Peter Konkoly - The Planktini
Peter Konkoly - The Planktini

Peter Konkoly - The Planktini image 1

Peter Konkoly - The Planktini

Peter Konkoly experiments with reverse spherification during lockdown.

Words by: Peter Konkoly

I'd like to introduce my new creation which is 'the child of the lockdown' in 2020.

Today, we all have to stay at home because of our recent day's horrifying pandemic. We are all trying to spend our time usefully. I have already signed up for a language course, we were cleaning parts of our apartment and who knows when it was last done and also trying to be creative due to my bartender nature. After recognizing how long a day could last I was thinking it's time to update and develop my bartender skills.

It was my 10th day constantly inside walls and I guess I've never been at home this long all year. I'm certain that I am not the only person in hospitality who is thinking this way.

I decided that I will do something I never did. I was doing deep cleaning in our flat and I found many many ingredients and tools which were only being used for dust collection around the household. However I was using molecular mixology in the past I have never experimented with reverse spherification. I have a long ongoing idea that one day I would be able to develop this technique to a level like the Notpla Company did.

I have been creating cocktails for a long time under the concepts of recycling, sustainability, saving the planet and zero wastage, and all has become more reasonable and necessary in the last few weeks due this terrible disease. I took one of my signature cocktail which is partially made out of ingredients many people would throw away.

I came up with this idea: upgrade my Tequila Martini cocktail called TEQUI-LATINI but serve it in a gel sphere rather than using glassware, a coupette in this case.

50ml Dobel Humito
15ml Homemade pickled cordial
Garnished with homemade red and green chilli pearls

Serving drinks without glassware is a perfect idea at outdoor events but I wanted to try out just for practice while we are all stuck indoors. Regarding the situation around the world today, the recycled ingredients and the zero wastage concept would fit perfectly, however I am distancing myself from this contagious disease. I will not even call on its name.

My original cocktail contains food leftovers (stem of fresh mint, juice of pickled cucumber, lemon peels for the cordial) and a popular molecular technique to make chilli pearls. I am a tequila drinking individual so the base spirit can only come from Mexico. Today at my apartment the recycling and mixology skills of TEQUI-LATINI met with ingredients I found around the house and in my free time.

This was my very first time experimenting with reverse spherification and not surprisingly it didn't end up with perfection. The spheres are not spheres, more like jelly blobs. When my wife saw the results she said that it looked like a microscopic picture of an unknown virus. Well, for me, it is reminiscent of an amoeba, so I placed them - two serves for me and my wife - into a light and cold butterfly pea flower tea infused water symbolising the ocean.

Humanity is facing a long battle with the pandemic and after that I can see the whole world needing to rebuild, reconsider and restart in a few areas of our every day life.

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Image of my serve, symbolising two planktons in the water, meaning the very beginning of life on this planet.

Despite the weird shapes, I am very happy with the flavor profile - kind of a combination of a Tequila Gimlet and a Dirty Martini with a lingering spicy finish.

In the coming days, I promise I will try perfecting the spheres for all bartenders' sake and I will work on a better balance as well. Just for fun, I will experiment with homemade horchata pearls next to the chilli ones for the serve of my very Mexican 'Bandera Caviar' side.

The drink already takes the tricolor of red, white and green, so I would like to dedicate THE PLANKTINI (named after plankton by presence) to my Mexican friends for honour, to my Italian brothers in these hard days and to my whole family in Hungary in hope I can see them very soon!