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Whipped cream dispensers aren't just for the kitchen. Brought behind the bar, they can be the key to creamier, fluffier cocktails.
A squirt or two will upgrade an Irish coffee, though the possibilities are endless beyond that. “When it comes to making cocktails, this magical little device can flash-infuse booze in 30 seconds, make gourmet flavored creams, booze-filled foams, vegan-friendly froths (with aquafaba - the liquid found in a can of chickpeas), as well as infuse sodas and highballs,” describes bar consultant Deena Sayers, of Drinks By Deena.
Plus, the experience of foaming and frothing cocktails is pretty enjoyable. “This process can be a lot of fun behind the bar making unique and lasting experiences for guests while being allowed to engage and educate them as well,” describes Anthony Escalante, the bar manager of Wrigley Mansion in Phoenix. “You can be sure that they will tell all their friends about the experience they had.” Here are our favorites.
Best Overall: iSi Gourmet Whip
“iSi whipped cream dispensers are the benchmark for versatility and durability,” says Dean Hurst, the beverage director of Florida's Datz Restaurant Group. “iSi is the gold standard, with assorted sizes available depending on your bar's demand,” agrees Benjamin Pozar, bartender at Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chao in Bedford, Texas.
Why are the iSi whipped cream dispensers so covetable? The proprietary rapid infusion process was developed by mixologist Dave Arnold. “N2O (nitrous oxide) flows out of the iSi cream charger into the iSi whipper, forcing the liquid and the N2O to organically combine under high pressure with the flavoring substance,” explains Escalante. “When the pressure in the whipper is released, the N2O forms bubbles and takes on the flavors of the ingredient. This means the aroma has been transferred into the liquid.”
He vouches that, “I believe the iSi Gourmet Whip is the best available on the market, but not to just make amazing whips and emulsions but rather rapid infusions while behind the bar or in the kitchen.” This set includes a stainless steel bottle, head, removable piston, charger, cleaning brush, and decorator tip.
Good to Know:
Hurtz recommends adding a pinch of cinnamon to the cream before whipping. “It’s a subtle way to add flavor to coffee drinks.”
Related: The Best Irish Whiskeys
Best Splurge: iSi Nitro Whip
“I have always used iSi Whip Cream canisters, while at work and at home,” says Jonathan Stanyard of Feast in Seattle, WA. “These are solid and reliable not only for whip cream but for infusions and foams as well!”
The iSi Nitro Whip is particularly excellent for making nitro-infused drinks—The charger-fueled dispenser pushes nitrogen into the coffee or cocktail, giving the drink small bubbles and a foamy texture. With this particular whipped cream dispenser, Sayers notes that “Infusing liquor and sodas is easy. You just fill the canister to the filling with either booze or water along with the herbs or produce of your choosing, attach a NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) for liquor infusions or a CO2 (carbon dioxide) for sodas. Shake well and you’re done!”
Best for Experts: iSi Gourmet Whip with Rapid Infusion Tools
“For creating whipped creams and foams with stiff peaks, the iSi Whipped Cream Dispenser is the gold standard,’ describes Ethan Campbell, a bartender at Sense of Thai St. “It's a very reliable and very sturdy model.”
Campbell continues, “ iSi also makes a compatible rapid infusion set making it capable of creating rapid nitrous infusions such as infused liquors and bitters.” With the rapid infusion kit, you skip letting spirits and bitters infuse over days or weeks—the process is then condensed to a matter of seconds. It’s also adept at making light, fluffy soups, sauces, or a range of cocktails; plus things like chili-infused olive oil or flavored vinegar.
Included in this kit are iSi’s signature whipper, a funnel with a sieve insert, a 5-piece infusion set, and a 10-pack of additional chargers.
Good to Know:
Jules Aron, the author of Low Proof Happy Hour, notes that this dispenser is a “game-changer for any high-volume bar.” But to get the full effect, “charge your dispenser upside down to allow the gas to travel through all of the liquid.”
