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tmas

Homemade cocktail ingredients - batches too large for home use

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tmas   
Posted (edited)

Hello Folks,

 

I assume many on this site like to make their own cocktail ingredients.  While I haven't personally invented any yet, I not infrequently come across something in a magazine, book, or online that I want to whip up.  Problem is, these recipes are almost always for an insane quantity of the substance.  After all if you just want to make a few drinks for you and your S.O. or some friends why would you need to make a quart of an ingredient of which only a 1/2 oz per drink is required.  I usually scale down the recipe but have often wondered why there is never any mention as to whether this will affect the final product or not.  In food recipes it will often be stated that the recipe can be scaled down, many recipes can not simply be halved or quartered without upsetting the outcome.

 


The other thing is that there is usually a note to "use within 3 days", or a week, or whatever, but there is never any mention as to whether this quart of dandelion juice liquid that you've just created ( did so for an actual drink ) can be frozen and if so for how long.  Drives me nuts. I poured the 12 ounces or so of the stuff that I had left into an ice cube tray, and now I am left to wonder if I will be poisoning myself the next time I mix up a few of these tasty cocktails.

 

Hey, us cocktail enthusiasts are not all running a bar!

 

Anybody have any insight on this topic?


Edited by Smithy Adjusted title (log)

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J_Ozzy   

 

Can't really help with scaling, other than to recommend doing so, by weight, with a decent kitchen scale. Ratios should be ratios, as long as potency is consistent.

For any processing that does not involve cooking, flash infusion with an iSi whipper (or soon, centrifuge via a Spinzall); let gravities or the compression/decompression cycle do the work on the quantity of reagents you've chosen to use.

Freezing can be tricky; you may not get back what you put in (separation, ice crystal damage), but it's unlikely to kill you once thawed if it wasn't poisoning you before hand.

The produced ingredients with low shelf lives are often most vulnerable to oxidation, so keeping them isolated (pumped out bottle or inert gas layer) and refrigerated might stretch that out.

 

Liquid Intelligence by Dave Arnold discusses some of this, and is an otherwise great read; I'd highly recommend it.
 

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Frederic   

For syrups, I found that adding 1 oz of 80 proof to every 12-15 oz syrup (add the vodka to the bottle to sterilize it as you shake it around) helps to stretch syrups out to a year or so (as long as they're kept refrigerated and the cap isn't off for more than a moment each time).

Otherwise, I usually skip recipes that require specialty ingredients that have single or few uses. Most of the bars providing those recipes have barbacks or bartenders who make it as part of their regular prep work (or some cases of produce-driven ingredients, the kitchen already has it prepped for another use and they give out their excess to the bar) and are perhaps doing it for hundreds of guests each week.

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