I’ve heard of molecular gastronomy before and I find it so interesting! On the cooking show Chopped, some of the chefs use this technique minimally to make foams or thicken sauces. I like both the visual and practical uses of it. The first recipe that caught my eye were these carbonated mojito spheres. I think the mixology industry could really use molecular gastronomy to their advantage since there are so many ways to present beverages other than a homogenous liquid.
The main process to make these treats is called reverse spherification. You need a sodium alginate bath and a liquid with a high calcium content. The bath is made by simply blending together water and sodium alginate. It is likely that unwanted air bubbles will form during this process, so the bath needs to sit in the fridge overnight so they can settle out. The liquid that will undergo spherification does not have to have a naturally high calcium content because Calcium Lactate Gluconate will be added to ensure it is high. This liquid needs to be mixed well and have a high enough viscosity for it to stay intact when it comes in contact with the alginate bath. It also needs to sit overnight so air bubbles do not show up in the final product, making it cloudy.
For the mojito spheres you will need:
– 12 mint leaves
– 170 g (6 oz) white rum
– 170 g (6 oz) lime juice
– 128 g (4 ½ oz) water
– 6 tbsp white sugar
– lime zest
– small mint leaves to decorate
– 4.7 g Calcium Lactate Gluconate
– 0.8 g Xanthan
– sodium alginate bath (1000g water + 5g alginate)
Make the alginate bath first so it has time to sit overnight. To make the mojito juice, mix together crushed mint leaves, lime, sugar, rum, and water thoroughly. Put mixture through a sieve so it is smooth and mix about half of the mojito with Calcium Lactate Gluconate. Add the Xanthan and let it absorb for one minute before using an immersion blended to make smooth. Place mixture in the fridge overnight to release any air bubbles.
The next day pull out the alginate bath and both portions of mojito. Use reverse spherification with the calcium portion of liquid measuring each to be about one tablespoon. Do not let the spheres touch or they will stick together. Place the finished spheres in a bowl of the leftover mojito mixture once they are formed. To carbonate the spheres, place them in an ISI whip container with the extra mojito liquid. Charge the container with CO2 and let cool in the fridge for a few hours. Let all the gas out of the canister before opening and serve the carbonated spheres with lime zest and mint leaves as a garnish.