Bartender Tony Conigliaro’s new beverage book, due in July, is “The Cocktail Lab,” and he’s not speaking figuratively. Among the equipment at his London-based Drink Factory consulting business are a centrifuge (to filter macerated liquids), a cold smoker and smoke gun, and a refractometer to measure exact alcohol levels. Not quite standard-issue bar gear. Conigliaro is a pioneer in so-called molecular mixology, but he’s got a lot of company these days as more bartenders work on elevating the art of the cocktail into a science.
Here’s a recipe adapted from one in Tony Conigliaro’s “The Cocktail Lab,” which looks at drinks in a whole new way.
Sweet broiled lemon margarita
- 5 Sicilian lemons
- Ice cubes
- 1 1/2 ounces reposado tequila
- 2/3 ounce triple sec liqueur
Slice the lemons in half, then arrange cut side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil at the center of the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the lemons are golden brown. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then juice the lemons into a bowl or 2-cup liquid measuring container. Using a mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth, strain the lemon juice into a blender. Blend for four 25-second bursts. Set aside.
Sprinkle a few tablespoons of sugar on a small plate. Use one of the squeezed lemon rinds to moisten the rim of a coupette or other suitable glass for a margarita. Overturn the glass into the sugar and gently move around to coat the rim. Refrigerate the glass until ready to fill.
To prepare the cocktail, in cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the tequila, 3/4 ounce of the broiled lemon juice and the triple sec. Shake well, then strain into the prepared glass.
Makes 1. Unused lemon juice can be refrigerated for several weeks.
Adapted from Tony Conigliaro’s “The Cocktail Lab”