Created by Martin Kastner of Crucial Detail design studio, the Porthole infusion vessel could be mistaken for a work or art. It is a simple glass bottle that can be used to make any kind of liquid infusion, from flavored oils, dressings, teas or even cocktails.
The idea for the Porthole came about as chefs working at the Aviary were discussing the rise of ‘fast infusions’, how a cocktail evolves during the time it takes to serve them up, and Kastner likened them to a window in space and time, similar to the submarine porthole in Karel Zeman’s 1958 movie ‘The Fabulous World of Jules Verne’.
This became the design model for the Porthole, a glimpse into the world of infusions via a glass window.
The Porthole was first launched on the crowd funding site KickStarter, where it totally smashed the records for funding. With an eye-watering 4,270 backers who pledged $736,112 of the $28,500 goal, the project was funded by a massive 2,582%!
The Porthole made its debut in the Aviary bar and restaurant, where cocktails were proudly displayed within the glass structure. Many customers imbibing at the bar requested to buy the infusion vessel, but were told that they were not for sale. Later the owners noticed that some customers had become so enamored with the Porthole, that they wouldn’t take no for an answer and had ‘liberated’ them from the lounge!
This prompted Kastner to realise that the product was a hit with customers, and perhaps he should attempt to get them manufactured. Hence the KickStarter launch. The team started off producing a small prototype batch but they found that the initial batch cost over four hundred dollars. They then completely redesigned the Porthole and got the costs down to less than $100 dollars. Now you get a product that is completely usable, it’s dishwasher safe, durable, and a cinch to operate.
Despite the great response from the crowd-funding site, Kastner remains relatively modest about his design: “It wasn’t really designed to be a consumer product,” he added: “Of all the pieces, some just get great response, some don’t.”
What we love about the Porthole is that you can place the ingredients for your infusion into the product whilst it is lying flat on the table, and then you add the liquid form of the infusion. Stand the Porthole up and you have your arrangement, pressed between the two panes of glass.
Anything can be popped into the Porthole, experiment with flavored oils by adding sprigs of different herbs, chillies or garlic. Or try a cocktail by combing citrus fruits with vodka or gin. The sit back and watch as the infusion starts to change colour and evolve into the final product.
For more information you can check out the progress on KickStarter
All images copyright Porthole/Crucial Designs.