One underutilized tool: the steam juicer


The rave is all about technology in the bar [and kitchen].
Many bartenders are using culinary powders [starting from xanthan gum over agar-agar to methyl-cellulose and sodium alginate], smokers, sous vide and even some are using advanced [and incredible expensive] rotary evaporators.

What I haven't seen anywhere in "mixology" is the use of a steam juicer. This apparatuses are readily available in countries which have a lot of stone fruits - especially in Europe and North America.

The disadvantage:

  • the juice will taste more like your tetra-pak juice [ok, fresher and better] - not as fresh and unadulterated as mechanical extracted juice.
  • Some fruits [especially the heat sensitive fruits] are just not working: especially any citrus fruits.

The big advantage:

  • if using a sterilized bottle, this juice has a very long shelf life. 
  • you can use fruits which are usually pulpy and not great in drinks: peaches, apricots, pears and so on. 
  • the result is a pretty and clear juice without pulp whatsoever.
  • you can use the mash for purees and other culinary purposes.
  • the yield is much higher than other methods.
  • some fruits cannot be extracted - think figs or quinces - a steam juice can even do this.
  • you can make fantastic concentrated syrups out of the juices [freeze fractionating] - with a high fruit content

What especially strikes me is the possibility to make liqueurs. Especially great is the use of high-proof spirits [as you dilute the alcohol with the juice/syrup, you would need more alcohol to keep a nice high abv].
Think about a apricot or peach bourbon. Maybe Booker's is the best spirit for this purpose, as it is the bourbon with the highest proof readily available almost everywhere [there has to be an advantage to "be made from Jim Beam"].

And then: think about a Mint Julep made with Apricot or Peach Bourbon… yum!

Anyway - a steam juicer is a very old tool and we should not forget the "oldies but goldies" only because there are so many new culinary things around. I would assess, that a steam juicer is much more useful as some dry ice, sous vide [in the bar], or any strange homogenizers… Get it and try it - it is not that expensive.

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