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Showing posts from March, 2015

The weird science of ethanol-water-sugar solutions - cooking some limoncello

I really wanted to do some house-crafted limoncello today, for our Italian restaurant. And instead of zesting lemons, I had the idea of using whole fruits. Yes - usually zests working better - because there is far more surface. However my good friend, the sous-vide immersion circulator helped to cut the time in a fraction of traditional limoncello. The normal procedure of limoncello is: Zest [cleaned] lemons Add them into alcohol Traditionally high proof grain alcohol is used - however using vodka is just fine, if you are regarding the difference in ABV. Obviously in Italy high proof booze is used, as it is in production far cheaper than the refined product 'vodka'. Wait for several weeks [depending on the size of the zest pieces]. Strain and add sugar syrup [depending on the original occurring alcohol strength and the target strength]. Bottle and label. Now - I want to do this procedure as well - with two major differences: I want to use whole lemons - du

Advanced Oak Aging in a Bar

Aging cocktails in oak is no more really cutting edge. A lot of bartender are doing it. But are you doing something meaningful with it? I have seen bartenders aging moonshine or corn whiskey - not really meaningful. Your Negroni? Not very novel... Well I received a sample oak bottles [and bought directly 2 more] of Ulric Nice - especially UAE and Dubai folks will know him [but he is also known by quite a lot of other popular bar people]. I used them now over a couple of months and I can attest, that they are really effective - far more effective than an oak barrel. In a bar, time is key - you don't want to age a several gallons of liquor for half a year or so... you want to have fast results - and the oak bottle is all about quick results. Our take at the Library Bar was a Last Word cocktail - hardly a very creative choice for an oak aged cocktail - but a delicious and sophisticated one nonetheless. We didn't kept it too long in the bottle and only aged the liqu