Mad science

Rainey Street's newest bar transforms science experiments into cocktails

Rainey Street's new bar transforms science experiments into cocktails

At Rainey Street's newest bar, shakers are out. Instead, a cocktail might be cooled with a blast of liquid nitrogen or mixed via transport in pneumatic tube like the ones found at bank drive-thrus.

Sometimes called molecular mixology or liquid intelligence (after the popular Dave Arnold book of the same name), the approach is part of a movement to have fun with cocktails by applying techniques usually seen in the lab. And it's shaking things up this summer when Dallas bar The Tipsy Alchemist arrives at 70 Rainey St.

According to a release, owners SBBC Hospitium are working with Austin-based operating partner David Nguyen to translate the spirit of the original Dallas location into a more casual vibe. Among the innovations are a patio with an outdoor stage, a selection of sharable drinks, and a selection of local craft beer.

The creative cocktail menu, however, will mostly remain the same. The Mad Hatter, which used the aforementioned pneumatic tube, is a refreshing combo of vodka, vermouth, lemon, cucumber, and watermelon. Another showy drink, The Edison, blends rum with lime and nitrogen frozen mint  — all of it served in a lightbulb nestled in a mini fishbowl filled with ice.

Despite the experimental builds, the bar team doesn’t take too many flights of fancy with the flavors. The drinks are still approachable, whether that’s the tiki-ish Living the Island Life with vodka, rum, tropical fruit, and a vanilla reduction or the headier Smoking Barrel Old Fashioned with rye, brûléed sugar, and torched orange and lemon peel.

The creative spirit extends to the interior. Although the owners didn’t share design notes for Austin, the Dallas location has a rich feel with jewel tone velvet upholstery and a few industrial touches in keeping with the scientific theme. Whatever the eventual style, it will be adaptable with mostly modular furniture in order to endlessly reconfigure the space for private events and intimate tête-à-têtes.

“When we decided to open The Tipsy Alchemist in Dallas, our mindset was to break the rules, have our own style, and elevate people’s nightlife experience,” says Dallas managing partner Stephen Underhill Jr. in the release. “After two years of support and thinking outside the box, we are finally ready to grow, and I can’t think of a better city to open our second location of The Tipsy Alchemist than Austin."