For Micah Melton, beverage director of The Aviary, Chicago’s envelope-pushing cocktail bar (which recently opened a second location in New York), the future of drinks lies in updated takes on the classics. “You can push the boundaries and add complexity and innovation, but the drinks that hit home the most are the recognizable ones,” explains Melton, who believes that we’ll see greater attention paid to barroom ambiance in the years to come. In his Zombie Panda, he channels the playful and elaborate cocktail presentations that have become signature to The Aviary’s bar program, but builds on familiar flavors. A twist on the Pisco Sour, the drink is a force-carbonated mixture of pisco, citrus and lychee syrup, served over a bed of raspberry-flavored ice marbles. “It’s not intimidating, but its memorable,” say Melton.
- 1 ounce lychee syrup (see Editor's Note)
- 3/4 ounce lemon juice
- 2 ounces pisco, preferably Portón
- 6 to 8 ounces raspberry marbles (see Editor's Note)
- Combine all ingredients, except the raspberry marbles, in a mixing tin and shake with ice.
- Strain through a chinois into a iSi siphon.
- Fill a 6- to 8-ounce rocks glass with the raspberry marbles.
- Top with the carbonated mixture from the iSi siphon.
350g lychee purée
Combine the purée and sugar in medium bowl. Whisk until sugar is completely dissolved. Strain through chinois and transfer to glass bottle. Reserve in refrigerator.
129 g St. George Raspberry Liqueur
102g simple syrup (1:1, sugar:water)
4g citric acid
Combine all ingredients, whisking to dissolve the acid. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator. Using a syringe, pipe the mixture into a 5/8-inch spherical mold and freeze overnight before using.