Once again, I wrote the following for a great Slovak bar magazine, entitled appropriately enough, Bar Magazine. Occasionally Stanislav will contact me and ask me to create a recipe for him in the “molecular mixology style” that will fit in with the magazine’s theme of the month. This month the theme was the Caipirinha.

While molecular “caviar” provides a fun accent to bubbly cocktails, the larger “ravioli” can be served as a drink unto itself. What makes “ravioli” different than “caviar” (other than the size of course) is the fact that the insides hold a substantial amount of liquid, so that when one breaks the skin of the “ravioli” a mouthful of flavor oozes out.

As this month’s theme was to be the Caipirinha, I decided to take the three ingredients involved and present them in a different manner. Due to the Caipirinha’s distinct character, recognizable by muddled limes and crushed ice, I felt that to offer a liquid variation of the drink would take the tradition in the wrong direction. As I’ve always considered the Caipirinha to be a “chunky” libation, I wanted the molecular mixology twist to pay homage to that characteristic of this time honored beverage.

Enough talking! Let’s go to the lab and start mixing!


200 mL cachaça
100 mL lime juice
100 mL simple syrup
4 drops green food coloring
2 ¼ tsp sodium alginate
place all in a glass container
blend with an immersion blender
fill a deep spoon with the mixture
lower into a calcium chloride bath
leave for ~ 2 minutes or until a skin forms around the “ravioli”
rinse off with cold water and refrigerate until ready to serve


2 tsp calcium chloride
250 mL water

Another variation of this “ravioli” would be to freeze a small spoon of cachaça in liquid nitrogen and then wrap the solid alcohol in a sodium alginate mixture that is just lime and sugar. When one bit into the prepared “ravioli”, the only thing inside would be melted (liquid) cachaça, a pleasant surprise indeed! As liquid nitrogen is substantially more difficult to acquire (and handle) than hydrocolloids, I decided that the simpler recipe provided may be the way to go.




Picture and drink by:
Jamie Boudreau
Cocktail Whisperer


~ by Jamie Boudreau on May 31, 2009.

15 Responses to “Caipiroli”

  1. Wow Jamie, that looks very hot indeed, this may top even the famous El Bulli Caipirinha presentation, maybe they will have to have you over for a sabbatical?

    Nice one.


  2. Wow that’s pretty awesome!

    Can it be removed from the spoon after it’s been set, or must you serve it in the spoon? And how many servings does your recipe account for?

  3. Jacob:

    The recipe does many servings, depending upon the size of your spoon. The alginate mixture must be removed from the spoon upon dropping it into the calcium bath. The spoons pictured are the serving spoons, not the spoons used for the creation of the ravioli. Click on the ravioli link in at the top of the posting to see this in action.

  4. spherication is a great technique and if done right turns out a great end product, great way to use the technique Jamie and a very cool way to have a drink.

  5. This is a cool drink…I made it and my friends loved it…thx for postting!!

  6. I’m known for being crazy on occasion, but why the f*** hasn’t everyone switched to calcium lactate by now??? no soap taste in the reactive bath and way better tolerance of acidity.

  7. Until I run out of my large bag of alginate and calcium chloride purchased in 2005, or until Bar Magazine starts paying me more for the articles that they ask me to write, calcium chloride, agar, xantham gum, lecithin, and gelatin will be my tools. Besides, I’ve never really received that much of a soap taste using the chloride. Perhaps you need a better rinse?

  8. How long, or how many times can the Calcium Chloride bath be re-used?

  9. Ian:
    I’ve never measured, but many. I’ve used the same bath over days in the past.

  10. where can you purchase all the stuff required for this?

  11. Tim:
    I would start at your liquor and grocery store, followed by a kitchen supply store, followed by google. It’s how I found it. I don’t have a definitive source for anything as I like to look for bargains, and haven’t had to purchase anything in the recipe for some time now. I also don’t know where you live or what’s available in your locale, so I wouldn’t presume to know what’s available to you.
    Good luck hunting!

  12. Does the calcium chloride have to be food grade., usp

  13. John:
    Yes, anything that you ingest should be food grade. Calcium lactate is a viable (if not better) substitute as well.

  14. […] via Amazon and picked out the easiest molecular mixology recipe that Mr Boudreau had to offer: Caipiroli.  A Caipirinha in a sort of jellied solid form that looked delicious.  And fortunately, the only […]

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