modern approach would be to use a rotary evaporator and extract all of the volatile flavors without exposing them to a high temperature. The resulting solution is light, delicate yet intense. Several bars have started to work with rotary evaporators and mint can be frequently found on menus. Kinly Bar’s Butterfly Mojito is a prime if not the example of mint flavor in pure essence.  Another low-tech approach towards a mint infusion would be to simply freeze the mint leaves over night with a spirit. The resulting flavor profile is light and intense.

In the end we still chose a different approach after having tried Vegaromas nana mint oil. Its flavor is so pure and strong whilst the ease of usage is second to none.

Bacardí Ocho was the original rum used in Audrey Saunders version. Some might argue that the spirit changed over the years. Nonetheless the light style and clarity of the Spanish style rum fit incredibly well with the flavors we incorporated. A high ester rum might not work the same way in this particular cocktail. Adding Noilly Prat Dry integrates subtle floral notes as well as notes of vermouth which balance the cocktail whilst creating a financial incentive. Schweppes Soda used even in small proportions provides a relatively high overall carbonation.

ALMANAC

MODERN FLAVOR EXTRACTION METHODS

A rotary evaporator is an incredible tool. It can extract delicate top notes from an infusion such as mint whilst also concentrate flavor by removing water. If you distill half the amount of water from orange juice the remaining liquid will concentrate most of the flavor and taste absolutely incredible whilst the distillate will have only slight notes of orange. The basis that determines which flavors distill (in a rotovap or a regular still) and which don’t is mainly the molecular mass of the flavor molecules and thus their volatility. An easy approximation of this is that if you can smell something it will probably distill. This does not take into account other aspects such as solubility and distillation fractions.

Using this fascinating device also takes time, certain know-how and of course a significant invest. Due to our size and limited (basically non existing) production space it was clear what incorporating a rotovap would be logistically challenging.

Meanwhile we were always keen on experimenting with other methods of flavor extraction. Ultrasound is still on our to do list, microwave extraction a dream but supercritical CO2 extraction has been an interest for years. Nowadays supercritical CO2 extraction might be known from products such as Hepple Gin but it was widely used for flavor extraction long before in other industries. The beauty of this approach is firstly that it produces a solvent free oil and secondly that it offers a different manner of flavor separation than distillation. The basis are the properties of a supercritical gas. At a temperature over 31°C and 74 bar COreaches a “critical” state in which it can easily penetrate various substances and has great solvent properties. This means it can reach flavor molecules easily within cells and readily extract them. Volatility is not necessarily a limit for this state enabling it to extract flavors distillation can’t. Another interesting aspect is that the solubility varies with applied pressure implying that various subsets of flavor could be extracted.

Because of the technical demands in order to reach a supercritical state its usage is rare in our industry. However, there are some exceptions. Vegaromas essential oils are certified for usage in Food & Beverage. They feature extracts, distilled oils (which can be a great substitution for sous vide and rotovap ingredients) and also CO2 extracts. Comparing their products based on extraction technique reveals incredible differences. The gas products are more opulent in middle and top notes whilst some flavors (such as juniper, sage, oregano and lemon balm) are simply unparalleled.

Not all flavor components of the essential oils are soluble in ethanol or water. Most likely alcohol will be a much better solvent for the extracted flavor molecules than water. The dosage of the oils needs to be precise though. Droplets vary enormously in size. Sometimes it can help to dissolve the essential oil in a neutral plant oil first and wash the spirit of choice with it rather than directly add the essential oil. This enables the essential oil to be solved in a carrier medium and thus increases the surface area benefitting the exchange between the Medium and the oil. An approach like this has been described in modernist cuisine.

ALMANAC

23

The number 23 has various interpretations this cocktail is a clear dedication to the GOAT. 

A punch cocktail that has its foundation in the interplay of three key ingredients that create a complex layer of bottom, middle and top notes. It also combines rich aromatic notes, freshness and fruit. 

Tonka bean was chosen as a provider of distinctive middle and bottom notes. Due to its relatively good solubility in water, we can simply use a tonka syrup in order to extract the flavor. Another benefit is that the flavor is resilient when exposed to temperature. Raspberry and tonka form a solid basis in which raspberry provides the fruity middle notes whilst also enhancing top notes. clarification of the cordial using modern fining agents of the sous vide infusion adds clarity to the product whilst leaving more middle notes than a milk or casein clarification probably would.

