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eje

(Not So) Simple, Flavored, & Spiced Syrups

265 posts in this topic

[...]

Isn't the classic gomme syrup also supersaturated?

[...]

Oh, I see! I've read somewhere that classic gomme was made at something like 9-1 sugar to water ratio. I was trying to figure out how on earth all that sugar wouldn't just spontaneously crystallize out of solution. But, I guess the gomme, would somehow prevent that crystallization, like adding some portion of corn syrup to candies?


Edited by eje (log)

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Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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[...]

Isn't the classic gomme syrup also supersaturated?

[...]

Oh, I see! I've read somewhere that classic gomme was made at something like 9-1 sugar to water ratio. I was trying to figure out how on earth all that sugar wouldn't just spontaneously crystallize out of solution. But, I guess the gomme, would somehow prevent that crystallization, like adding some portion of corn syrup to candies?

that 9 to 1 ratio is really interesting.... i am going to have to play with it....

i first read about maltodextrin in ancient issues of scientific american and then found that modern pastry chefs used it....

people put it in beer because it does not ferment and is mainly added to maintain the head on a beer.... not all beers have a nice head but too many people think they should....

i am really curious about this intense ratio...i'm sure you'd just use less witch might leave more room for alcohol....

i want to make a sazerac with the right texture and without a cloying sweetness....

another flavor chemistry tidbit... supposedly no particular sweetener is best. it all depends on the flavor you pair it with. in theory you want your sensation of sweetness to come after the initial flavor you want to promote. some flavors hit your tongue in wierd spots and therefore sucrose might not be the best choice...

i've never been able to do anything with this concept but it always struck me as interesting....

with maltodextrin i tried to make "sipping" versions of a couple liqueurs. i made a version of my "kahawa jimbi m'wengo" which is a swahili coffee liqueur recipe with aged rum, madagascar vanilla beans, african turbinado, and yirgacheffe which is basically heirloom ethiopian coffee from the first source of coffee....

i wanted to make it less sweet so it would be about 70 proof or so but still have great mouth feel. it sorta worked. i just need smarter people to taste and critique it...

cheers!


abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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that 9 to 1 ratio is really interesting.... i am going to have to play with it....

[...]

i am really curious about this intense ratio...i'm sure you'd just use less witch might leave more room for alcohol....

[...]

Well, I don't know if it is even possible. I believe I read it somewhere on the internet. Maybe one of ThinkingBartender's posts*?

Looking at gum syrup recipe from Thomas' "How to Mix Drinks" on Darcy O'Neil's Art of the Drink site, I see a more conservative amount of sugar given. Looks to be somewhere a little less than 2-1 sugar to water by weight.

It seems like there are several other gums which might be interesting. Locust Bean Gum in particular, seemed interesting to me, as it forms a gel. Also, unlike Gum Arabic and Locust Bean Gum, Guar Gum hydrates in water at room temperature, so it wouldn't require cooking.

PS. I love the "Essence of Cognac" recipe on that same page of "How to Mix Drinks".

*Found it: Bacardi Cocktail


Edited by eje (log)

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Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Essence of Cognac.

Take 1 ounce of oil of cognac.

½ gallon of spirits (95 per cent.).

1 gallon of spirits (70 per cent.).

2 ounces of strong ammonia.

1 pound of fine black tea.

2 pounds of prunes.

i have a couple books entirely devoted to faking various spirits.... it can be fun and rewarding to play with....

i think alot of people adulterate their spirits with black tea.... especially some of those barrique aged grappas.

there used to be a company back in the teens that sold all those oils. you could buy manongaheila oil to synthesize your own pennsylvania whiskey!

the books are pretty cool. they have like thirty different very promising recipes for aromatic cocktail bitters.... i have a pretty good collection of most of the required barks but i have not really gotten into it....


abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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This is probably heresy, but I like to use leftover syrup from home-candied fruits. It's probably more like 3:1 than 2:1 by the time it's done reducing, but the richly-infused flavor can't be beat. I have about 1/2 cup left over from candied blood oranges with cayenne and Grand Marnier that has lent fascinating flavors to orange libations.


