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Mike S.

Double-Infused Tequila por Mi Amante

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Mike S.   

Two weeks ago I started a batch of Tequila por Mi Amante -- my first attempt at this stuff -- with what were the best strawberries I could easily find at the time (and they were not at all bad, mind). I tasted it this morning and liked it very much. Nice flavor, beautiful color, etc. Although the fruit definitely looks entirely played out to me after two weeks of infusion, I put the cap back on the jar and put it all back in the fridge to wait the last remaining week per the standard recipe.

This evening, however, while shopping for dinner stuff, I found some fresh-from-the-field, all-organic, open-pint strawberries that are absolutely out of this world! Better by a mile than the ones I used originally two weeks ago. I bought a bunch of them, thinking I'd start a second batch running just to see how it would compare to the first...

...but then I got to thinking -- what if I strained out the first batch, threw away the spent fruit and started a second infusion using the new uber-berries and the strained liquid from the first batch?

Anyone ever tried something like this, a double (or more) infused TPMA? I'm itching to try it, but would hate to ruin what I think is a pretty good batch in the works (and, like I said, my first ever at that). So if this road has been mapped before and found lacking, please somebody stop me!

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But hasn't the proof already been lowered on the original batch by the inclusion of all the water/juice/sugars of the first infusion?? You're not starting with 80 proof tequila anymore. Might it not be wiser to simply start a new batch with the better berries and compare them or even combine them when finished? After a point the tequila will reach saturation and you'll just be wasting good fruit that might have yielded a better result when starting from scratch, no?

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Mike S.   

Yikes, good point Katie! Hadn't thought of that. Hmm...two possible solutions (other than the very sensible one you propose) come to mind:

1. Start with an overproof tequila (say, the Herradura Blanco Mexican Bottling at 92 proof, or even the new 1800 Select Silver at 100 proof). Too late for this option for me at this point, but note to self for next time...

2. Or, bottle some (say, 1/3 to 1/2) of the original batch and supplement the remainder with fresh tequila (perhaps that 92 proof Herradura I forgot to use the first time) for the second infusion.

I think I'll run with #2, because I simply cannot resist the chance to try it.

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Barrio has a few strawberry Tequila drinks and we double infuse our bottles, the result is a more concentrated flavor. It definitely works, give it a try.

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Perhaps I stand corrected, then. I dunno. Just seems logical to me, but if others have had good results, then have at it! Please do report bck, with photos if possible. I'd be very curious what the end result looks like. The last single infused batch I made (pictured HERE) came out really red and so mellow it tasted like strawberry Kool-Aid. Seriously. It was pretty deadly because it went down so easy. Definitely turned a few non-tequila drinking friends into fans of TPMA, at least.

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Mike S.   

I've got my second-infusion batch going now, per my option #2 above. I'll report back when it's done, but it already looks great and...viscous!

Next up: I'm doing this with rum, maybe Barbancourt White (with or without a splash of W&N White Overproof?), and looking forward to some legitimate strawberry daiquiris. Rhum pour mon amoureux!


Edited by Mike S. (log)

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It's got a lower abv, no doubt, but the watery strawberry problem up here required the double infusion: the berries just were not as flowery and delicious as before.

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Tri2Cook   

Would good frozen berries be a better option for this if the fresh berries available locally are consistently flavorless grocery store crapberries?

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I guarantee that frozen fruit will loose much of the flavor through the freezing process. I'm simply stating from past experience with frozen fruit, freezing never being a good idea and frankly it's not very ecological (wasting energy to freeze rather than use fresh fruit.) Just being a party shittin Hippy I guess. Canning is always better than freezing in my opinion. And fresh is always better when it comes to cocktails.

Cheers,

Ciaran


Edited by RoyalSwagger (log)

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Tri2Cook   

I agree that fresh is better all else being equal. What I'm wondering is, if I had to choose between mediocre fresh berries and high quality frozen, which is going to give the best end result for this application.

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Mike S.   

Surely true, but high-quality frozen is probably better than those really terrible factory farm, "ripened on the truck" monstrosities some parts of the country are stuck with.

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Mike S.   

Tri2: I'd definitely go with high-quality frozen if the local fresh options are not good. No shame in that at all. I suppose I would defrost and drain them as much as possible to keep the water content to a minimum. Heck, you might even end up with a *more* concentrated outcome doing that! Give it a go and let us know what comes out the other end.

