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Carbonated Mojito Spheres

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The Carbonated Mojito Spheres are served at Minibar by molecular gastronomy Chef Jose Andres. The spheres are made using Reverse Spherification and they are carbonated in an ISI Whip charged with CO2. This recipe is not the original from Jose Andres.


- 12 mint leaves

- 170 g (6 oz) white rum

- 170 g (6 oz) lime juice

- 128 g (4 ½ oz) water [ingredients list continues below image]

Carbonated Mojito Spheres 720

- 6 tbsp white sugar

- lime zest

- small mint leaves to decorate

- 4.7 g Calcium Lactate Gluconate

- 0.8 g Xanthan

Alginate Bath

- 1000 g (35 oz) of filtered or low calcium water

- 5 g sodium alginate


Alginate Bath

1- Start by preparing the alginate bath. Mix the sodium alginate in the water using an immersion blender until the sodium alginate is completely dissolved. If this is your first time doing this, be aware that this may take longer than expected.

2- Let it rest for 24 hours in the fridge so that the air that has entered the mixture disappears and the sodium alginate is completely rehydrated.

Mojito Mix

1- Place mint leaves and lime juice in cocktail shaker. Crush the mint and lime juice with a muddler to release the mint oils.

2- Add the sugar, rum and water and shake vigorously until all sugar has dissolved. If you don’t like it sweet, start with less sugar and add more to taste.

3- Pass the mojito mix through a fine sieve.

3- Then mix 180 g (6.4 oz) of mojito with the Calcium Lactate Gluconate until it dissolves completely. Reserve in the fridge the remaining mojito to carbonate the spheres.

4- Finally add the Xanthan and let it hydrate for 1 minute. Then mix it using an immersion blender and leave it in the fridge for 24 hours to eliminate the air bubbles.

Making Mojito Spheres

1- You are now ready to start the spherification process! Remove the alginate bath and mojito mix with Calcium Lactate from the fridge.

2- Scoop the mojito mixture with a half sphere 5 ml measure spoon and carefully pour it into the alginate bath. It is important that the mojito spheres don’t touch since they would stick together.

3- Leave the spheres "cooking" for about 2 minutes in the alginate bath.

4- Carefully remove the mojito spheres using a slotted spoon.

5- Then rinse them very gently with water and strain them carefully. Place them in a bowl with water or mojito while you make more spheres.

7- To carbonate the spheres, pour the reserved mojito (without Calcium Lactate) in an ISI Whip container and carefully place the mojito spheres inside it.

8- Charge the ISI Whip with a CO2 cartridge (not N2O or they won’t be fizzy!).

9- Store them in the fridge for about 2 hours.

10- Discharge the canister by holding it upright and squeezing the trigger to release the pressure. DO NOT open the canister before discharging it completely.

11- Unscrew the top and remove the spheres.

12- Serve immediately on appetizer spoons, sprinkle some lime zest and decorate with small mint leaves.

To improve the spherification technique read 10 Tips to Create a Perfect Sphere.

  • Josefbruno62

    Hello are you adding the xanthan to the calcium mixture-or the one with out-Thanks

    • Anonymous

      To the calcium mixture.

      • Adil

        Does sodium alginate contains alcohol.Is it halal.

        • QuantumChef

          It does not contain alcohol, not sure if it is halal.

    • Anonymous

      To the calcium mixture

  • Omri Goldenthal

    why xanthan? i mean, i can do it without it… i dont see why i need it

    • Anonymous

      Increasing the density of the liquid with Xanthan helps form the spheres as
      the alginate bath is quite dense.

      • Omri Goldenthal

        makes sense and it will also help the spheres keeping the CO2 inside..

      • Kent Imanashi- Imanashi Enterp

        It is not really density, which is playing a factor in the sphere shape formation, but really it is the increased viscosity of the calc solution with xan in it that allows it to not `run out` out the sphere shape so easily in the alginate bath while it is setting. Xan is tricky though because it can act as a solid, but also flow like a liquid in the same solution at the same concentration when subjected to certain forces. The density of the calc solution is increased by a minuscule amount, D=M/V, but the viscosity is increased by a noticeable amount with a .375% addition of Can to the calc solution and whisk the Xan in once dusted over surface of calc solution.

        The best solution is to just get hemispheric molds.

  • Tom

    Great recipe . I made them but amount of CO2 in the spheres was minimal (even after 2 hours in the isi whip). I used one 8gram charge in a 1 liter bottle. Should I use 2 ?

    • Anonymous

      Yes, usually two charges are better for the 1 L bottle.

  • Corey Phillips

    Are there any ways to store these without losing the carbonation? Or do they have to be served immediately? Even w/o the carbonation, what’s the best way to store?

