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limewine

Pimento Dram

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I've never made pimento dram; my half-bottle of St. Elizabeth has always been enough for me. So I'm not entirely sure; assuming that it's really nothing more than sweetened, allspice-infused rum, I see no reason the N2O approach shouldn't work!

Edit: Plus, of course, one benefit of nitrogen cavitation is that the barrier to entry is really low, if you already have a cream whipper.


Edited by mkayahara (log)

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Regarding making a quick pimento Dram with the NO2 technique, going back to the original Cooking Issues post (Infusion Profusion: Game-Changing Fast ‘N Cheap Technique), I don't see anything in the usual AllSpice Dram recipes that would particularly red flag it to not work. Seemed like dry spices (they tried star anise) worked pretty well.

I'm sure it will be different than the usual Allspice Dram, but probably all right.

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Do you think that one could make a quicker Allspice Dram using the NO2 infusion technique? A la Kaiser Penguin's 5 minute Falernum? Or is the long steep necessary?

I tried this out tonight, and would characterize it as having been a qualified success. The outcome was distinctly allspice flavoured, but not nearly as strong in flavour as the St. Elizabeth product. Then again, I've never made my own pimento dram before, so that may be normal. I'd be curious to hear whether anyone else has tried this and can compare more directly with other home infusions.

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Let me rephrase. To those of you who have made batches of pimento dram at home, do you generally find it is as aromatically intense as the St. Elizabeth product? I've always found St. Elizabeth to be a little overpowering, especially in drinks like the Lion's Tail and the Reveillon, so I don't think a less intense product is necessarily a bad thing. But I'd like to have a better idea as to whether the nitrogen cavitation approach is as effective as other home infusion methods.

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Mine has been as intense, yes. Perhaps a bit more so, in fact, so if you use that recipe you'll want to scale back the spices some.

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I do wonder about the ability of the NO2 method to extract oils from something like allspice as thoroughly as a longer steep.

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I seem to recall the last pimento dram I made being at least as pungent as the St. Elizabeth's product.

Did you leave the allspice berries whole or crush them? Were they relatively fresh?

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Did you leave the allspice berries whole or crush them? Were they relatively fresh?

Toasted and crushed them, but they were older than they probably should have been. There's so many variables in play here that I'm not really sure what to think: the technique, the proportions, the allspice, the rum I used as a base...

I'm kind of with Sam, though: I wonder to what extent this technique works well to give a "flavoured spirit" outcome, rather than the level of intensity you want in a liqueur. More testing required, I guess.

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I'm a bit confused on how much sugar to add. Gumbo Pages recipe uses 1.5 pounds per 2 1/4 cups 151 rum for a total liquid volume of 5 1/4 cups, Chris' above uses only 12 oz sugar per 3 cups (half overproof) for a total liquid volume of 4 1/2 cups. That seems like quite a difference.

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All due respect to the honorable Mr. Taggart, but I went short on the sugar and never looked back. You can always add more, of course....

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Just finished my dram following along Chris' lines:

375 ml Inner Circle Green

375 ml Captain Morgan Dark

50 g 1/2 c allspice berries, crushed

0.4 g 6 black pepper berries, crushed

1 g 10 cloves, crushed

14 g 2 cinnamon sticks, broken

7 g 1 nutmegs, crushed

Infuse with Inner Circle for 1 week

add Captain Morgan and infuse for 2 more weeks

Strain through metal strainer and coffee filter.

Add to simple syrup made with 300 ml water and 340 g raw sugar. Bottle.

Now am sipping a Lion's Tail and pondering. There's a bit of a bitter taste in the tail that I'm not quite sure about. Maybe it's from the extra week I left the spices infusing. Still, I think I'm going to have fun with it.

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It was as of about 5 years ago. I think it's unlikely they would cease production; it is one of the national beverages of Jamaica, and I'm given to understand that it is rather inexpensive there (like around $12/btl). If you happen to be in Jamaica I guess it would be worth picking up some for fun/novelty, but it isn't really discernably better (or even radically different) than what you can make at home or buy stateside (eg St. Elizabeth's).

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I'd really like to experiment with speeding up the infusion process, both for practicality's sake and so I can test different recipes side-by-side.

A few ideas:

- what about macerating the dried spices with a small amount of neutral oil first to more fully dissolve essential oils? the resulting oil would then have to be emulsified into the liqueur

- did everyone else macerate the spices dry in a mortar and pestle and then add to alcohol? what about blending the alcohol and spices in something like a vitamix or food processor?

- can anyone elaborate on the suggested "aging" step? specifically, what is the science behind what's happening there and can it be sped up? For example, if it's a question of oxidation, maybe the liqueur could be "rapid-aged" by decanting using the Modernist Cuisine blender method?

Any insights are much appreciated!

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Right as I type this, I've just placed two bottles worth of pimento dram--my first batch of a liqueur I've never even tasted before--into the cupboard to 'age'. I too used Inner Circle Green, which is 57.something% APV. The price jump to Inner Circle Black, their proper overproof expression, was significant enough to matter. I followed Chris A's advice and used nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and a little bit of black pepper in addition to the allspice. I used less of the extras than he did, tho', as I wanted to be sure they were background notes. I used demerar sugar in the simple syrup and, just for the shit of it, a few drops of orange bitters. A few. I'm hoping they'll appear as a very subtle, quiet background note and not just get lost altogether.

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My first batch has now matured. I normally don't like liqueurs, much--at least not straight, as they're too sweet--but the heavy allspice and cinnamon kick of this is very nice. Now to choose a cocktail to showcase it.

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Started a batch this weekend. Right now it's just 8 oz each of W&N overproof and Appleton Estate 12 with a fat 1/4 c. of toasted, crushed allspice. I'm letting that go for a week. Not decided yet if I'm going to add any other supporting cast. If so, I'll add it next weekend.

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Last weekend I added more allspice berries (the fat 1/4 cup I used at the beginning was all I had in the house at the time), a cinnamon stick, 5 black peppercorns and a piece of nutmeg, all toasted and lightly crushed. I'll strain, add syrup and bottle tomorrow... unless another week would be of benefit? I'm patient.

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Finished, aged for 5 weeks and bottled (that's a clear glass bottle, it's just really full)...

allspice2.jpg

With nothing to compare it to, I have no idea how close it is to what it's supposed to be... but it's very smooth and very tasty.

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What are you going to use it in?

Not sure yet. I just got my hands on a bottle of LH 151 so something tiki is likely but I'm open to suggestions outside of tiki-land. You mentioned in an earlier post that you went with less sugar in a batch and never looked back so I took that as good advice and did the same. I'm happy with the result.

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I strongly recommend the Lion's Tail, which accounts for the bulk of all pimento dram consumption in my household. (Mostly because it's one of my husband's favourite drinks.)

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I strongly recommend the Lion's Tail, which accounts for the bulk of all pimento dram consumption in my household. (Mostly because it's one of my husband's favourite drinks.)

Sounds good to me, this is where I'll start.

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Wow, you are right. The Lion's Tail is very nice indeed. I used 1/4 oz each St. Elizabeth's and Becherovka. The trick is to be sure that the Allspice Dram doesn't overpower the bourbon.

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