Sure, we’ve all tried carbonated cocktails. A Dark & Stormy, gin & tonic, even the venerable highball. But, how about a carbonated Negroni, Sazerac or Sidecar? Designed by the same folks who make the Perlage Champagne Preservation System (see my previous review), the Perlini Carbonation System is designed for both the professional bartender and the home enthusiast.
Rather than adding a pre-carbonated liquid to your cocktail ingredients to give it bubbles, the Perlini actually infuses carbonation into the ingredients you place in the shaker unit. Thus, the drink isn’t diluted to the point of blandness. I tried carbonating the three classic cocktails I listed above and noticed a few things which you’ll want to know.
First off, a carbonated cocktail is a real treat. Kind of like adult pop-rocks. It sparkles on the tongue and excites your palate in a way that I find extremely refreshing. The bubbles are small and tight, quite unlike the huge and gassy ones found in soda pop or non-craft beer. Secondly, the carbonation affects your palate in unexpected ways depending on the ingredients.
In the Negroni, it seemed to make the Campari less bitter and at the same time, the sweet Vermouth a bit sweeter. So, in effect, to keep the same expected flavor profile in a typical 1-1-1 ratio Negroni, you’re going to have to tweak the measurements a bit. Probably in the area of about 0.25 oz. or so. You’ll need to experiment. With the Sazerac, things didn’t really work out as well as I’d hoped. The carbonation doesn’t seem to work with brown spirits quite as well as clear ones. The wood notes become rather funky and unpleasant. That being said, the Perlini does work very well with fruit based liqueurs and citrus. Regarding the citrus in my Sidecar however, the Perlini really pushes the tartness forward to the point where you’ll need to counterbalance it with a touch more sweetener.
Remarkably, it’s not only cocktails that can be carbonated. Virtually any food product that contains water will work. So, you could technically carbonate an orange slice and a cherry, then use them as an edible flag garnish. Or if you’re really feeling edgy, try a carbonated Penicillin cocktail instead of popping an Airborne tablet in a glass of water when you’re feeling the ick coming on. The sky’s the limit to what you’ll be inspired to create using this new bar tool. And the best part, is that the whole process adds maybe 15 seconds to your time behind the stick. GSN Rating: A