Pillowcases, Fire Extinguishers and Caviar!
Fireball ice cream, Fireball candy floss even Fireball caviar! Don’t worry, it’s not made with fish eggs but a little Sodium Alginate and Calcium Lactate. No? We didn’t get it either but Michael Stringer founder and director at Flip-It! knows exactly what he is doing. We met up with him for a chat about his inspiration, his creations, his future plans and to talk about what he loves about Fireball.
Flip-it! started just over a year ago as a bartender-for-hire company, created to fill the void in modern bartending. “You have bad bartenders that have lots of fun and good bartenders who are very strict. All I want is for that to mix,” explains Michael. Since then it has developed to offer brand consultancy, molecular creations and training.
Based out of his flat in Paddington Michael describes his kitchen as a labyrinth. “I’ve got a specific cupboard that I have to keep all my things in” … “my girlfriend says”, “you can do all your playing, if you put it all away after” and we can understand where she is coming from. Michael goes on tell us how he loves to use fire extinguishers and pillowcases. Using a basic Fireball ice cream mix he then tapes a pillowcase around the end of a fire extinguisher and empties the canister. “This creates dry ice at -78.5 degrees. Then you just pour it on the ice cream and it smokes up and look great.”
“I tried Fireball in a Wetherspoons in Brighton and fell in love with it.”
Particularly liking the concept of a well made infusion that he feels are hard to come by and the party nature of the drink. Aside from the molecular cocktails Michael has also made a couple of traditional Fireball cocktails. Fresh muddled strawberries, balsamic vinegar and Fireball. We guess he could see our confusion by the look on our faces and explains that “the balsamic gives the drink a slight bitterness without masking the main spirit”. He also suggests swapping the angostura for orange bitters in a Fireball Sour.
Other little gems that Michael and the team at Flip-It! have created include Bacon flavoured bourbon, Tequilla slammer jelly wedges, popcorn infused gin and a totally clear Bloody Mary employing the use of a frozen tomato consume and yes, you guessed it, four pillowcases.
Aside from writing a cocktail book and creating molecular cocktails to pair with perfume scents Michael’s main dream seems to be to open his own bar. “I have this crazy idea for a cocktail bar. It has two rooms separated by a door.” That doesn’t sound too crazy… “The door is wall papered over with another little door underneath so you can crawl through it if you like.” Right… “The bar will be like a lab a little bit like Alice in Wonderland. It’s up to you what you want to do, you can enjoy table service or you can get behind the bar and help.”
As much as you might so far have been let to believe, Michael isn’t crazy but inspired by the likes of Heston Blumenthal, JJ Goodman and Tristan Stephenson. Motivated by the love of Mixology Michael and the team at Flip-It! get our vote. For more info about Flip-It! follow them on Twitter @flipit_mixology where they post most of their creations or visit their website www.flip-it-training.com.