Thursday, May 2, 2013

Bubble: Liquid nitrogen-infused drinks?

UPDATE: A publicist said the drinks would not be served when the place was "busy" but couldn't elaborate.

Bubble Charlotte is getting close to opening at the EpiCentre, and a press release today trumpets its "N-Tini" as "the most unique cocktail launched in the Queen City." This is a cocktail "infused with liquid nitrogen ... truly a one-of-a-kind cocktail surrounded by a seductive cloud."

The problem is that it requires care not only by the maker but by the drinker, who must wait for the nitrogen to evaporate before consuming the drink or risk freezing tissue or the sudden expansion of the nitrogen into gas. You may recall the story last October of a British 18-year-old who was seriously injured (she had emergency surgery removing part of her stomach, according to ABC News), apparently by not waiting for the nitrogen to evaporate before drinking.

At the time, ABC News quoted Dave Arnold, the French Culinary Institute's head of culinary technology, and also head of cocktails at Booker and Dax bar at Momofuko in New York, saying "It's like anything in life. If it is used improperly, there are hazards." Also quoted: The editor of Bartending Magazine, who said: "Anything that is the least bit hazardous does not belong in the bar... This nitrogen cocktail; it's ridiculous."

Paul Malcolm, on faculty at Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, said today, "There's the wow factor. Then there's the burn-the-lining-of-your-esophagus factor... How could you monitor (the drinker) on a bar that's busy on a Saturday night?"

J&W recently did Modernist cooking education with "Modernist Cuisine" co-author Chris Young, and everyone had to take a safety course beforehand. "Maybe if anyone drinking it had to get a quick OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) certification," said Malcolm, "that would be the way to do it."

Below is the press release:


Anonymous said...

Risk serious injury for a gimmick? This is bound to be a huge success among Charlotte's young chic population. If Bubble had stock, I'd go all in.