This bracing cocktail from Booker and Dax balances sweet and sour, with crisp rum playing home to bright Thai basil.
'Dave Arnold' on Serious Eats
When I hear that a bar or restaurant is using things like liquid nitrogen and centrifuges, my immediate reaction is to roll my eyes and think "gimmick." But to think that of Booker & Dax would be judging too soon. Despite their use of high-tech equipment, they remain a bar completely grounded in quality ingredients, balanced flavors, and a healthy respect for the classics. As Dave says, he's not into the "shotgun" style of bartending—that is, mixing a dozen different ingredients together—you're far more likely to find two to four ingredients cocktails at Booker & Dax. For him, technology is much more about purifying flavors and speeding up work flow than fancy special effects (of course, you get a bit of that too).
I've always been a big fan of Dave Arnold, the French Culinary Institute instructor/cook/mad scientist/artist who's been a major player in the modern technology-driven food movement for at least a decade or so. His writings in his Cooking Issues blog on cocktails have been especially intriguing, tackling the science of ice, dilution, chilling, flavor concentration, and shaking like no other mixologist on the planet.