SeanChron | Cocktail Catalyst

5.27.12. "Fabulous" is the only way you can describe a visit to The Chandelier bar at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. What could be more over the top than sitting in a three-story chandelier made of Swarovski crystals.

I was initially reluctant to go to Chandelier in fear that the whole Vegas-ness of it all would overwhelm me but once I discovered they had several cocktails that fall into the molecular gastronomy world, I had to go. It turned out to be a quiet night for molecular gastronomy drinks as they were out of some of the key ingredients for a few of the cocktails. No worries, they had plenty of fixings for one of their signature creations, the Verbena. The liquor lab protocol for this taste experiment combines tequila, Yuzu sour, ginger syrup, lemon verbena leaves and - the true cocktail catalyst - a Szechuan floral button. The blossom numbs your mouth, over-activates your salivary glands, sets off a cascade of pop rock like activity in your mouth, and then makes the flavors of anything you eat or drink for the next 10-15 minutes REALLY intense. I even had a further physical reaction...a good 10 minutes of hot flashes that even made my glasses fog up.

Now THAT is a cocktail.