Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Max Messier launches cocktail lab pop-up at Root Squared

Posted By on Tue, Jun 10, 2014 at 2:48 PM

click to enlarge Max Messier crafts exotic drinks at Root Squared. - SHANNON STURGIS
  • Shannon Sturgis
  • Max Messier crafts exotic drinks at Root Squared.


Root Squared’s bar manager Max Messier launches a weekly cocktail series tonight at 7 p.m. He calls the pop-up drinks lab “This Might Work…” and it's designed to share his cocktail experiments with flavors, textures and methods.

“It’s a trial run,” Messier says. “I’m definitely looking for feedback.”

Some of tonight’s cocktails will showcase molecular mixology. Messier will use liquid nitrogen to freeze cocktails into fog-making slushes and to create steamy ice cubes (he’ll place one such cube in a glass of Japanese whiskey, which also could be paired with a short rib dish on chef Phillip Lopez’s tasting menu).
Gimme Three Steps is a white wine spritzer made with pea puree, bianco vermouth and honey and topped with club soda. It might go with a salad downstairs at Square Root.

Other drinks on tonight’s list reflect Messier’s interest in exotic spices — ask him to build a sipper with his dragon fruit shrub, Moroccan spice syrup or Chinese black tea concentrate. He also explores alternative ingredients: for his Desert Fox, Messier crushed local chardonnay grapes and will use the must (skins, seeds, juice) as the acid in a gin, vermouth and cinnamon-spiced cocktail.

For the Urban Achiever, he combined vodka with milk, added citric acid to curdle the fat, then strained out the fat. The milk-washed vodka has a creamy mouthfeel but is clear, he says. He’ll add it to sweet vermouth and vanilla bean syrup and serve it over crushed ice with a drizzle of St. George coffee liqueur — a variation on a White Russian.

All drinks featured in “This Might Work…” are $6.

The fleeting nature of pop-ups and use of seasonal ingredients mean that some drinks he creates during the Tuesday cocktail labs might be singular tastings.

“This may be the only chance to get to actually try one of them,” he says.

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