D.C.-based cheftender Bryan Tetorakis turns to molecular gastronomy as inspiration for his modernist libations.
You don’t see house-made pop rocks, green-Chartreuse-compressed grapes and encapsulated brandy-apple spheres listed on most cocktail menus, but Rogue 24’s Bryan Tetorakis isn’t your average mixologist.
His official title at the avant-garde 24-course tasting-menu restaurant is cheftender, as he worked in the kitchen before stepping behind the bar. That transition was facilitated by the fact that he was mentored by two of D.C.’s most celebrated mixologists, the Columbia Room’s Derek Brown and Gina Chersevani, who was then at PS 7’s.
During his culinary career, Tetorakis developed a penchant for the molecular gastronomy that now gives his creations a modernist edge.
“I like to do the classics, but then take them in another direction,” he says.
His version of the piña colada—he calls it the Jimmy Nitro—doesn’t resemble the beachside favorite. Instead, aged rum is mixed with ginger syrup, presented in a shooter alongside a cocktail glass filled with coconut-lime snow, shattered frozen pineapple and a cherry sphere.
The idea is to mix the two parts together and enjoy the change of flavors as the icy components melt.
To craft these libations, Tetorakis uses more than a shaker and strainer. His bar is stocked with a rotary evaporator to distill essences and a liquid nitrogen tank for flash freezing.
It’s going to take all of his wizardry and wit to perfect the 24-ingredient signature cocktail that he’s currently striving to create.
“There’s going to be a lot of science to it,” he says. “I don’t want it to be supergimmicky with five garnishes. I want everything to work together so the drink speaks for itself.”