If you’ve ever tried to make a layered cocktail, you’ll know that it can be a mess. What’s a layered cocktail? It’s a drink, usually alcoholic, that uses multiple ingredients of different colors, flavors and densities, and the drink is not mixed prior to being served.
Instead, each of the layers is poured individually, so that the individual ingredients each maintain a separate layer. The resulting beverage usually looks pretty cool, and if you get the colors lined up right, it can look like a rainbow.
It’s a great idea in concept, but the execution can often create a mess. The idea is to sort out the various liqueurs used in the recipe by specific gravity, and to pour each ingredient in order from heaviest to lightest.
The problem, of course, is that liquids naturally want to mix with one another and you have to really be careful to avoid having them mix together when you’re pouring them.
The usual trick for that is to use a spoon, turn it upside down, and to pour the liquid on top of the back of the bowl of the spoon slowly and to let it drip down on top of the layer below it. Then you have to repeat this for each additional ingredient. As some layered cocktails have as many as 7 or 8 ingredients, this can get tedious and each new layer provides an additional opportunity for you to screw it all up.
The result of that is often an ugly mess, as a bunch of interesting colored liqueurs mixed together usually results in something pretty close to black.
Here’s a video that shows you how to make a layered drink in the traditional way:
That works well, unless you’re clumsy, or in a hurry, or both. That’s where the Rainbow Cocktail Layering Tool comes in handy. While there clearly was no urgent need for this gadget to exist, it’s nice that it does, as it can speed up the process of making a layered drink tremendously and it can save you both time and wasted liquor.
The Rainbow Cocktail Layering Tool is a gadget that fits on top of your serving glass, and it has a funnel, a shaft, and a sphere that sits on top of the liquid in your glass. You pour your liqueur into the funnel, it slowly runs down the shaft, and it flows over the sphere to create a layer with no spills.
The key to mixing a layered cocktail is to slow the flow, and the spoon method makes it all too easy to pour too quickly, and the flow of liquid from the bottle is often dependent on the mouth of the bottle itself. The Rainbow Cocktail Layering Tool, on the other hand, gives you the ability to dramatically reduce the flow of liquid, which means that you won’t be pouring too quickly. That way, you can get it right just about every time, without having to toss out the failed drinks that inevitably result from using the spoon method without a lot of practice.
The best part is that the gadget is affordable, too. These days, you can spend thousands on barware, but this handy little tool is only about $15 or so. I found it here.
I don’t make layered cocktails all that often; it’s the sort of thing you do to show off at parties or to prepare for special occasions. Still, it’s another useful tool to have in your toolbox when you want to impress people and you don’t want to make a mess.