After the winter season, the next drinking occasion I look forward to is the #ScienceOfCocktails event held at Science World, the beginning for every year. For 2018, this night of drinking in the dome will be held on February 8th.

For those who have never had the pleasure of attending, or who have yet to hear about the event; it is basically one night where the “Telus World of Science” gets transformed into a huge lounge. Adults of legal drinking age, gather together in their cocktail attire to sip spirits and sample snacks from booths spread across Science World’s multiple levels and various zones. You are able to visit each one, then head back for your favourites for seconds and thirds. It is a ticketed event that typically sells out, and it already has for 2018, so if you haven’t done so already, I suggest getting yours for 2019 now! Here is the link to do just that!

General admission is $159 and the VIP access is $289. Ticket proceeds raise funds for the Science World’s Class Field Trip Bursary Program for underserved schools. The program helps to send thousands of kids from underserved schools to Science World on class field trips. In previous years they have been able to send over 8,000 students. And this year they hope to surpass that number, with your help.

General admission grants you access to the over 25 open bar stations, serving unique cocktails crafted by award-winning bartenders. As well as access to a variety of special cocktail-inspired science activities, hands-on demos, and other Science World programming. There are also hors d’oeuvres prepared by locally renowned chefs, for some substance in between drinks; and a tax receipt for the maximum allowable amount of $50.00.

VIP access gets you all of the above (regular ticket holder perks) plus one hour earlier admission; with first come, first served valet parking. You also get exclusive access to the World Class VIP Lounge and the premium cocktail offerings prepare within, by World Class Canadian Champion bartenders. Here you schmooze while servers pass out VIP canapés for your to nibble at; and watch a stage show, with a specially themed take-away gift. You also get a tax receipt for the maximum allowable amount of $150.00.

But today’s event was a literal taste of what is to come. A two hour, quick gathering at “Showcase” restaurant; who also happens to be one of the participants, offering both drinks and food tonight and during the actual event. Within their foyer, a handful of other drink and food stations that will be participating the night of, as well as some science demos we can expect to see more of. Like it is with the actual event, you are able to roam the area freely, stopping at any booth and engaging those tending to it. They typically have an activity for you to participate in or a story behind the creation of their food/drink. Below is a quick snap shot of those in attendance tonight.

This is the “reverse pina colada”, a cocktail made using fats and oils by Grant Sceney, presenting on behalf of “Diageo”. Its creation centres around the concept of how soluble ingredients, oils, and alcohol interact together. Instead of the traditional frozen slush drink, this familiar tropical cocktail uses Ron Zacapa rum with coconut oil, Maillard pineapple cordial, citric acid, and a lactic acid solution. All this gives you all the sensation (smell and taste) of a pina colada without the chill of it, perfect for a colder night in January.

Diana Claxton and JS Dupuis (Tableu) were representing “Showcase Restaurant & Bar” with their “Yuzu Sake-Tini” made with molecular caviar pearls. The latter was prepared before our eyes using a calcium bath and molecular mixology. With a squeeze of a syringe liquid drops of yuzu juice turned to squishy pearls for a cocktail that required a little chewing. The drink itself was made with Prime Vodka, sake, and simple syrup.

Brice Peressini (The Victor, Parq Vancouver) and Andrea Civettini (Clough Club) manned a table where you took part in making your own “Southern Ginger Belle” cocktail. First they gave you an empty cocktail shaker to practice with. To it a monitor was zap-strapped, that gauged how fast your shakes were. The goal was too shake as fast as you can, as fierce as you can, as many times as you can. They recorded the results to later announce the winner of the night. Naturally I shot my hand up to be the first to test my skills. At 125 I held the recorded for the longest time, until I was beaten out by 127.

After you are all warmed up they mix together Southern Comfort, lemon juice, ginger juice, simple syrup, and orange marmalade; and have you shake it in a real cocktail shaker with no judgment attached. Once you are confident in your mixing, they pour it out, for you to enjoy the fruits of your labour.

The “Old Fashion” prepared by Gez McAlpine (Bruichladdich) and Cam Brown (Clough Club) featured Remy Martin, a sugar cube, a dash of bitters, water, and a few raisins for garnish. Tonight they were served as is, but on the night of the actual event they will be done so from a laminar jet stream. This is a tank of water with neon lights and a curve stream of water shooting over it. Tonight it was only set up to show you what you can expect.

For food the crowd favourite was the “Char Sui pork rillettes” with yuzu pearls, miso sesame emulsion, rice cracker, togarashi, and a perilla leaf. This was prepared by Jesse Hochhausen of “Showcase Restaurant & Bar”. Its featured yuzu pearls were made with yuzu juice thickened with agar agar. And the perilla leaf was quick frozen and mulled with liquid nitrogen.

The “Pink Flower Roll” prepared by Takayuki of “Hapa Izakaya” was as pretty as it sounds. Sushi rice, asparagus, albacore tuna, fried egg, and shiso leaves. And instead of seaweed he used white radish sliced thin and dyed with beet juice for the pink hue.

Kyle Baker represented “The Keg” with his “Chilled jumbo shrimp” served with a martini cocktail sauce. They were most impressive with their size.

For the more science focused portion of the night there was a table set up where you could craft your own light up led hair clip, necklace, bow tie or pin. You choose a colour of LED light and made your own circuit to light it up. There of course was an expert to help you cut, twist, and tie should you need it.

The “Ping Pong Cannon” attracted a lot of attention from the sound it produced alone. Air pressure is used to propel a ping pong ball within a sealed plastic tube over 700km/h. At this speed it is fast enough to puncture straight through the side of an aluminum can. The end result, a thunderous crack through the air and both the can and ball shattered to the point of destruction.

Truly it is fun to be able to combine science with drinking, and no other event does just that then the #ScienceOfCocktails. I hope you have found my preview useful and I hope to see you there.