The fact that we smash the raspberries with a blender before we infuse sous vide adds additional flavor intensity. This is beneficial for the tonka pairing. Bombay Sapphires well balanced and mellifluous profile also befits this combination. Kafir leaves add an intense freshness and a wealth of top notes that connect with raspberry and tonka bean. Earl Grey tea eases the flavors and creates a typical punch feeling. For us it is important to brew it more intensely than in a regular tea whilst also using the specified brewing time in order to avoid bitterness and astringency. 

It can be debated whether this cocktail needs to be clarified or not. After all a clover club is a classic gin cocktail with the opposite mouth feel. As a matter of fact, 23 and the clover club have very different raspberry flavors. Because of the clarification the fruit flavor in 23 is much crisper and clearer thus making the entire drink lighter in its feel. It’s reminiscent of a raspberry eau de vie whilst a clover club is a bit heavier and works incredibly well with a foamy egg white texture.

ALMANAC

CLARIFICATION

This entry has been kindly sponsored by Russian Standard Vodka. 

Clarification in cocktails can be beneficial in several aspects. Obviously, the optics. A clarified or clear version of a commonly known ingredient can add an element of surprise and thus emphasize the entire experience. Another aspect is the improvement of shelf life which typically increases as an ingredient or cocktail is clarified. Lastly the clarification can also benefit or shift the perceived flavor of an ingredient. See cocktails 23, e^{i*Pi} + 1 = 0 or 6174

Numerous methods such as milkpunch, agar-agar, egg whites, enzymatic clarification or even distillation (to some extent) have been adopted and used in recent years in order to achieve clarification. Each method has advantages and can be adopted. Some will be more aggressive with regards to flavor subtraction than others. Fining agents have been studied well and quite a lot of information is generally available. We experimented with several fining agents and found the most promising recipe being the combination of pectinase and the mineral bentonite.  

Enzymatic clarification is a multi-step process that results in a clarified liquid. The general procedure is the combination of several fining agents starting with a pectinase and adding precipitants such as bentonite later on. 

Pectin has gelling properties and can bind various suspended matter thus making the liquid hard to clarify. Breaking up the network pectin forms is a key task for clarification. In order to achieve this task, we add various pectinases as a first step in this enzymatic clarification. We were kindly provided with industry level enzymes by Erbsloeh. The experiments described below potentially could also work with other products however Erbsloeh products are the gold standard and in case of the clarified lime juice simply unexchangeable. 

An enzyme is an incredible tool from nature which facilitates reactions which would otherwise simply not happen. Temperature and the pH level are the most important factors for enzyme such as pectinase. The pH level of lemon or lime juice is so low that a non-optimized pectinase for low pH levels would not be able to separate the pectin network. If left in a fridge an enzyme will most likely work slower than at room temperature. These are factors that to be considered when discussing recipes and approaches. The dosage of enzymes which need to be added to the to be clarified liquid is incredibly hard to judge and besides the work time most likely the key reason why pectinase would not work. The base amounts provided for the enzymes are based upon industry sizes. An amount of 100L might be mixed with just 8 ml of an enzyme. This would mean that the appropriate amount for a single Liter would be 0,08 ml. With an appropriate pipette it is possible to dose these amounts however it proves to be quite hard to distribute such a small volume appropriately to (in comparison) such a high volume of liquids. A key to this is to use a blender when distributing the pectinase in the liquid. Only through proper mixing has the pectinase a chance to access and split all of the pectin network that binds the turbid substances together. A higher dosage of enzymes has the benefit of ensuring proper enzyme distribution whilst obviously being able to process more pectin in a given amount of time.  

Erbsloeh provided us with three different pectinases. Whilst we are still experimenting, and the process is ongoing we can confirm that the various enzymes have different effects. It is only with Citrolase TF Clear that a citrus juice can be clarified. 

The usual dosage we would use is about 0,1 ml per L of liquid. We found that it is best to let the enzymes work at least overnight. Cool temperatures might slow the down breaking of the pectin. After the application of pectinase for a period of time percipients should start to be visible in the liquid. In some cases, they will not be directly visible though. 

After the application of pectinase, the resulting liquid will most likely still be cloudy. It needs another step to bind all of the particles, remove it and thus produce the clarified liquid.  