David aka "DCP"

Amateur protein denaturer, Maillard reaction experimenter, & gourmand-at-large

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I'm getting ready to embark upon a gomme syrup experiment. Question: has anyone, either in making gomme or regular old simple syrup, experimented with the clarification procedures outlined in the Charles Schultz appendix to "How to Mix Drinks"? He says that sugar and water should be mixed with well beaten egg whites, put on the heat, allowed to rise and subside three times, the resulting scum skimmed off, and then the whole works strained. Is there any point whatsoever to doing this, or was this procedure developed to deal with loaf sugar that was not as refined as today's white sugar. He's also got an even stranger procedure for "extra white" clarified sugar, involving ivory black (charcoal made from ivory, but fundamentally "bone char" -- which is animal bone charcoal).

After doing a little googling, I see that most white sugar nowadays is already decolorized either with bone char or activated charcoal. I suppose this would make clarification superfluous?


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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Inspired by a recent Robert Hess Spirit World article on the Pisco Punch, I am thinking of going ahead with a homemade Gomme Syrup.

Pisco and the Pisco Punch

It was smooth and good. It was fragrant, seductive and delicate. My wife has asked me not to drink it again.

The difference between what I tasted when I first made it and what was served that day was not a difference in flavor, but in texture and bite. I am convinced that the mystery ingredient in Pisco Punch is nothing more than gum arabic, and that it works in some way to take all the rough edges off the Peruvian brandy and perhaps alter the rate of absorption or metabolism of the alcohol in it.

Anyone have tips for gomme making?

Interestingly, it appears the main source for Gum Arabic is Sudan, which may account somewhat for its price.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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I have made two batches of gomme syrup with gum arabic, according to Dave's instructions I posted above, one white sugar and one demerara sugar. I have yet to do any definitive s-de-by-side testing, but it's noticably thicker and more viscous compared to regular simple syrup with the same sweetening power -- so much so that it won't really flow through a speed pourer at room temperature.


Edited by slkinsey (log)

Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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I have made two batches of gomme arabic, according to Dave's instructions I posted above, one white sugar and one demerara sugar.  I have yet to do any definitive s-de-by-side testing, but it's noticably thicker and more viscous compared to regular simple syrup with the same sweetening power -- so much so that it won't really flow through a speed pourer at room temperature.

How does it work out, using it in cocktails?

Are there problems getting the gelled syrup to dissolve?

Do you think it is worth the effort?


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Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Haven't done much testing. I'll be bringing samples to my friends in Pegu, D&C and elsewhere to see what they think.

No troubles using it or getting it to dissolve.

It's not a small amount of effort, so it's hard to say whether it's worth it -- or, rather, to what extent it's worth it. I think I've detected increased silkyness in the cocktails I've made using gomme syrup, but am reluctant to say this is for sure true until I've done side-by-side testing.


Edited by slkinsey (log)

Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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How does it work out, using it in cocktails?

Are there problems getting the gelled syrup to dissolve?

Do you think it is worth the effort?

I made up a batch a while back, with very positive results (details are here).

I used plain white sugar in mine, as I only wanted sweetness for this batch, with no molasses flavor. It was quite good, and gave cocktails an excellent silky texture.

I keep meaning to make more, but the only place in Seattle where I've found gum arabic is completely on the other side of town, and they always seem to be closed when I'm in the neighborhood. But Robert's post puts me in the mood for Pisco Punch, so maybe soon...


Paul Clarke

Seattle

The Cocktail Chronicles

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I keep meaning to make more, but the only place in Seattle where I've found gum arabic is completely on the other side of town, and they always seem to be closed when I'm in the neighborhood.

Order some from these guys.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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Afraid I was going to have to send off to the California Historical Society for Bronson's article, I did some googling.

It appears his son has a blog and has reprinted the article in whole:

The Secrets of Pisco Punch Revealed - The Lost Recipe

I should mention that William Bronson was my father. I should also add that a year prior to the publication of the booklet in 1975, I asked him for the recipe, so that I could serve it at a party at my home, known across Berkeley, as Ashby House. He asked me why I wanted the recipe. I told him. He flat-out refused, informing me I would unleash forces heretofore unknown in my short life were I to serve the elixir at a party of ex-hippie now glitter sprouts who had just sprinted into drinking age.

I had the occasion several years later to try Pisco Punch at the Bank Exchange simulacrum in the TransAmerica Pyramid. It was early evening when we had the first one. It was delicious, sweet, but not too sweet, delicate, and enticing as described herein. We had another. Where the night took us after that remains to this day a mystery.


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Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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I just bought my mother a yuzu tree for her birthday, and as soon as the fruit comes in I'm planning to mooch a few to make some yuzu syrup.

