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Meet the Business Owners Spearheading Alcohol's Avant-Garde A growing number of bars are leveraging advanced science, emerging technologies and DIY ingenuity to expand the possibilities of cocktail craft and redefine how drinks are engineered and experienced.

By Jason Ankeny

This story appears in the July 2015 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Gabriele Stabile

Where others see an empty glass, Dave Arnold sees a blank canvas. Each cocktail Arnold creates at his trendsetting New York City bar, Booker and Dax, is a work of liquid artistry: His Manhattans, martinis and margaritas are shaken and stirred to painterly perfection, revealing new complexities and nuances with each sip.

But a Booker and Dax drink isn't simply a masterpiece of mixology. It's also the product of mad-scientist experimentation. Consider the absinthe-based French Colombian, which contrasts conventional ingredients like simple syrup, lemon juice and grated cinnamon with a most unconventional flourish: a 1,000-degree red-hot poker used to caramelize the sugar. Other weapons in Arnold's arsenal include a centrifuge for separating liquids from solids, a rotary evaporator for low-temperature distillation and a steady supply of liquid nitrogen for precision stemware chilling.