The key next step is the usage of a mineral called bentonite. Bentonite can bind different antagonists including proteins. Enzymes are proteins. This is why bentonite stops and removes pectinase and the addition of bentonite needs to happen after the pectinase had the appropriate time to dismantle the pectin network. In our experience it is the most versatile fining agent we have encountered. Bentonite is well studied and understood. It has been used as a fining agent extensively in wine making. Again, we were kindly provided by Erbsloeh with their industry level bentonite. We create a 1:10 solution of bentonite and water by constantly stirring the solution for as long as possible. A magnetic stirrer works great for this task however a blender could also be used. It is crucial to create a homogenous solution of bentonite and water. This solution can also be stored and used several times. Over time water might settle on top of a thick mass on hydrated bentonite. The water can be discarded, and the remaining mass used. We achieved the best results by using about 50 to 100g of hydrated bentonite or bentonite solution per Liter of liquid. Bentonite needs to be stirred into the liquid as well ensuring it can bind all of the percipients. After several hour or overnight residue starts to settle and the clarified liquid can be separated. An observable separation is not necessary in all cases though in order to filter the liquid. In some cases, such as lime or lemon juice we also add 2ml of Kieselsol per Liter of liquid as an additional fining agent. 

The last step in this clarification is filtration. In some cases, the filtration might be so efficient that clear liquid can just be siphoned with a syringe. In most cases though some kind of filtration is necessary. Typically, it is worth it to apply fine mesh filters first in order to exclude the coarsest residues. A follow up or combination with a straining cloth can lead to a clear liquid in some cases. In the remaining cases filtration with coffee or other filters such as superbags should be able to produce a clear liquid. In case the liquid is still not clear after the application of coffee filters an adjustment to the fining agents might be inevitable for the desired result. Solutions might be more pectinase and/or bentonite. 

Whether a clarification using pectinase & bentonite is better or more feasible is a complex debate. Some factors need to be considered starting with the desired flavor profile. Whilst in the case of 23 the flavors benefit from the treatment it does not matter as much in the case of pear juice which we clarify using agar. The practical aspect is that once the setup for the stirring has been optimized the filtration should be easier using pectinase & bentonite.  

ALMANAC

~1941

~1941 is a reference towards the Moscow Mule. A cocktail whose origins still haven’t been completely uncovered but was supposedly create some time around 1941.

From the onset we wanted to create a mule cocktail for our menu. Horseradish provides top notes and a pungent kick that most people would associate with ginger beer. The masking of the sharpness with ORGANICS Ginger Beer is how we can make horseradish a palatable ingredient for most customers. Fermenting the horseradish follows the guidelines of the Noma Guide to Fermentation for LAB fermentations. We used 2% salt without a brine for 5 days at room temperature. An overnight maceration of the fermented horseradish with Russian Standard Vodka is enough to extract the flavor. The fermentation adds an indistinctive layer of flavor that enriches the flavor. 

Baking provides toasted flavors which add bottom notes of 1941 whilst the extensive usage of pear provides the middle and some top notes to this cocktail. Van Nahem juice is used due to the intense pear flavor and constant quality. 

All in all this is a distinctive and complex drink whilst also being palatable. 

ALMANAC

i

The number i is a bit of a rule breaker. So is this cocktail which has been based on the coronation cocktail. 

Our onset was to create a cocktail heavy in fortified wine whilst also adding just a bit of a twist and subtle fruit notes. This cocktail is different from all of our signature drinks. The flavors are more subtle and reminiscent of a wine that would accompany a desert. 

The basis of this drink is the blend of Noilly Prat Dry, Gonzalez Byass Oloroso and Fino Sherry. A combination that plays with the vermouth as a base and adds oxidative and nutty notes from the sherry. In order to add a fruity note and to break up the dry structure without interrupting the fortified wine blend we decided to add pear and agave syrup. Van Nahem pear juice has been clarified enhancing top notes of pear whilst agave and pear bits have been fermented. The fermentation is a type of LAB fermentation that has been adopted from the Connaught Hotel Bars recipe for their Flint cocktail melon brine.

ALMANAC

0

0, is due a name attributed to the nonalcoholic nature of the cocktail. However various spirits can also be added to this cocktail making it as variable as the number 0.

The key pairing being present in this cocktail is the dynamic between blueberries and dill. Reminiscent of the 1 dill’s top notes again pair well with blue berries. The amount of dill processed for a syrup is much higher than with alcohol due to the fact that the flavor extraction works much better with alcohol than with water.  