I have two questions for the board:

1) Does anyone have Audrey Saunders' cold infused lime syrup recipe handy? The link on the first page of this thread is broken, and I couldn't find it in a search.

2) I've been adding a couple of tablespoons of vodka to my homemade grenadine as a preservative, but I was also wondering about adding ascorbic acid instead. Anyone have any experience with this?


"Martinis should always be stirred, not shaken, so that the molecules lie sensuously one on top of the other." - W. Somerset Maugham

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Oh, oops, the link in that post seems to go to a deleted topic. Will investigate.

In any case, here's the recipe:

Take a clean soda bottle (8oz is fine). Fill it half-way with sugar.

Fill the other half with water. Cap. Shake well. Let settle.

This takes 5 minutes.

Shake 2 more times until syrup is clear.

Zest of 1 lime, and add that to the bottled syrup. Save lime.

Cap, and give a light shake. Put directly into fridge.

Do not cut lime until the next day.

Next day, strain lime syrup, and then put back into bottle.

Juice lime.

Add lime syrup to taste.

If you look for sirop de citron recipes in google, you can find a number of french recipes.

Par Example: sirop de citron maison

This is basically lemons and sugar. 3 lemons sliced and macerated in 400kg sugar for 4 days. Bring it to a boil for 4 minutes, then strain. Sounds pretty intense.

edit - fix translation error.


Edited by eje (log)

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Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Thanks! I think I'll try the French recipe as it uses the whole fruit but, if my vague memories of high school French are correct, isn't that four days, not four hours?

Once that's done, a White Baby sounds nice.


"Martinis should always be stirred, not shaken, so that the molecules lie sensuously one on top of the other." - W. Somerset Maugham

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Thanks!  I think I'll try the French recipe as it uses the whole fruit but, if my vague memories of high school French are correct, isn't that four days, not four hours?

Once that's done, a White Baby sounds nice.

Ahem, yes, 4 days would make more sense.


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Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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All of this talk about how to best preserve syrups by monkeying around with sugar and ethanol contents, periodic boiling, etc... Why bother?

And besides... For me one of the rewarding things about making my own maraschino cherries/grenadine/etc is that it doesn't have preservatives in it.

It takes like five minutes to make simple syrup if that. Seems easy enough for me. Then you don't have to worry about reformulating recipes to higher sugar-content syrups or changing around the alcoholic composition of a cocktail.

If you have to store it, you can store it in the freezer (it probably won't freeze... at least it doesn't in mine).

One nice touch I use is to caramelize sugar in a small amount of water before adding the rest of it to bring the temperature down and stop it where I want it. A nice caramelized syrup goes well with some rum-based cocktails...


Edited by aschbren (log)

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well...yeah...a basic 1:1 takes two minutes to make (literally). no need to boil it.....just measure and then shake really hard for a minute. then shake it the first few times you pour it. its really that simple.

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1)  Does anyone have Audrey Saunders' cold infused lime syrup recipe handy?  The link on the first page of this thread is broken, and I couldn't find it in a search.

I think I might have been me who posted about that (I don't find it under her profile). There's really nothing to it: Start with a cup of 1:1 simple syrup, add the microplaned zest of one large lime, refrigerate for 24 hours or until it reaches the strength you would like, filter out the lime zest, bottle and use.

I have several modifications when I do this at home: First, I use more than one lime's worth of zest per cup of simple. Second, I briefly (ca. 10 minutes) infuse the zest into an ounce or so of vodka before adding the vodka and zest to the cold syrup for further infusion. This creates a more pungent extraction that I might call "muddled lime syrup." Third, I do a 2:1 simple syrup for better shelf stability.

2)  I've been adding a couple of tablespoons of vodka to my homemade grenadine as a preservative, but I was also wondering about adding ascorbic acid instead.  Anyone have any experience with this?

Meh. The best way to preserve your homemade grenadine is to increase the saturation. Sugar is a good preservative, and likely better than any amount of ascorbic acid you could add.

All of this talk about how to best preserve syrups by monkeying around with sugar and ethanol contents, periodic boiling, etc...  Why bother?

Well, for me it's because I don't want to have to mix up a batch of simple syrup every single time I want to make a drink. Therefore, there is some advantage to having a simple syrup that won't go off in the refrigerator (I actually have several: white gomme, demerara gomme, 1:1 simple, 2:1 demerara, 4:1 cane, 2:1 lime, 4:1 homemade pomegranate grenadine). This is especially true for things like gomme syrup and grenadine that involve a fair amount of work to make.

