how to make campari cotton candy

Using Dust Technique in Molecular Mixology

The dust method will create a powder-like substance or fine, coarse particles, which can be used to sprinkle over a drink to add an aroma, rim a glass, create an illusion of dirt spread all over a plate, cigar ashes, cotton candy, etc.

I use two ways of creating powders; Maltodextrin, the Tapioca one, and food dehydrator.

The specific Malto I used is Tapioca (cassava root) Maltodextrin; a food starch used to absorb and thicken fat. The final product is a powder, which melts in your mouth and has a nice texture. Any item, liquid or solid, with high-fat content, can be used. Olive oil, Caramel, Nutella, peanut butter, and bacon fat are some of the right ingredients. If they are in a solid-state like bacon fat, they need to be liquefied before that; others like Nutella don’t have to be.

The general ratio is 40-60% of the fat content. The powder can be made using a blender or manually.

In a blender, add;

120 gr Nutella

80 gr Tapioca Maltodextrin

Blend it, scrape the sides of the blender occasionally; if it is not powdery enough, add more Maltodextrin. Store in the fridge for a couple of weeks.


In a bowl, add Nutella first, then add a spoon of Maltodextrin and stir. Keep adding Malto and stirring until you get nice fluffy powder. Strain through a fine sieve.

Don’t add the powder to a drink. It will lose its texture.

Another way of making dust is by using a food dehydrator. For that purpose, you will need a liquid with higher sugar content, and since one of my favorite aperitifs is Campari, I decided to use it for that purpose and make Cotton Candy out of it. Not all the aperitifs or liqueurs will dehydrate to crystallized form, I guess that might have something to do with their ingredients, but it is fun trying.

Cotton Candy Campari

how to make campari cotton candy

Prep Time 8 hours
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 5 minutes


  • 500 ml Campari- the amount depends on the size of the dehydrator tray.
  • Food Dehydrator


  1. Pour the Campari onto the food dehydrator tray.
  2. Turn it on and go have a drink(s). The wait time varies, I have a smaller one and it took me around 6 hours for all the liquid to vaporize. What you have left is a substance with crystallized like texture.
  3. Scrape it, cover it, and store it in the fridge.
  4. When is time to use the Campari, you have two options; use a muddler or spice grinder to crush it, pulverized it, to make it look like fine sugar.
  5. You can rim the glass, sprinkle on top of the drink, or run it through a cotton candy machine.
  6. The cotton candy can be served as a garnish on top of a drink or placed into an empty cocktail glass, after that the drink can be poured on top of it in front of the customer.


Another way of dehydrating a Campari is in the oven in a low heat140-185F, I haven’t used this method, but I’ve seen different posts on the web of people describing how is done.

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