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Chris Amirault

Uses of Gum Arabic

43 posts in this topic

Just got a pound of gum Arabic from Frontier Coop. There are dozens of mentions of gum Arabic in the Spirits & Cocktails forum, but I'm having a hard time figuring out specifics for applications in orgeat, grenadine, gum syrup (in non-massive amounts), etc.

So what do people use it for? In what proportions? Feel free to suggest experiment; I'm game for anything.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Gum Arabic is a really versatile gum. I haven't used it in years so I can't give you specifics, but it doesn't take a lot. Use as an emulisfier and thickener. Recently I have been using Xanthan Gum (because you can get it at a well stocked supermarket) for smoothies and frozen desserts - extensive discussion is here.

The key is to experiment and blend well.


Edited by mgaretz (log)

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I use it as a "sealer" to treat nuts before I pan them in chocolate (coat them w.chocolate in a rotating bowl) as well as giving them a final polish with g.a.

There are quite a few qualities of g.a. with the clearest being the most expensive

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I have this recipe in my files. I don't remember where I got it or why I saved it and I've never used it so I can't verify it's worth but I was pretty sure I remembered it being in the dark recesses of my storage drive.

gomme syrup:

60 grams arabic powder

75 grams hot water

Combine and allow to hydrate, stirring occasionally.

230 grams sugar

115 grams water

Simmer to dissolve sugar completely. Stir in the gum mixture.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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In Japan, gomme syrup is provided in little plastic containers (kind of like creamer) to sweeten tea and other drinks. I saw it all over the place, as common as salt and pepper and sugar packets. It does add a nice texture to iced tea and lemonade.

Gum Arabic is often used, mixted with water, to add shine to gumpaste leaves and certain flowers like antherium.

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If you want to make actual gomme syrup, there are recipes for that posted elsewhere in these forums. It makes a lot of gomme, but on the other hand it keeps quite well in a sealed bottle (I had a bottle of gomme on a shelf for a year and it was fine).

Other than that, you can add it in smaller amounts to syrups, etc. in order to make them silkier, help them stay emulsified and keep from separating. It's hard to give definitive amounts. I usually eyeball it and see how it works. I find that the best way to "quick hydrate" the gum arabic so that it doesn't clump up is to put the liquid in the blender, turn it on and drizzle in the gum arabic powder. Then you can go to the stove, add the sugar plus whatever else and bring it all up to heat.

As for cocktailian applications... well, that's about it. I have thought from time to time of making a pure gum arabic syrup to use as a non-sweetening "silkening/emulsifying/foaming" agent, but have not got around to experimenting with that as yet.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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If you want to make actual gomme syrup, there are recipes for that posted elsewhere in these forums. It makes a lot of gomme, but on the other hand it keeps quite well in a sealed bottle (I had a bottle of gomme on a shelf for a year and it was fine).

Shelf of the liquor cabinet or fridge?


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Shelf of the cabinet. Keep in mind that the gomme syrup will be stronger than 2:1 (with the gum arabic preventing recrystallization) and that sugar is a preservative. I also floated a 1/4 inch of vodka on top of the sugar.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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If you want to make actual gomme syrup, there are recipes for that posted elsewhere in these forums. It makes a lot of gomme, but on the other hand it keeps quite well in a sealed bottle (I had a bottle of gomme on a shelf for a year and it was fine).

I searched gomme syrup here on the forums and the recipe I found appears to be pretty much identical to the one I posted above, just much more massive in volume. The actual ratios and directions match up pretty well though.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Sam's blender method doesn't work so well with the smaller amounts in Tri2Cook's recipe, so I went with the whisk -- and then a fine strainer. The stuff tastes slightly... malty?


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Sam's blender method doesn't work so well with the smaller amounts in Tri2Cook's recipe, so I went with the whisk -- and then a fine strainer. The stuff tastes slightly... malty?

Yeah, I'm with you there. I made some last spring and haven't used it much since. Apart from having a peculiar flavor I found that the resulting syrup was so thick as to have trouble pouring and mixing it into spirits. I always have to stir quite throughly all the liquid ingredients together before adding ice, lest I end up with a puddle of goo in the bottom of the mixing glass and little to no sweetener in my drink.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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I use Paul's recipe posted over at The Cocktail Chronicles, and it's always worked out well for me. The only thing that I do differently is use demerara sugar. Mix up a batch, make yourself a Sazerac, and prepare to have your world rocked.


"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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hmm... i add some to all of my syrups to prevent re-crystallization and add texture - always at 2:1::sugar:water. i have noticed a slight flavor from it, but rather than think it was off-putting, i think it is rather nice - maybe malty and smooth. the syrups are think, but i never have trouble pouring (from a syrup pourer) or mixing them. i wholeheartedly agree with the demerara/sazerac comment above.

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Just made an Improved Whiskey Cocktail (Rittenhouse BIB, Luxardo maraschino, Jerry Thomas Decanter Bitters, Marteau absinthe) with the stuff and it was fantastic. The mouthfeel that everyone touts, for sure, but also the slightly malty quality was an excellent foil for the spice in the rye and bitters. I'm sold.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I've always wondered how much syrup was needed to be able to detect a difference in mouthfeel. How much was in your drink?


 

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Where are people getting their gum arabic from? I tried whole foods & a local vitamin store and they both gave me blank looks.


PS: I am a guy.

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I've always wondered how much syrup was needed to be able to detect a difference in mouthfeel. How much was in your drink?

1 tsp, following Wondrich following Jerry Thomas, and the difference is definitely notable. Luscious, I would say, in fact.

Where are people getting their gum arabic from? I tried whole foods & a local vitamin store and they both gave me blank looks.

Frontier Coop.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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And it's powdered, Chris? I have a package from a Caribbean grocery labelled gum arabic that's in lumps. It looks like some kind of dried resin. Can I just bash it up?


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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Yup: powder. I whisked the amount Tri2Cook indicated into warm water and with a little elbow grease it was pretty smooth sailing (though I did catch a small clump or three in the fine strainer at the end).


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Speaking of slightly malty qualities, now try it in an Improved Hollands Gin Cocktail. More revelations await you.


"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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Question on the Improved Hollands Gin Cocktail, what type of genever should be used (oude, jonge, corenwyn)? I've got a bottle of Bols Corenwyn and a bottle of Ketel 1 Jonge at home.

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Try it with both! (Personally, I would favor the corenwyn).


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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OK, I'm not a Cocktalian, I'm just a drinker. I probably missed it somewhere in this discussion, bemused as I am, but WTF do you want to incorporate gum arabic into cocktails? I'm not being snippy: I'm a scotch and soda girl who just wants to know.


Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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There's a flavor element -- as noted above, it's a bit malty, which is an added bonus in some drinks. But the gum arabic thickens the drink to give it a silkier mouthfeel. The Improved Whiskey Cocktail, for example, is decidedly luscious with the gum syrup, sort of like foie as compared to duck breast.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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