    • Anonymous

      You can keep them for a longer period in the ISI Whip. They may burst at some point if you keep them for too long but if this happens just release some of the N2O next time. Like with any carbonated liquid, the carbonation lasts longer if you keep them cold. Without the carbonation you can keep the spheres in a bath of the same ingredient for days. You can also keep them in a bath of water but the liquid inside the spheres may become too watery if you store them for a long time.

  • MGZ

    Are you doing this in an ISI Whip or an ISI soda siphon? (I’ve never used either, so I’m going to need to purchase one or the other here…)

    • Anonymous

      Both could be used because the CO2 charges work in both siphons. I suggest you buy the ISI Gourmet Whip so you can then use it for cold and warm foams.

  • ruki

    Ii it possible to use 12 or 16 g CO2 chargers for a cream whip siphon (I have 0.5 L mosa cream whipper)? I am asking because I can only get hold of these specific CO2 chargers, whereas the NO2 chargers are all 8 grams.

    I would really like to try this recipe, but the CO2 thing is holding me back at the moment. 

    • Anonymous

      All commercial cream and food whippers, including those made by iSi, use only the 8 gram chargers. Unfortunately, no other chargers will fit the charger holder for proper dispensing of gas. This includes both CO2 and N2O chargers. iSi Soda (CO2) and iSi Cream (N2O) chargers are readily available through any distributor or retailer that carries their equipment including online sources. 

  • Nikoft

    Is it necessary to use reverse spherification in this recipe or is it possible to use the basic spherification technique as well?

    • Anonymous

      Basic spherification will not work because the mix is too acidic.

      —– Reply message —–

      • Nikoft

        What if i adjust the mixture with som citras?

  • Zero9791

    5g is not 5% of 1000. That would be 50. So dont you need 50g of sodium alginate for a 5% bath?

    • Anonymous

      5g is correct. The concentration needs to be 0.5%.

  • junefoo

    it’s been 2 days and the mojito-calcium-xanthan mixture is still very bubbly. is this normal? should i go ahead with the spherification process? 

    • QuantumChef

      You can pass the mixture through a fine sieve and that should reduce the bubbles. You can go ahead with the spherification process anyway.

      • junefoo

         Thanks. Will let you know how it turns out.

      • junefoo

         poured away the foamy part & it worked beautifully! thanks! :)

  • Shivam

    Can we use only calcium lactate instead of calcium lactate glucluconate (this is not available in the kit)

    • QuantumChef

      Yes, just use half the the quantity.

  • SeanGossard

    how could i nitrify ( instead of carbonate ) the mojito ?
    i feel the mild acidity of CO2 does change the flavour profile of beverages in a subtle way…

    • SeanGossard

       …rather , why doest it fizz with NO2 ?
      is it a matter of specific gravity?

      • Kent Imanashi- Imanashi Enterp

        The fizzing sensation it caused by a pain signal being sent to your brain from receptors on your tongue, coming from

        • QuantumChef

          Thanks for your explanation! Very thorough!

    • Kent Imanashi- Imanashi Enterp

      No it would not dissolve the nitrous in the mojito, as nitrous is fat soluble, and CO2 is water soluble. It would through osmosis enter the sphere and most likely coalesce into a single bubble instead of being evenly dispersed throughout the sphere. The acidity is caused by the reaction between CO2 and H20 to create carbonic acid. Possibly try a mild alkaline salt or make smaller batches more frequently and consume quickly for carbonated beverages.

  • Shivam_agrawal267

    Can sodium chloride be used instead of sodium gluconate

    • QuantumChef

      No, it will taste salty

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  • Lauraleekr

    I am interested in learning about different molecular techniques, is there a book that you would recommend me getting?

  • Shivam267

    In the frozen reverse spherification the hemispheres don’t freeze I left them for days :’( I know that addition of various salts reduces normal freezing temperatures of liquids this is becoming a problem any solution?

    • QuantumChef

      This only works with preparations you can freeze. What are you trying to freeze that it is not working?

  • Speak

    I tried this today, but my alganate bath was so thick that my spoonful of mix just formed a disk on top, I scooped it out and added some more water to the mix, did i do the right thing ? Also, is there a specific method of spooning the mix into the bath ? It seems to me there must be a trick to doing this….. thanks !

    • QuantumChef

      You may have used water with calcium content for the bath and it is reacting with the alginate. Use water with low or no calcium content like distilled water.

      I don’t have a trick but I have several tips here
      You can also try Frozen reverse spherification. Learn more at

      Hope this helps!!

    • BlvCook

      I made these yesterday and my alginate bath was too thick; the spheres did not sink. I did use distilled water in the bath. After 2 minutes, I used chopsticks to flip them over (for about 30 seconds). They looked more like footballs, than spheres – but tasty and fun. I used an emersion blender (4 minutes) for the bath and wondered if I blended for long enough.

