Molecular Mixology - UltraSonic Homogeniser
Updated: Mar 29
Although the phrase ‘Molecular Mixology’ has been highly used & misused in the last 6 years it seems like the trend isn’t going anywhere as bartenders from all over the world have been trying to get their hands of centrifuges, rotavaps & even more rarely The PolyScience Sonicprep ultrasonic homogenizer. Having previously worked with a centrifuge & a rotovap on our travels with Cocktails For You it was the ‘Sonicprep’ that was always out of our reach. Problem is will all this scientific equipment is understanding how to use it properly as well as the return on investment on the equipment in your bar.
What is an Ultrasonic Homogenizer & how can we use it in cocktails? The premise is simple - An Ultrasonic homogenizer is a piece of laboratory or industrial equipment used for the homogenization of various types of material, such as tissue, plant, food, soil, and many others using ultrasound. The question arises is why is this useful in cocktails & how can we actually use it effectively in our bar programs. Essentially the only piece of equipment that is marketed towards cocktail bars is the Polysciecne Sonicprep we linked to above.
According to them this is the description: In any low-to medium-viscosity liquid, the probe tip releases rapid, high-frequency ultrasonic vibration waves that expand and collapse microscopic bubbles at 20,000 cycle per second. The process takes just 2-3 minutes and generates only insignificant amounts of heat, preserving vivid colors, aromas and nutrients, while producing rounder and smoother overall flavors. Stable Emulsions: create a very fine suspension of liquids that don't mix (vinaigrette) without using an emulsifying agent.
Aging calvados with wood chips in less than 2 minutes with a flavor effect that would usually take 2 years.
Degas and homogenize wine: wine treated for 1-2 minutes will appear with a much fuller and rounder mouth feel.
Infusions and extractions: volatile aromas of fresh herbs or spices can be quickly infused into a liquid, such as a cocktail.
Intensifying fruit or vegetable pulp for sauces and purée by cell disruption
Tenderizing and marinating meat
Intensify stocks: apply Sonicprep™ to shrimp stock and achieve more intense flavor without overcooking the delicate protein.
$4,999.99 per unit. So for something that is the size of a small child what is the point of getting one for infusions? Absolutely none, however, what if I told you that you can achieve very similar results for at little as $100 The Ghetto-Ultrasonic-Prep Thats one hell of a a super machine that can do everything right? So whats the actual catch? The price for one of these bad boys is a fantastic In a recent seminar from international bartender Remy Savage of Artesian in London he had mentioned that one of his ethos is that cocktails should be accessible. Although he has access to some of the best equipment in the business it is specifically something like the Sonicprep that is definitely more accessible that we think it is. His trick he would use at home is something that's been under our noses ALL ALONG.
The Ultrasonic Cleaner: Ultrasonic cleaners are used to clean many different types of objects, including jewelry, lenses and other optical parts, watches, dental and surgical instruments, tools, coins, fountain pens, golf clubs, fishing reels, window blinds, firearms, car fuel injectors, musical instruments, gramophone records, industrial parts and electronic equipment. They are used in many jewelry workshops, watchmakers' establishments, and electronic repair workshops. The one pictured above can hold 500ml of liquid & works at 40kHz which happens to be twice as strong to the Sonicprep. That being said it is a bath & would require your liquid to be in a vacuum bag to be used correctly so there is that additional cost to the business. The entire bath will be hit with ultrasound that would travel through the vacuum bag into the your liquid providing the same benefits as the Sonicprep. All the benefits but none of the $5,000.00 price tag! Get mixing!