My Favorite New (Non) Cocktail
Of all the cocktails I've tried so far this fall, the most memorable (perhaps because of its magical brain-cell-preserving qualities) is one I just had in Tokyo. It's called The Emperor's New Mojito, and it was created by chef Jeff Ramsey at Tapas Molecular Bar in Tokyo's Mandarin Oriental.
His Emperor's New Mojito is not technically a cocktail, or even a beverage; nor is it a food item, really. I guess it's not, technically, anything at all. But it's pretty labor-intensive, and here's how Ramsey made it the other night:
First, his bar-back spent about 60 seconds vigorously shaking up the ingredients in a cocktail shaker, then elegantly poured the drink into each guest's glass—except no visible liquid came out of the shaker. Ramsey then told our crew of confused guests to pick up our glasses and "be careful not to spill." The glasses looked completely empty, except for the metal straw sticking out of each. Ramsey instructed us to sip from our straws, at which point I felt a small capsule that tasted like a mojito shoot up and into my mouth. It was startling—and tasty, in a minty-rummy mojito sort of way. But the entire drink lasted a split second, and then it was finished.
For some reason that's tough (and possibly too lewd) to explain, this was incredibly funny—so much so that the entire row of guests at Ramsey's counter laughed for about five straight minutes afterwards, and we weren't even drunk.