New York-based Mariki Sayles calls herself a lover of cocktails. As a child, she spent a lot of time with chemistry sets and microscope slides, only to pick up bartending as her career later in life. Today, she’s part of the bartending team at the three Michelin-starred French seafood restaurant — Le Bernardin in New York — and is popular for her molecular cocktails.
“I like to see how chemicals react resulting in beautiful creations,” she says, pointing to the little beads of ‘caviar’ she’s prepared for her signature cocktail — Champagne and cranberry caviar. We are at Asado, a cocktail bar in Bandra, which is Sayles’s chemistry lab for the day. She mixes cranberry juice and sodium alginate, which is then dropped in a calcium bath to let it take the desired shape.
Watch the recipe for Champagne and cranberry caviar:
Sayles is in the city for a two-day food and cocktail pop-up called Panacea, which will be held over the weekend. On the menu will be small plates by The Bao Haus Co’s Siddharth Somaiya paired with signature cocktails (see box) prepared by Sayles. “The term mixology can have such serious, and at times, pretentious connotations,” she admits. But for her, eating and drinking must elicit a feeling of joy more than anything else.
When asked about some of the oddest requests she has received from patrons, she says, “A guest once requested his ‘signature drink’ by handing me a business card with a cocktail recipe on the back. It was for a simple margarita,” she laughs.
Easy molecular cocktail recipes
Book a spot
What: Panacea, a food and cocktail pop-up will be held on 25th and 26th March
Where: House of Tales, VB Gandhi Marg, Kala Ghoda, Fort
Call: 92222 64287 or 2204 3446