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Waldorf Astoria Pours Sparkling Wine with Edible Bubbles

Written By Scott Joseph On August 20, 2010

A couple of weeks ago the Waldorf Astorians threw a bash to show how they throw a bash. They invited a bunch of people responsible for organizing banquets and holiday parties and fancied up one of their ballrooms. They also served a lot of food and drinks.

But one drink in particular caught my eye — and my buds of taste. It was a glass of sparkling wine with edible bubbles that pop in your mouth, which is not as rude as it sounds. The bubbles are called Cointreau Molecular Pearls. We may need a new name for them. I know that molecular gastronomy is all the rage, but there’s something quite unromantic about the word molecular. Even more so when it’s paired with gastronomy. For the technical details, I’ll let Waldorf Astoria beverage manager Henrique Viotti explain:

“We create a mix utilizing the Cointreau liqueur, Evian water (which is high in calcium) and what we call Spherigel.


Henrique Viotti, beverage manager for Waldorf Astoria, pours champagne into a flute with Cointreau Molecular Pearls.

After making this mix, we add 24k gold flakes to garnish and drain the mix on a calcium bath.
The finish is almost a cointreau caviar concept, which burst in your mouth with an orange flavor.
We utilize champagne or sparkling wine to enhance the experience. The effervescence wraps around the pearls and dance on the glass.”

Spherigel makes molecular sound absolutely sexy. And I wonder if a calcium bath is anything like a Calgon bath. “Calcium, take me away.” Just doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?

Of course, the quality of the sparkling wine is an important factor in the enjoyment of the  pearls, but if you get a good quality sparkler, I think you’ll love the experience. It’s sort of like bubble tea for grown-ups. It’s bound to be a hit this holiday season.

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