The 3D printing craze has spread from industry to industry: manufacturing, technology, medicine, and even food. You can print building materials, prosthesis, jewelry, and even a frog dissection kit. What began as a solution to rapid prototyping has now become the solution to problems it never intended to solve. In the age of craft batch makers, 3D printing allows complex product creation to serve niche markets never before accessed.
Now we can add liquid libations to the list thanks to PRINT A DRINK, the world’s first 3D printing technology for drinkable liquids. The technology merges methods from robotics, life sciences and design to explore a completely new field of 3D printed cocktails. Rather than creating objects by layers, the process uses a high-end industrial robot to inject microliter drops of edible liquid into a cocktail.
Within a minute, PRINT A DRINK can build up complex 3D structures in a wide range of drinks – creating fascinating augmented cocktails using only natural ingredients.
By precisely injecting microscopic dots of liquid into the drink in a preset pattern, it builds complex shapes that seem magically suspended within your cocktail glass. All this thanks to the same chemistry bartenders use to create a pousse-cafe. The whole process only takes 60-90 seconds. And thanks to the chilled liquid that help the injections stay suspended, it maintains its shape for 15-20 minutes.
Now, what exactly are they injecting into your cocktail? The dots are actually edible oils, like citrus, and are so small they don’t typically impart a distinguishable difference on profile or mouthfeel – think of them as a gaze-able garnish.
So how do you get your hands on this “tech-tail”? Brands like scotch distillery Auchentoshan and Bulleit Bourbon are joining forces to bring this tech to cocktail connoisseurs. The Bulleit 3D Printed Frontier, the most recent version, highlights “the modern frontier” by showcasing those pushing the boundaries of their craft from tattoo artists to neon artists. Their new menu of 3D printed cocktails shines a light on the possibility of a future cocktail culture that adds yet another tool bartenders can infuse into their programs to bring new levels of delight across the bar.