      • QuantumChef

        To know when to stop blending the sodium alginate, just look at the immersion blender blades and protective ring and there should be no alginate stuck to it. The spheres do tend to flatten if you leave them resting at the bottom of the bath. To make them more round you can stir the bath so the sphere floats around but you can only make one or two at a time this way because they cannot touch. If you store them in a water/juice bath for several hours, that also helps to make them more round. I hope this helps!

  • m o m o

    Im trying to do a reverse spherification with port wine. May I know if i can follow the same ratio for the above recipe? Would the acidicity be the same? What do i use in place of the lime juice and water? As port wine is already sweet, can i skip the sugar?
    Or should attempt to boil off the alcohol content in the port wine to reduce the acidity and proceed with say frozen spherification?
    Also, must a dome shape mold be used? If i use any other shape of mold, wouldn’t I still utimately still get a sphere too?
    Thank you!

    • QuantumChef

      You don’t need to worry about acidity since you will be using reverse spherification. Just use the port as is or maybe you can add a little of water to reduce the level of alcohol since when the level is high it may cause coughing when the sphere explodes in the mouth.

      • m o m o

        My problem was mainly the spheres are not clean when I drop them in. Sometimes a disk of circular halo forms right on the surface of the alginate bath as I drop it in. Other times a very ugly thin film follows when I fish it out of the bath. Everytime i try it it gives me a very different result. It could most likely be the viscosity as I’m not sure of the amt of xanthan gum needed. I have tried puree with yogurt and it turn out with beautiful spheres where it’s really easy to control the consistency. But with the port wine, it always seems unable to drop into alginate bath as a sphere/drop.. I would like to seek advice as to how I can improve the situation and consistency of the spheres that I produce.
        Thank you for you prompt reply and willingness to share!

        • JWUchef

          it takes practice to get the perfect sphere shape. i just learned this in university and it all depends on the consistency on what your molding and how long you leave it in the bath. what are you using to drop it into the bath? the rounder the tool the better. like the really cheap measuring spoons from the dollar store. make sure when you drop it into the bath you use a spoon to help the shape and not allow it to touch the bottom of the bowl or something.

        • QuantumChef
  • Christoff Frazier

    This totally needs a video.

    • JoanRoberts


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  • Adil

    Does sodium alginate contains alcohol,is it halal

    • Mohommad

      Who cares? Halal is bullshit anyway.

      • will1565


    • S Madi Moulton

      No, it does not contain alcohol. As for halal, I’m not sure. It’s basically a plant extract from seaweed an it’s used in many things already (yogurt, ice cream, bread, etc.). As long as there is no restriction on plants, you should be good.

  • Marco Uribe

    I may not use all the alginate bath in one go, how long can i keep it in the fridge?

    • QuantumChef

      A couple of days should be fine.

  • j lio

    can you replace the rum

    • QuantumChef

      Yes, you can make any cocktail recipe you like.

  • Lizzie Bee

    Hi, If I want to make a range of items which require an alginate bath, is there a limit as to how much I can process with 1L – ie does it lose its efficacy at some stage? I see below you also mention it can keep in the fridge for a few days, is it possible to freeze it for later use? (we live in the country and distilled water isn’t so easy to come by)

    • QuantumChef

      You can reuse it many times, just keep it clean by passing it through a sieve if you have any spills or breakage. Never tried freezing it, not sure if it will work.

  • Paula

    Can these be made a day ahead of serving? Or at least a few hours before serving?

    • QuantumChef

      Yes, no problem. Just store them in the same mojito mix. And carbonate them before serving or you can skip this step if you want.

  • thexcuriousxwanderer

    Hi can this be made using basic spherification?

  • Christiana

    Rather than carbonating the bubbles with the Whip Container, could I use a mineral water such a Gerolsteiner (with a pH of around 5-6) rather than using distilled water for the mojito mix? Will it remain carbonated?

    • QuantumChef

      The problem is that you don’t want the bubbles when making the sphere. The membrane will likely have weak points and break.

  • MH

    Hi, I tried this recipe with straight tequila (directions 3n4 under mojito mix) and a gelatin layer formed on the top as it rested. Could that be the gum or an alginate reaction to the straight tequila? Thanks!

    • QuantumChef

      The alcohol content may be too high for the alginate to hydrate properly.

  • Cassiopeia

    Can I use Agar Agar in stead of Xanthan?

    I already have the Agar on hand and Xanthan can be a little pricey though it will last you a long time. I know that if I can use it, it would be a 2:1 ration where I double the amount of Agar in place of the Xanthan. Thank you :)