Cutting-edge cocktail trends

What the most progressive barkeeps in town are toying with.

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  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Barrel-aged daiquiri at Compose

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Barrel-aged daiquiri at Compose

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Barrel-aged daiquiri at Compose

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Snow globe at wd~50

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Snow globe at wd~50

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Snow globe at wd~50

Photograph: Jolie Ruben

Barrel-aged daiquiri at Compose

Centrifuge clarification

No one wants a murky cocktail. Or so goes the thinking behind clarification, the process of turning cloudy drinks clear and silky by removing the solids. One method is to add agar,which binds to the solids, and then strain the drink (typically for an hour) through a cheesecloth. Recently, however, a few bars connected to tech-forward kitchens have acquired access to centrifuges, which can cut the length of the procedure in half. The pricey equipment spins canisters at a high speed, separating out different components of a liquid by density, so that solids fall to the bottom and a translucent liquid forms at the top.

Where to try it: Boundary-pushing mixologist Tona Palomino of wd~50 (50 Clinton St between Rivington and Stanton Sts; 212-477-2900, wd-50.com) uses both the clarified liquid and the residual solids for his sake-based Snow Globe ($14). He spins off the chalkiness of Kamoizumi Nigori Ginjo Summer Snow sake and the grittiness of nectar from the guavalike soursop fruit in a 4,500rpm centrifuge, turns the resulting solids into shiny little beads and adds them back into the perfectly translucent sake-juice mixture—which tastes lightly of the fermented rice spirit and has a lycheelike sweetness. Eamon Rockey, general manager at Compose (77 Worth St between Broadway and Church St ; 212-226-1444, composenyc.com), clarifies lime juice in a rotary evaporator for his barrel-aged daiquiri ($15), a smooth, floral libation that tastes sweeter and more integrated than the fresh tropical original. The off-menu drink wouldn't be nearly as pleasurable with unclarified citrus juice—its volatile solids would go rancid during the two- to three-month aging process.

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