By Sacha Delfosse
Sydney's hottest new bar and restaurant, The Roosevelt, is adding an element of theatrics to its cocktail service with an innovative liquid nitrogen drinks trolley (pictured left).
The Roosevelt opened last month and has spent $8,000 on the new trolley, according to general manager Barry Chalmers, who believes it is a world first.
"I'm pretty certain there is no other trolley out there with liquid nitrogen on tap," he said.
"[It] allows us to develop the idea we first had at [sister bar] Eau de Vie, to really bring drinks making to the table and create a fantastic experience," Chalmers said.
Chalmers said The Roosevelt's drinks trolley continues the bars' quest to use the best elements of drink-making usually reserved for cocktail competitions.
"At Eau de Vie we discovered it wasn't too difficult to reproduce this on a day-to-day basis if you had the right preparation. And then we moved on to see how we could use nitrogen to actually make a drink that had a value in both the theatrics and also the final outcome of the drink itself."
Chalmers admits to being a bit sceptical about liquid nitrogen when he first came across it, and was not entirely sure if it had any useful application to cocktail making besides adding a "smoke and mirror effect".
"Then I ended up coming up with this Martini serve at Eau de Vie called The Noble Experiment… and I found that liquid nitrogen had an applicable use and the theatrics around it were incredible, and our martini sales increased," he said.
He said the liquid nitrogen drinks trolley has other more practical benefits.
"If we didn't use the liquid nitrogen we would have to use ice and if we are using ice then we need a bigger trolley and somewhere to dump the ice once we use it… that means a trolley three times the size."
At the moment The Roosevelt is using around 35 litres of liquid nitrogen a week, which is enough to make around 200 drinks, Chalmers said, but this is likely to increase as its popularity continues to increase.
"I feel the trolley is proving to be a drawcard and people are definitely coming to see it in action. When you turn the trolley on it does make some noise and grabs peoples' attention, they get excited and are blown away by the theatrics of it," he said.