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Tri2Cook   

I'm going to check with a supplier to see what he has available but their fresh stuff usually isn't any better than the stuff at the store. It's just a fact of life for where I live. Really good fresh produce is a rare commodity. The farmers market is starting up next week so I'll check that too but it's usually more of a craft market. We just don't have a long enough or reliable enough (it's the end of June and I had to wear a jacket for a mid-day fast paced bike ride today... and I don't get cold easy) growing season for many things. Our only reliable local crops are fiddleheads and blueberries. I'll keep my eyes open for some good fresh berries, I was just wondering about good frozen berries as a back-up plan because this sounds tasty and I want to try it.

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Mike S.   

I filtered out my double-infused TPMA this evening. To say that it's different from the original single-infusion (half of which I saved) is quite the understatement. The color is at least twice as deep, like the difference between bright red quartz and blood garnet. The double-infused product is vastly more aromatic, and smells like nothing less than a strawberry field in high summer. And the flavor, well, there's really no comparison. The single-infused batch was very good indeed; this is simply extraordinary. And I now have a full liter of it decanted into an old dark and de-labeled Carpano Antica Formula bottle for max light protection. Kept in the fridge, I hope it lasts as long as possible!


Edited by Mike S. (log)

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I would imagine it might be more suceptible to degradation now, unless the increased sugar is going to make a big impact. Barring that I would expect to see some degradation in flavor after about a year, but I recently polished off some that was nearly three years old (single infused) and though the flavor was faded and perhaps more reminiscent of dried strawberries, it was still tasty.

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I've just been using the factory strawberries and am considering doing a double-infusion in rum. Should I use the W&N overproof, or stick to Flor de Cana (damn this stuff is so cheap).

BTW, I think using tequila as the original recipes calls for is a bit of a waste for such an expensive spirit, when you can use rum instead.

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I've just been using the factory strawberries and am considering doing a double-infusion in rum. Should I use the W&N overproof, or stick to Flor de Cana (damn this stuff is so cheap).

BTW, I think using tequila as the original recipes calls for is a bit of a waste for such an expensive spirit, when you can use rum instead.

I think the point is to get some of the pepper contrasts that only agave spirits can offer. Rum will work of course but I would be surprised if molasses-based rums can offer the same interesting contrasts. Now St. James Ambre might be another story...

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Mike S.   

I've been contemplating rum as my next stawberry infusion experiment, while the berries are still great. I was thinking of using Barbancourt White, which is very reasonably priced here in NorCal. Perhaps with a supplement of W&N White Overproof to round out a liter of liquid and up the proof of the final product a bit. FdeC is a good idea too, though.

Edited to add: St. James Ambre might be great, but it's a bit too pricy around here for my to experiment with an entire bottle in this way.


Edited by Mike S. (log)

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Edited to add:  St. James Ambre might be great, but it's a bit too pricy around here for my to experiment with an entire bottle in this way.

Shame, it's been on sale for $17/btl quite a bit lately at Specs in Houston.

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eje   

Edited to add:  St. James Ambre might be great, but it's a bit too pricy around here for my to experiment with an entire bottle in this way.

Shame, it's been on sale for $17/btl quite a bit lately at Specs in Houston.

Enjoy the St. James products while you can. It's my understanding the brand has lost its distribution in the US.

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Edited to add:  St. James Ambre might be great, but it's a bit too pricy around here for my to experiment with an entire bottle in this way.

Shame, it's been on sale for $17/btl quite a bit lately at Specs in Houston.

Enjoy the St. James products while you can. It's my understanding the brand has lost its distribution in the US.

Oh Hell! Wish I had stocked up on Hors d'Age when it was $27.

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Mike S.   

I've heard that too, but local liquor stores around me have been unable to confirm. And there seems to be plenty of it around, at least in places that have typically carried it (including Beltramo's here in NorCal). I have a pretty good stock of HdA, Ambre and Extra Old in any event.

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Mike S.   

I strained out my strawberry-infused rum (made with Barbancourt White so I've taken to calling this "Rhum pour Mon Amoureux") and I have to say the jury is still out. Smells wonderful and sports a beautiful bright ruby-red color, but the flavor is a little disappointing. Seems weak and somewhat watery; not what I would have expected given the flavor and quality of the strawberries I used. I'll see what it does in a mixed drink like a Daiquiri and report back.

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