Science and alcohol are not two nouns that don’t normally go together, but they do in the case of the second annual Science of Cocktails (SOC) fundraiser that took place this year on Feb. 9.
The event is held at Science World and is a showcase for some of the region’s best bartenders crafting elaborate cocktails, paired with gourmet bites from local eateries, all in the name of charity.
“This program is going to allow over 5,000 children from underserved communities to take field trips to Science World — kids who wouldn’t normally get the chance,” said Scott D. Sampson, president & CEO of the non-profit organization, addressing a sold-out crowd of 1,500 guests.
“Thanks to you, we’re going to have funds to cover transportation and admission, a workshop and resources for back in the classroom. Many of these kids will develop a lifelong passion for science and some may even choose to pursue careers in fields like science, engineering, math and technology. So tonight is very exciting for us.”
Spread out over two floors and three sections, there were 31 bar stations and 13 food stands to make sure no one went hungry or thirsty. As always, liquid nitrogen, chilled to a cool -200 C, was a favourite ingredient amongst many of the attending mixologists due to its smoky effects and ability to flash freeze whatever it touches.
Two notable concoctions using the element were gin and tonic “popcorn,” created with Queensborough gin, nutmeg, cassia, cucumber and lemongrass, mint and tonic water, frozen into tiny granules that had the side effect of making your tongue numb, and a liquid nitrogen “milkshake” consisting of Tanqueray No. TEN, Bulleit rye, Guinness, lime juice, mint, sugar syrup caramel and milk.
To make sure patrons learned something as well — it is Science World, after all — there were interactive experiments, activities and demonstrations sprinkled throughout the venue including BarBot, a robot bartender; a whiskey smell test, and a laminar jet (think water fountain) shooting booze instead of water through the air.
Other highlights of the night included a fierce cocktail competition, won by Nomad bar manager Matthew Benevoli via a flaming “campfire” bourbon-based drink, a silent auction and a VIP lounge.
SOC 2017 ended up raising more than $240,000 towards the field trip initiative, well past its goal of $200,000 and also last year’s total of $185,000. If you didn’t get a chance to attend, don’t worry: 2018 tickets are already on sale starting at $125 for general admission and $225 for VIP. Visit www.scienceworld.ca/cocktails/tickets.