Best Small: EurKitchen Professional Whipped Cream Dispenser
Holding an impressive full pint of liquid, this chilled metal canister can concoct mousses, whipped creams, foamed drinks, nitro coffees, and even butter. Swap out the gas cartridge and you have the potential to make your own hard seltzer. Use to make a labor-intensive Ramos Gin Fizz quickly—mix up the ingredients right in the canister.
It’s universally compatible with all standard 8-gram n2o chargers, though note the chargers are not included with the initial purpose. The durable canister is crafted for heavy usage, with an all-aluminum canister, reinforced threads, and a silicone grip. A cleaning brush will get in the hard-to-reach places in the dispenser head and the decorating tips for easy cleanup. All the accessories, including a spare silicone gasket and n2o charger holder, fit inside an included mesh bag.
Related: The Best Cheap Gins
Best Stainless Steel: ICO Stainless Steel Professional Whipped Cream Dispenser
Impeccable Culinary Objects’ (ICO) higher-end whipped cream dispenser is quick and easy to use, with the ability to turn out two liters of whipped cream in under 30 seconds. Once you’ve shaken the canister, store the mixture in the fridge for up to fourteen days. There are two different decorator tips, including a straight and bullet, to customize the flow.
Unlike most whipped cream dispensers on our radar, ICO's option is dishwasher safe. Disassemble the pieces for a deeper clean—the dispenser features a removable stainless steel piston and silicone seal—then toss them in the machine. The all-aluminum body was developed to be durable and light, with an inner and outer coating.
Lastly, this whipped cream canister comes in two different sizes and finishes; pick from 0.5L or 1L, depending on the quantities you generally handle, and choose between an aluminum or stainless steel finish.
Related: The Best Bar Tools
Best Budget: ICO Professional Whipped Cream Dispenser
This whipped cream dispenser creates fluffy plumes in a near-instant, and on a budget. The pint-sized canister is ideal for making whipped cream at home or in a small space—it turns one pint of liquid into two quarts of cream.
Packed in this wallet-friendly set is a gourmet 500 mL/1 pint whipper with three different tips. Simply add a nitrous oxide cartridge, fill it with cream or your cocktail of choice, screw the top back on, and spray away. You don’t need to use it all in one night—when you’re done, the entire cartridge can be stored in the fridge for up to a week. The canister does require hand washing, but it’s relatively easy to clean by rinsing in hot water. Cartridges are sold separately, though you can choose to add ten chargers to your order.
Best Alternative: BlenderBottle Shaker Bottle
"I actually love using a BlenderBottle shaker bottle for whipped cream!” says Francis Coligado, the beverage director at Atlanta’s Delbar. “I learned this technique from the Dead Rabbit—they’re the masters at making Irish coffees. The bottle is super easy to work with. All you have to do is add your cream, drop in the shaker ball, and shake. You can easily add any syrup to add flavor also!”
Plus, he adds, “The bottle is also extremely easy to clean and does not take up that much room. We use this technique for our riff on the Irish Coffee on our brunch menu that includes Irish whiskey, Bacardi Ocho, cold brew concentrate, tarragon-mint syrup and topped with tarragon-mint cream." Pozar also likes this approach. “A standard protein shaker bottle with a wire ball does very well for a light whipped cream floated on top of an Irish Coffee.”
BlenderBottle has a capacity of 28 ounces and comes in a rainbow of different colors. A stainless steel ball helps make cocktails fluffy and light.
Easy to Use: Otis Classic Professional Whipped Cream Maker
“The Otis Classic professional series cream whipper is a great all-purpose tool. It's made out of stainless steel, so it's durable at high pressures,” describes Bryson Downham, the beverage director at Toups Meatery in New Orleans. “It can be used for the standards, like making foams or whipping creams, or for more advanced projects like infusions. Plus it comes with a cleaning brush for the dispenser set up.”
With just a few shakes, you can make a bar-quality cold brew or homemade whipped cream. The commercial-grade whipped cream dispenser is made with food-grade 18/8 stainless steel—far less reactive than average steel. If you’ve got an artistic flair, the set includes three different decorating tips. The pieces are designed to come apart quickly for easy cleaning.
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Kate Dingwall is a spirits and wine writer and working sommelier. Her biggest pet peeve is a dull bar knife.