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Cocktail Week: Sous vide seminar

To sous vide or not to sous vide? That is the question posed by Dave Newman during his Hawaii Cocktail Week seminar held at Pint + Jigger.

Posted February 20, 2013 by Ed Morita

To paraphrase Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” to sous vide or not to sous vide? That’s the question posed by mixologist Dave Newman during his Hawaii Cocktail Week seminar held at Pint + Jigger.

A recent trend in mixology has been barrel-aged cocktails. This involves mixing cocktails and storing them in oak casks for several weeks to allow the flavors to meld and add a wood character to the drink.

Barrel aging has added a whole new dimension to a mixologist’s bag of tricks, however, there is a drawback. Choosing to barrel-age cocktails means that a bar has to sit on potentially thousands of dollars of inventory. This motivated Newman to start experimenting with ways to achieve that barrel-aged characteristic without having to sit on inventory for weeks and months at a time. Newman eventually looked to a cooking technique that has become a standard in the food industry — sous vide.

Sous vide cocktails (1 of 9)

Sous vide cocktails

During the seminar, Newman explained how "cooking" cocktails sealed in airtight mason jars with toasted wood chips could replicate the effect of barrel aging.

Newman found that the sous vide process can reduce the aging time from weeks to days or even hours.

Photo by Ed Morita


About Ed Morita

Ed Morita spent more than a decade working as a pastry chef at some of the country's premiere resorts and restaurants, including the Halekulani Hotel, The Greenbrier Resort & Spa in West Virginia, Bay Harbor Yacht Club in Michigan and Longhi’s Restaurant in Honolulu. After a near-career-ending injury forced him out of the kitchen, he embarked on a new career as a food writer, photographer and blogger for Metromix Honolulu and Nonstop Honolulu (, where he now writes the Baker's Hours blog. He's also entered the realm of politics, serving as the photography captain for the Abercrombie for Governor campaign in 2010, then becoming Gov. Abercrombie's official photographer until 2012 when he became the Social Media Director for the Mazie Hirono for U.S. Senate campaign. He's excited and honored to be the official blogger for the 2012 Hawaii Food & Wine Festival. You can follow Ed's adventures online at

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