Since it opened in Chicago four years ago, Three Dots and a Dash has been one of the standard bearers of the modern Tiki movement—innovative and forward-thinking yet somehow, like all the best bars, still classic at heart.
And though Three Dots has made waves for its frivolously garnished drinks served in kitschy vessels, such as shells, skulls and hollowed-out pineapples, beverage director Kevin Beary is testing a totally new Tiki tune.
“What inspires me more than specific cocktails is the concept of applying alternative techniques,” says Beary. Case in point: his newly minted libation, the Idle Hands, a Banana Daiquiri that when served over a fat rock in an ungarnished double Old Fashioned glass looks more like a tame glass of water.
Using a clarification technique pioneered by New York culinary whiz Dave Arnold, Beary creates a clear banana rum and a banana syrup by adding an enzyme called Pectinex. The enzyme helps break down the fruit’s pectin, which is a naturally occurring starch. When each solution is run through a centrifuge, the banana solids compress at the bottom of the device, leaving a crystal-clear liquid on top.
For citrus, Beary mixes citric, malic and succinic acids together to replace traditional lime juice. “Not only does it taste like lime juice, it emulates the sensation on the palate of the acidity level of lime juices,” he says. “This allows the cocktail to remain completely clear while retaining the flavor of lime.”
Beary then stirs all the components together using the proportions of a traditional Daiquiri before serving the transparent concoction over ice, sans garnish. “We named it Idle Hands for the obnoxious amount of time and care it takes to produce,” says Beary.
Should you have the time or inclination to make your next Banana Daiquiri clear, you can get the recipe here.