Without a doubt, the carbonated cocktail is here. While there is no doubt that soon -- very soon -- we'll see the technique get pushed to some dreadful places, for the moment, this method is adding some fun twists to classic drinks.
At Spoonbar in Sonoma, bar manager Cappy Sorentino has been carbonating everything from berries used in garnishes (they're a little like fermented fruit) to French 75's to make them extra bubbly. The effect the carbon dioxide has on drinks like the The Carbonated Corpse Reviver #2 ($9.50, St. George Dry Rye Gin, Cocchi Americano, Cointreau, lemon, St. George Absinthe Verte), shows how effectively carbonation makes the drink immediately more aromatic (and one of the best versions of this drink around). The real standout of the menu was the Carbonated Sidewinder's Fang ($10.50, Appleton Estate Reserve Rum, El Dorado 8 year Rum, lime, passion fruit, orange).
The Sidewinder's Fang, a classic tiki drink that was the signature cocktail of the Lanai in San Mateo, is significantly improved by carbonation. While the original recipe included a full three ounces of club soda to add bubbles, Sorentino's version keeps the flavors vibrant without over-dilution. With the afternoon heat coming in through the bar windows and a Sidewinder's Fang in your hand, you have an instant vacation a few hours drive north.
Carbonated Sidewinder's Fang
1 oz. Appleton Estate Reserve Rum
1 oz. El Dorado 8 year Rum
1 oz. Lime juice
1 oz. Passion fruit puree
3/4 oz. Simple (1-1 ratio) syrup
1 oz. Orange juice
Mix all ingredients and carbonate, serve in a Collins glass with ice.
Spoonbar at the H2hotel, 219 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, (707) 433-7222