Air's Foams And Bubbles
Whats Is A Foam?
Foam, Its that white fluffy thing atop your cocktail or sometimes that bubbly thing atop your cocktail. Which is what it basically is. Bubbles trapped inside a liquid making it more airy. Below are 4 different techniques for creating 4 different foams. ranging from basic to more advance, dense fluffy foams to airy light foams. Each one perfect for one cocktail or another.
Egg white. Its going to give you the perfect foam but only after you work for it. You really have to shake that cocktail! It goes without saying, Egg white is most likely a very different viscosity to which ever other ingredients you’re using. So to combine the two, you need to put some force into that shake. You really want to emulsify the mix and produce more aeration. The best way to do this without over diluting your drink is to “Dry shake” first, Which just means to shake without ice. That way you can get the mix frothy before adding ice and shaking again. If you really struggle with getting a good foam atop your cocktail. a good tip is to to add something to your shaker whilst dry shaking. Such as the spring from a strainer. Something to help bang around in the shaker and aerate the mix more, in such the same way a whisk would.
For a cream-whipper foam you will need 3 Things, the first being egg whites. This will create the texture of the foam. Its much like the above method however instead of hand shaking to emulsify the egg whites we will be using N2O cartridges to do so. The second is lemon or lime juice to help balance the flavour of the foam. and the third is our flavouring. Which could be a juice such as orange juice or even a liqueur like cointreau. optionally, you can add a syrup to sweeten the foam. Add all ingredients cold, to a cream-whipper, Charge with a N2O cartridge, Shake well and charge again. refrigerate for an hour or so till chilled then use to top your cocktail.
Pomegranate Foam Recipe
1) Add 2 Egg whites, 40ML Lemon Juice 30ML Simple syrup and 150ML of pomegranate juice to a cream-whipper
2) Charge with N2O cartridge, Shake well and charge again
3) Shake once more then refrigerate for one hour then use
Mimosa Foam Recipe
1) Add 3 egg whites, 30ML of Lemon juice, 30ML of Simple syrup, 60ML of Orange juice and 150ML of Champagne to a cream-whipper
2) Charge with N2O cartridge, Shake well and charge again
3) Shake once more then refrigerate for one hour and its ready to use.
Air is a type of foam where the bubbles are larger, The foams mentioned above are made up of small dense bubbles, This section and the one below are on the other end of the scale, larger bubbles that create a lighter foam. You will need a few things for this technique, the first is your flavouring, this might be orange juice, or coconut water, maybe some dried flavouring like mint or ground coriander. The second is lecithin powder which will help make and hold the structure of the bubbles, finally you will need a immersion blender.
How To Make
Step 1) Create 500ML of your flavour base in liquid foam. This could be a fruit juice, or a blended mix of something, or dried herbs mixed with water.
Step 2) Pour into a bowl and sprinkle between 1 and 3 grams of soy lecithin on top of the mix
Step 3) Cover half the bowl with cling film so when you start blending, you don’t make a mess. Then use a immersion blender and blend the mix till bubbles collect at the top of the mix. Scoop the bubbles of with a julep strainer or spoon with holes in (So you don’t scoop any of the liquid, just the bubbles) and top your cocktail. You can also use air to top a garnish
I realise the above instructions are not an exact step by step but with so many different flavours you could make, its difficult for me to give you an exact guide that would work for every flavour of air you want. The above steps work as a guide for you to experiment and see what works for the air you want. Below are 2 simple recipes you can use as a starter for you to get experimental
Tangerine Air Recipe
Step 1) Pour 150ML Of tangerine juice to a bowl
Step 2) Sprinkle 2 grams of soy lecithin over the mix
Step 3) Cover half the bowl with cling film and use an immersion blender to blend the mix until bubbles appear on the top
Coconut & Cinnamon Air Recipe
Step 1) Pour 150ML of Coconut water into a bowl and add 1 pinch of cinnamon
Step 2) Sprinkle 1.5 grams of soy lecithin over the mix
Step 3) Cover half the bowl with cling film, with an immersion blender blend the mix until bubbles appear on the top
Much like airs with this technique we create a lighter, airier foam. To do it, you will need a fish tank pump. Yes you read that correctly, a fish tank pump. Using a flavouring, such as pomegranate juice, egg white powder, Xanthan Gum which you can buy online and a fish tank pump, you can create the perfect flavoured bubbles to top your cocktail. A plus side to this technique is that you can keep the fish tank pump running all the time so you always have bubbles ready to be served.
How To Make Flavoured Bubbles
Step 1) In a blender, mix between 250ML and 500Ml of liquid flavouring, (Such as coconut water, Orange juice, Cranberry juice, you get it…)
Step 2) Add to the mix, between 1 to 1.5 grams of egg white powder and between 1 to 2 grams of Xanthan Gum. Then blend the mix
Step 3) Pour the blended mix into a bowl. Using a PVC hose (Which will probably come with your fish tank pump, my whole set up cost about £15 on amazon) Attach one end to a fish tank pump, and put the other end in the bottom of the liquid mix. Turn on the pump and you should start to see bubbles gather. Use a julep strainer or spoon with holes in to collect the bubbles and top your cocktail.
Cranberry Bubbles Recipe
Easy to do and perfect for topping cosmopolitans.
Step 1) Blend 400ML of Cranberry juice with 1.5 grams of egg white powder and 1 gram of Xanthan Gum
Step 2) Pour mix into a bowl and use your fish tank pump in the mix
Step 3) After a few minutes you should have bubbles aplenty! Simple scoop of and add to your cocktail
Salt & Lime Bubbles Recipe
Salt is the perfect way to bring out the flavours of a margarita. Adding a salt rim though, doesn’t do that job. You could add a pinch of salt into your drink, or if you want to be more consistent, add a few drops of saline solution, However, if you really want to up your margarita game. Try topping it with these salt & lime bubbles.
Step 1). In a blender, add 400ML of water, 25ML of sugar syrup, 2 pinches of sea salt, 25ML of Fresh Lime juice, 2 grams of egg white powder and 1.3 grams of Xanthan gum
Step 2) Blend, then pour into a bowl and use your fish tank pump in the mix to create bubbles
Step 3) After a few minutes bubbles should be raising, simply scoop of and add to your margarita or whatever damn cocktail you desire!
Foam Design Tips
When foam is achieved via egg white. You have a dense enough surface to get creative. Using things like bitters or powders you can not just improve the way the foam looks, but the aroma aswell. Think of your foam as a canvas or a bed, strong enough to hold most garnishes you may want to add, fruit peels, coffee beans, herbs, you name it (Within reason) A favourite of mine is to add a few drops of a dark aromatic bitters, and using a tooth pick i’ll draw a line through them to create a nice pattern or little love hearts. Or to impress even more, dye the bitters using food colouring and use that as your edible paint to create fancy patterns as i have in the photos below.