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Infusions & Tinctures at Home: The Topic


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#391 lesliec

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 04:47 PM

Hi Kerry.  As far as I could tell, I replicated my earlier recipe and technique but didn't get the same result.  I'm beginning to wonder about the wisdom of putting all my botanicals in a muslin pouch in the still column - I think there's potential for variation there due to the 'sock' getting more or less squashed by the ceramic saddles accompanying it.  Homedistiller.org had a post about making genever and the suggestion there was to have the heavier ingredients (juniper, coriander)  in the boiler itself and only the light stuff (peels, fried leaves) in the column.  I think I'll look into that for future experiments.

 

But for this time, I'm inclined to credit the second distillation for smoothing things out.  This was in pure pot still mode, by the way - no reflux at all (not recommended with a stainless column).


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#392 Chris Hennes

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Posted 09 March 2014 - 08:53 PM

As I read this I'm enjoying a glass of tonic doctored with a fresh batch of Pomelo Coriander tincture. It turned out very well: just slices of pomelo skin and pith along with toasted coriander seed infused in Everclear for a month or two. The inclusion of the pith gives a nice amount of bitterness, I think.


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#393 Joe Elliott

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 02:26 PM

Just started a Habanero and Honey Bourbon,
a Lemon and Basil White rum,
a Clementine and Lemon Grass Gin,
and a Fig and Thyme Vodka.
Don't know how they will turn out. Any idea how long I should infuse each for?

#394 lesliec

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 05:53 PM

Hi Joe.  Welcome to eGullet.

 

Rule of thumb is, time to infuse drops as your % alcohol increases.  If you're using 'standard' 40% ABV or so for all of these, I'd taste at three weeks and see how they're doing.  If they're not as intense as you like, leave them another week or two.  Or three.

 

The fig and thyme vodka sounds particularly intriguing.  Are you using fresh or dried figs?


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#395 Joe Elliott

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 03:03 PM

Some forums I read on other websites said to be careful with herbs and a couple even suggested just leaving them in for 2 days as they have such a strong flavour ( and then one would assume leaving anything else in). Also do I have to worry about floating fruit going off? If fruit has turned white (lost its colour and one would presume a lot of its flavour) should I take it out?
Fresh figs, I used all fresh ingredients. Didn't know if that was the best idea for everything but ????
Thank you for the warm welcome, by far the best forum for this sort of thing that I saw.

#396 Plantes Vertes

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 04:10 PM

Just started a Habanero and Honey Bourbon,
a Lemon and Basil White rum,
a Clementine and Lemon Grass Gin,
and a Fig and Thyme Vodka.
Don't know how they will turn out. Any idea how long I should infuse each for?

 

Hey Joe.

 

Citrus fruit (and I would guess figs too although I've never tried that) - 2-3 weeks

Herbs and peppers - couple of days.

 

Don't worry about the fruit going off; it's long past that.


Edited by Plantes Vertes, 04 April 2014 - 04:11 PM.


#397 lesliec

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 06:50 PM

Herbs can go longer than three days& I have a very successful amaro recipe that soaks its ingredients (including fresh rosemary, mint and sage) in 150 proof for three weeks before sweetening and leaving another two or three weeks.

Yes, don't worry about the appearance.

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#398 Smokalicious

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 12:53 PM

I've used the technique in this article with great success. Vacuum works well with fruit & veg, while the nitrous whipper is best for dry ingredients like herbs & teas. I've combined the two techniques as well.

 

Tito's vodka infused with serrano peppers, sweet peppers, and cucumber makes a fantastic base for Bloody Marys.


Edited by Smokalicious, 23 June 2014 - 12:54 PM.


#399 Hassouni

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 01:37 PM

I can't get more than a few minutes of green herbs (not stuff like rosemary or thyme, but mint, parsley, etc) without it getting NASTY, and that's in 95% grain alcohol. With vodka it's even worse.