As I said above, increasing the sugar content is probably the best way to preserve your simple syrup -- especially if you are keeping it in the refrigerator. I've never been convinced that adding a few tablespoons of vodka to a pint of simple syrup would have any meaningful preservative effect on the syrup, as I don't see how it could possibly raise the alcoholic strength of the syrup enough to make a difference. I do, however, usually float a half-ounce or so of high proof spirits on the top of bottles of syrup that are going to be stored for a long time before I use them (for example, if I have two pint bottles of homemade grenadine). If the syrup is sufficiently concentrated, the spirits actually remain in a layer floating on top of the syrup rather than mixing in.

And besides...  For me one of the rewarding things about making my own maraschino cherries/grenadine/etc is that it doesn't have preservatives in it.

You know that sugar is a preservative, right? As are salt, oil, and alcohol?

well...yeah...a basic 1:1 takes two minutes to make (literally).  no need to boil it.....just measure and then shake really hard for a minute.  then shake it the first few times you pour it.  its really that simple.

The problem with 1:1 syrup is that it is not very shelf-stable. This makes it a bad idea, IMO, if you are doing any kind of infusion. Of course some infusions (citrus zest, certain spices) seem to keep relatively good flavor for quite some time on the shelf whereas others (ginger) don't last very long and still others (mint) never taste quite right for my palate.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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Has anyone ever tried using different flavored gastrics as substitutes for flavored syrups? I have been working with one of our chefs recently to create new flavors for cocktails and have created some gastric cocktails that are really interesting. For example, I was using a vanilla-cardamom gastric in a sidecar and just can't get enough. You have to use the gastrics in small quantities, but if you flavor them intensely, the result is really nice. Any thoughts?

By the way, first post here, but I have been stalking you conversations forever.


Edited by Robert Heugel (log)

Robert Heugel

Anvil Bar & Refuge - Houston, TX

http://www.drinkdogma.com

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Robert! Welcome to eGullet!

Interesting about Gastric, I can see how that would be an interesting flavoring element in small doses. Though, I think an over pour might be dangerous.

There's also a traditional Italian reduced grape juice called "Vino Cotto" that I've been interested in playing with in cocktails. One of these days I'll remember to pick some up at the Italian market.


Edited by eje (log)

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Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Robert!  Welcome to eGullet!

Interesting about Gastric, I can see how that would be an interesting flavoring element in small doses.  Though, I think an over pour might be dangerous.

There's also a traditional Italian reduced grape juice called "Vino Cotto" that I've been interested in playing with in cocktails.  One of these days I'll remember to pick some up at the Italian market.

is "vino cotto" another name for "sapa" which is a red wine reduction with sugar often used to enliven flavors like saffron in a dish....


abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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is "vino cotto" another name for "sapa" which is a red wine reduction with sugar often used to enliven flavors like saffron in a dish....

From my understanding, vino cotto is reduced grape juice (must) not wine.

From the worldwide gourmet website below, there are some similar products made from reduced wine:

Saba, sapa, mosto cotto, vino cotto...

"Sapa" – also called "saba" – is made by slowly cooking the must of red grapes (Montepulciano - Sangiovese) and white grapes (Verdicchio - Maceratino - Malvasia - Trebbiano). According to tradition, open copper kettles are used for the long cooking process. The thick sweet syrup that has a slightly acidic caramel flavor is then placed in wooden barrels to age for at least 10-12 months. During this time, the crystallized sugars from the cooking process settle to the bottom of the barrels allowing the syrup to be carefully removed.
The Romans followed suit, with their own spate of similar grape sweeteners boiled down to various consistencies. There was caroenum, which was actually boiled down wine, and sapa or defrutum, which was concentrated grape must.

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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My earlier reply as to the gastrique was merged out of this thread into the Roses' thread, so I thought I'd reproduce the thread-appropriate part here:

Has anyone ever tried using different flavored gastrics as substitutes for flavored syrups?

A gastrique is a sweet reduction of vinegar, sugar and (usually) fruit? In older days, something like this would have been called a "shrub." This is actually a very old tradition. Wayne Curtis talks about it in his excellent book, And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails (brief eG Forums thread here). Sounds like a very interesting direction for experimentation.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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