Cocktails Meet Chemistry

Moto and Otom Cook Up Creative Drinks for the Season

Moto and Otom, the sister restaurants owned by mad scientist/culinary visionary Homaro Cantu, have unveiled new winter cocktails that will warm your soul and make your scratch your head simultaneously. At Moto, Cantu has cooked up something he calls "campfire mulled wine," his Willy Wonka-esque take on a holiday staple, for his current tasting menu. He starts with an Erlenmeyer flask (a lab vessel with a conical base and a cylindrical neck -- you still with us?), then adds mulled Rioja wine and hickory smoke. The server instructs the guest to exhale into the flask through a straw so the smoke exits, then drink the wine through the same straw, in a breathe out, breathe in motion. It's cocktail trickery at its finest.

At the more informal Otom, no instructions are needed, but the cocktails are also cutting edge. Mixologist Michelle Peake takes gourmet-quality ingredients and blends them into works of art you can drink. Take the Peanut Butter and Jelly, made with peanut-infused Bulleit bourbon, concord grape syrup and lemon, or the 10 Cane Mutiny, with 10 Cane rum, Clement Creole Shrubb (a rum-based orange liqueur), lemon, housemade orange marmalade and ginger bitters, egg white and orange peel. Do not attempt this at home -- these drinks are best enjoyed when made by a master.

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