#400 Smokalicious

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 08:21 PM

I can't get more than a few minutes of green herbs (not stuff like rosemary or thyme, but mint, parsley, etc) without it getting NASTY, and that's in 95% grain alcohol. With vodka it's even worse.

If you are referring to nitrous infusions, then I would make 3 points:

 

1. I don't use fresh herbs, only dried, when using this method.

2. 5 minutes is the longest I've pressurized any infusion.

3. I wouldn't think of doing this with grain alcohol.



#401 Hassouni

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 08:37 PM

I'm not using nitrous for herbs, just the regular old-fashioned way



#402 J_Ozzy

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 04:29 PM

Strawberry season here, so two jars of tequila por mi amante have been started using a portion of the proceeds from this morning's picking.

Now the challenge is holding out until August.



#403 lesliec

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 11:30 PM

I've been sitting on this post - not literally - for quite some time; life kept getting in the way.  But finally, I can tell you all about my experiments with a liqueur made from the seeds of the bay tree.

 

In my part of the world, the bay trees (Lauris nobilis, not the Californian bay) drop large numbers of seeds around March/April every year.  'Fresh' ones look like this:

 

Laurier1a.jpg

 

and if left to their own devices for a few days, lose their skins and end up like this:

 

Laurier1b.jpg

 

Last year I started this topic asking if anyone had heard of culinary uses for the seeds and received a few good replies.  At around the same time I started distilling my own alcohol and was looking for interesting things to make with the output.  On my favourite distillers' site I found this page where, if you scroll down a little, you'll find a very basic recipe for Liqueur de Laurier - bay liqueur made with the seeds.  Trouble is, the recipe consists of nothing more than a list of ingredients, with no instructions about what state the seeds should be in - with skins or without, whole or bashed or grated - or how long to soak them in the alcohol. Experimentation was called for.

 

I started with the specified litre of 50% spirit, 100 grams of seeds (I went with the ones without skins), a whole nutmeg (the recipe specifies 4 grams but doesn't say anything about grating) and a clove.  The seeds released a certain quantity of air bubbles:

 

Laurier2.jpg

 

That settled down after a while and I sealed the jar and put it away in the pantry.  Now the hard part - how long to leave it?

 

Over the next few weeks the mixture started developing a subtle gold/brown colour, but stayed clear rather than cloudy.  This seemed to me to be a good thing.  It also began to small, albeit faintly, of bay (the seeds themselves do have the smell, but nowhere near as strongly as the leaves).

 

After six weeks I decided to pull it out, sweeten and dilute it and bottle it.  And here it is:

 

Laurier3.jpg

 

I'm pleased to report complete success.  The final product is around 25% alcohol, lower than some of the things I've made which, although good, are distinctly 'grown up'.  It's very pleasant to drink on its own as a digestif ( a bit of ice is good with it) and, slightly to my surprise, I've found it substitutes very well in cocktails requiring yellow Chartreuse - like this one, which I highly recommend.

 

I'll certainly be making this again.  Given how well it turned out I'm reluctant to change anything, but I'm also slightly tempted to see what breaking up the seeds and/or grating the nutmeg would do.  We'll see ...


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#404 Craig E

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 08:37 PM

I've grown some big cucumbers and want to investigate the world of infusions. 

I think gin sounds better than vodka, but what kind?

  1. a workhorse gin (I like Brokers), because it seems like a neutral choice? (or is there more to consider?)
  2. a cheap gin, because the subtleties of pricier gins will be lost in the process anyway? (or is cheap gin going to taste bad whatever you add?)
  3. Hendricks, because it already leans in the cucumber direction? (or is that redundant?)
  4. some other kind of gin that's not on my radar? Plymouth? Old tom?!

What do you think?



#405 Hassouni

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 09:36 PM

I would not use a typical London dry, such as Broker's (as much as I love it), because the botanicals will probably stomp all over the cucumber. Maybe one of the many more floral gins that are discussed throughout the spirits forum? Personally I'm in love with the Dorothy Parker gin.


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