Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Sign in to follow this  
occam's razor

Viceroy Old Fashioned (kind of...) - Spoiled? HELP!!

Recommended Posts

Hi All,

 

Here in the UK (for everyone outside) they have a TV show with a drinks/cocktail segment. I saw a cocktail that I wanted to make for Christmas. The Viceroy Old Fashioned - Here is the recipe:

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/su...

 

However on the actual show he explained how he makes it and its slightly more in-depth.

 

Basically he makes a syrup with Darjeeling Green tea, Bay Leaves, Dark brown Sugar and Orange Bitters. Pours it over some Woodford Reserve and lets it steep for 3 months.

I decided to have a go at the longer, aged version.

 

I made a 2:1 ratio syrup from slightly different ingredients as I felt I wanted more of a smoky darker taste:

 

Cold brewed Oolong Loose leaf Green Tea,
Unrefined Molasses Sugar
Fresh Bay Leaves

 

This made a very glossy thick syrup. I mixed (to taste) an amount of this to a bottle of Islay 10 year Single Malt and a dash of Angostura Bitters. It tastes delicious.

 

My issue (apologies for not being succinct but I didn't want to leave anything out) is that I went to try some yesterday which has been sitting for about a month now and it has a sediment which looks like mud in wine and some flecks of "stuff" in it.

 

Do you think this might be spoiled or dangerous to drink? I am not in anyway a professional but I always worry about botulism etc (dont laugh or judge me). My first thought was it might be the sugar crystallizing. But then I wondered if it might be bacteria or mold.

 

Should I have kept it in the fridge because of the tea and sugar? I still have some of the syrup in the fridge and that looks fine. I just assumed alcohol wouldn't allow bacteria to form.

I am giving these as presents so I dont want to make anyone ill??

 

Any help would be most appreciated.

Regards

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sugar is antimicrobial, too, so I can't imagine bacteria would stand a chance. And if the syrup looks fine, then I also can't imagine adding a single malt would promote mold growth. My organic chemistry classes are way too far in the rear view mirror for me to offer any more than that, but I know we have a chemist or two around here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I expect it's just sediment you didn't notice before and it's fine. If you die, please report back.

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎11‎/‎13‎/‎2017 at 10:35 AM, occam's razor said:

My issue (apologies for not being succinct but I didn't want to leave anything out) is that I went to try some yesterday which has been sitting for about a month now and it has a sediment which looks like mud in wine and some flecks of "stuff" in it.

My falernum does something similar. In my case I know it's not sugar crystallizing and I don't believe it's mold either (I've seen mold and it looks very different).

 

The sediment stuff I suspect is due to flocculation - fine particles (from the solid ingredients used in the recipe) that were not completely filtered out and that, over time, clump together forming larger particles which eventually fall to the bottom of the bottle via sedimentation. If that's the case, then it's still safe to use. Just be careful to pour it slowly so the sediment doesn't transfer into your drink.


Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, FrogPrincesse said:

The sediment stuff I suspect is due to flocculation

And to think all this time I thought flocculation was how lambs were made.

  • Haha 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, FrogPrincesse said:

My falernum does something similar. In my case I know it's not sugar crystallizing and I don't believe it's mold either (I've seen mold and it looks very different).

 

The sediment stuff I suspect is due to flocculation - fine particles (from the solid ingredients used in the recipe) that were not completely filtered out and that, over time, clump together forming larger particles which eventually fall to the bottom of the bottle via sedimentation. If that's the case, then it's still safe to use. Just be careful to pour it slowly so the sediment doesn't transfer into your drink.

 

 

Thank you very much for taking the time to reply.

 

Maybe I dont understand what you mean by solid ingredients but it was only tea and sugar and bay leaf... There is actually a combination of sediment and flecks of something that wasn't there when I bottled it. The sediment doesn't really concern me its the flecks.  One of my concerns since trying to diagnose on the net (thanks Google!!) is that I cold brewed the tea and it was whole loose leaf, could that of been a breeding ground? Anything would have been killed during the syrup boiling process surely?

 

Because I have a few bottles and wanted to give as presents then I need to be sure...  I am sort of sure it is fine but not sure enough if you get what I mean. I cant imagine anything nasty can live in a sugary alcoholic environment??

 

If anyone else can confirm that would be great.

 

Regards

Mr Paranoid!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Solid ingredients (sugar, tea, bay leaf) as opposed to the liquid ingredients (water, booze).

 

Hard to tell without seeing these "flecks". What do they look like?

 

In the future, it's best to make your syrup, store it in the fridge, and not premix it with the whiskey if you are worried about spoilage. Though I agree with you that it's unlikely that mold would grow in this type of environment (booze + sugar).

You said that the syrup was thick. How thoroughly did you mix? Maybe you have a glob of syrup left in there that is spoiling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So the flecks... They are light, hard to tell the color because the mix is so dark. it looks like tiny flakes of something. Not a lot of them admittedly. I cant photograph them as it is hard to focus but I have managed to get a photo to show you the sediment (attached). It obviously mixes when shook... Maybe this sediment are the flecks when mixed??

 

The first photo is the colour when shook and those are bubbles not the "flecks"... You can see it goes a muddy brown. The other two are obvious.

 

At this point let me state that I was scrupulous when I made this and throughout, including sterilizing the bottle etc. Although it did have a reusable cork stopper which I did was thoroughly.

 

 

20171116_192750.jpg

20171116_192459.jpg

20171116_192621.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The pictures help a bit. From the last one, the light specks look like sugar crystals to me. If they were dark I'd be more worried. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×