Due to the fact that this is designed as a nonalcoholic cocktail we need to talk about body and texture. Alcohol usually adds both and we wanted to create a nonalcoholic drink that does not lack these properties. The texture element is enhanced due to the fact that we adopted a milkpunch recipe. The silkiness is present in any milkpunch and it thus doesn’t matter whether it is with alcohol or without. Buttermilk is actually hard to clarify but also adds a heavier mouthfeel if combined with milk in this milkpunch. Ginger & Matcha add almost botanical like notes which add up to the body of the nonalcoholic cocktail. Especially the subtraction of polyphenols through casein mimics the effect a distillation might have on botanicals. All of these effects combined help to create the blueprint of a nonalcoholic milkpunch with interesting texture and body. 

ALMANAC

COST CALCULATION

Cost Calculation is key for effective planning. Amongst other tools we developed a spread sheet which makes it relatively easy to calculate costs. Especially homemade ingredients. Attached is a “clean” version with a sample.

Calculation file includes 4 separate sheets:

  • Prices. Its relatively straight forward. We always base it on either kg or Liters. With regards to spirits we added reimbursement and a discount feature. All prices are assumed to be net prices.
  • Ingredients. This is where you can enter your recipes and calculate the L price of your ingredient. Within the column B (net Price) is a search function that looks for the term in column A in all column A lines of prices. In order for this to work all the names must match incl empty spaces. In case a name doesn’t match there will be an error message (#NV). The benefit of this is that you don’t need to link cells. You can just type in what you need and it should find all of the prices etc.

You need to know the resulting amount of your ingredients in order to calculate the L price. For example with Simple Syrup we assume that 1kg of sugar and 1L of water will yield about 1.4L of syrup. You also need to adjust the sum in column B next to the ingredient.

 

If you want to calculate a new Ingredients and use an ingredient you have calculated before (such as the strawberry simple) you need to write the new ingredient below the old ingredient and adjust the search function. Not how B8 searches within ingredients whilst the others search in prices. 

  • Recipes follows a similar pattern as Ingredients. Again you can always copy and paste the formulas in B as long as you watch where a price needs to be searched. E.g. The price for Lime Juice is in Ingredients while the price for White Rum is in Prices.
  • Calculation. Net Cost is searched in Recipes. Columns C&D are a wish Cost of Sales and a resulting price suggestion. Column E is the resulting Sales Price. Sales prices include VAT (Column J). F&G are based on your defined Sales Price thus E. H is kind f meaningless since this is a menu and not weighted. J is a VAT.
ALMANAC

ABOUT OUR MENU

It is almost impossible to communicate flavor adequately. Because of this in our opinion the concept of a cocktail menu is imperfect by design. Nonetheless we wanted to create a structure that transports the most information about a cocktail in an intuitive manner whilst forcing communication between the guest and the staff.

Our first major influence were the graphics from Sasha Petraske’s Book Regarding Cocktails. They represent glassware, proportions and basic elements of a cocktail thus giving the reader a clear understanding of the DNA of a cocktail. This is something we wanted to communicate as well since almost all of our cocktails follow the basic proportion of other cocktails. This is a very technical and precise display of the contents of the cocktail. However, we also define our cocktails as flavor centric. Because of this we wanted to incorporate the key flavors and the way we view them in our menu.

Flavors are hard to quantify and structure which is why we chose to work with brush strokes that are irregular compared to the other design. The pastel coloring and the brush strokes have been inspired by Remy Savage. The general size of a flavor descriptor is supposed to roughly correlate with the intensity of flavor in the drink. The individual perception of flavor is why the brush strokes are somewhat irregular.

Due to the resulting and overwhelming amount of information we try to communicate with this design the cocktail menu (hopefully) achieves its intended goal: Direct communication between the customer and the staff. Whilst much information can be deducted from the design a personal communication is always key.

Our names are also a part of the strategy to force Whilst some numbers have a relationship with the specific cocktail such as »1941 or naming a French 75 riff 75 some are frankly jokes. No customer can pronounce e^{i*Pi} + 1 = 0 or 40.72699, -73.99944. This gives the staff the opportunity to directly communicate with the customer about his drink selection

Reservierung

Tisch buchen

Reserviert Euren Tisch im SOHO FRANKFURT und genießt die Gerichte unseres Restaurants inmitten der Frankfurter Innenstadt