What is it?
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, a Tom Wolfe-inspired cocktail mixing malt, campari, vermouth, sparkling wine, citric acid and a 9-volt battery. It’s just one of the new wave of alternative and original cocktail ideas, a kind of foray into alcoholic equivalent of molecular gastronomy, taking inspiration from chemistry and art in equal measures.
Why haven’t I heard of it until now?
The artisan cocktail movement is starting in underground London, with the EKAAT the province of experimental bar, Bump Caves. In Dublin, mixologists in places like The Liquor Rooms on Wellington Quay or Temple Bar’s Vintage Cocktail Club (who will also give you a brief delve into the history of the cocktail) are coming up with their own innovative twists on classic combinations, and a few brand new ones too. Check out the Vintage Cocktail Club’s 9 Pound Walk for a Dublin alternative.
Is it good for me?
I could try to say something about how the little bit of wine can be good for your heart, but, no, not really.
How much will it cost?
This particular cocktail costs £10 in Bump Caves, which is about €14, so a little expensive by Dublin standards.
What does it taste like?
By all accounts the drink itself is an unremarkable taste experience, needing the drinker to balance it with the citric acid to taste (it comes separately in a little bag, no prizes for guessing the inspiration there), and give the battery a lick before you sip. As well as giving you a bit of a jolt, the acid tang and the battery zap are intended to enhance the Gentian flavour in the campari, and leads to a greater separation of the component flavours. And of course, is lots of fun to drink.