*notcot in food+drink , 15:22

Cointreau Pearls- 07.09.08

cointreaumain.jpgMolecular Gastronomy is one of those things that mixes design, science, and food/drinks so nicely, i’ve been fascinated with the concept for ages… and as i learned more, Molecular Mixology has become even more of a fascination! So when i got a press release about Xavier Herit’s new take on the Cointreau Pearls, it launched me off on a research mission across the web, finding out more about the creation of Cointreau Pearls across the world, the special kit they produced just for bartenders, videos of it in action, and lots more images on the next page to catch you up on my finds! Above you are seeing a close up of Xavier’s Cointreau Pearls in which he infused strawberry, and he serves them alongside Margaritas, and also floating in glasses of champagne.

P.S. Now, if only i could get Cointreau to teach me how to do it! It’s so tempting to start up a crazy lab/bar and start experimenting with all of these new techniques… perhaps a future project for the newly named NOTLabs?

For background - here are some pics i found at the Cointreau news page - “Caviar of Cointreau” 04/17/08

Cointreau invents, surprises and tickles your taste buds with a bracing cocktail based on the arcane but delicious technology of molecular mixology…


Taking inspiration from the work of Adrià Ferran, the legendary chef of the famous restaurant El Bulli and a master of molecular gastronomy, the research teams at Cointreau, always at the cutting edge of innovation in the bartending world, sought to develop a simple technical process for turning Cointreau into solid spheres. In order to do so, they contacted Fernando Castellon, an expert mixologist renowned among bartending professionals. After several months of research and hundreds of trials to fine-tune the best formula for turning Cointreau from a liquid to a solid state, Cointreau’s team managed to obtain perfect, delightfully iridescent pearls of Cointreau which burst into life in one’s mouth in a symphony of delicious flavours.

Named “Cointreau caviar”, the new product, which was first launched in Paris where it was presented to the greatest bartenders, took New York by storm, delighting the best barmen there. The next stop was London, Europe’s cocktail capital.

This whole post which has me exploring Cointreau Pearls all over the web started from an email i received with the following two pics from the introduction of these pearls to NY in feb 08.

Here we have “DANIEL head bartender Xavier Herit was one of the mixologists introduced to the Cointreau Caviar program and he has taken the tools of the molecular kit to create his own unique interpretation of the process. The result, which debuted on DANIEL’s cocktail menu June 18th, 2008, is the delicious ‘Strawberry & Pearls’ cocktail, a Strawberry Margarita served with strawberry-infused Cointreau Caviar Pearls - a truly unique Cointreau experience.”


Strawberry & Pearls Recipe
Courtesy of Xavier Herit, head bartender at DANIEL

Makes 1 Margarita
1oz Cointreau
2oz premium tequila
½ oz fresh lime juice
2 fresh strawberries
1 tsp brown sugar
Strawberry-infused Cointreau Caviar pearls

Inside a shaker top, muddle two strawberries, brown sugar, and fresh lime juice together. Add the Cointreau and the tequila.

Shake all the ingredients together with ice and strain into a Riedel malt glass.

Place Cointreau & Strawberry pearls in a small china cup. Serve with a spoon.
Pearls should be enjoyed as a gustative experience while drinking the cocktail.

Here they are floating about in champagne…

Next i found these images at Zimbio showing the Cointreau Launch’Cointreau Caviar’ in London! Here is the “Cocktail futurist Fernando Castellon in Millbank Tower’s Altitude studio on April 28, 2008 in London, England. Cointreau’s global brand ambasador Richard Lambert has created a technique turning Cointreau from a liquid into a solid, in the form of iridescent pearls of Cointreau ‘cavier’ containg 24-carot gold flakes.”




NYMag also has a piece on the introduction of these pearls to NY ~ as does the NYTimes!

And perhaps one of the most exciting of all was finding this Photoset on Flickr by Donbert of Cointreau Spherification which actually shows the kit itself!

Here is a video i found on youtube of the launch as well!

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11 Notes

Does anyone know where i can find this kit or a any kit for this process in the US?
I have only found spanish sites/

----- g sus 28.02.09 11:26

just for another quick couple of points.

for one, yes please lets forget marcel from top chef, the guy could even use isomalt properly, so please forget him and stop glorifying a bunch of spotlight chefs would you!

And whoever said that this is not like tapioca is very much mislead, it seems that you have only read about sodium alginate and not actually worked with it. It only keeps the caviar “pop” for at the very most and hour at room temperature. The second you plunge it into a cold liquid like a cocktail the hydrocolloid structure seizes like jello in the fridge. Alginate does not work as perfectly as you may believe it does so the end result when somebody consumes the balls is very much similar to that of tapioca, the difference is the same difference between newtonian and non-newtonian substances, and that is the initial bite from shear force.

----- Dean 04.12.08 22:41

wow, way to make a fuss over something pastry chefs have been doing for over a decade. How much does that set up cost you, with the brief case and all, when all you need is a squeeze bottle a couple of bowls and about 5 dollars worth of sodium alginate and 1 dollar worth of calcium lactate.

I guess we won’t see bartenders using agar agar or crystallized sugar for the same effect for five to ten more years, unless flairhouse has something to do with it.

----- Dean 04.12.08 22:33

hi everyone..
can someone can me this recipes or show me how to do it please?
i would like to learn how to do this fantistic stuff

----- marvin 02.10.08 10:42

Where can I get a kit???? Can’t find even a similar product available. If you know of any would you be so kind as to let me know.



----- Tiki 21.08.08 10:14

How do place an order?

----- Stuart Dowlen 15.07.08 17:15

i think wylie dufresne of wd-50 in new york does something similar with grape juice. and let’s not forget marcel on top chef with his coffee caviar. nevertheless, it’s still mesmerizing. how i’d love to try one.

----- Becky 13.07.08 17:44

Molly ~ bubble tea is tapioca, and those are solid gelatiny feeling balls ~ the Spherification is more like creating a coating around the balls of liquid that can burst in your mouth! Like caviar!

----- jean/NOTCOT 09.07.08 19:54

Hey, I’ve seen these before: they were called Bubbletea!

Or maybe that was just the Wal-Mart knockoff..

----- Molly Ren 09.07.08 19:32

ooooo. i wanna try!!

----- sarah 09.07.08 18:35

This technique is a fairly well known in molecular gastronomy circles. Ferran Adria, chef and owner of El Bulli in Spain, is the mad genius behind many of these incarnations of food items in surprising forms and textures.

----- dbx 09.07.08 16:54

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