Monday, February 27, 2012

a good start

this past weekend, i was finally able to experiment with infusing bourbons and ryes in a more systematic manner.

this happens when with me sometimes. i get my nerd on when it comes to an ingredient or doing some experimentation. for example, there was a solid three weeks where i was experimenting with different ratios, different levels of fat in the dairy, temperatures, etc. when making creme fraiche.

now, i seem to have booze on the brain.

what i wanted to do was try different types of citrus (peel, sliced, juice) and spices (vanilla, cloves, cardamom, long pepper, sichuan, all spice, and cinnamon sticks) in different variations using bourbon and rye.....

and do them at the same time so that i'd be able to have some side-by-side comparisons.

for example, will the sliced fruit really be more bitter in the infusion because of the inclusion of the pith than the infusion with just the zest? or how about the juice that just sits with the bourbon or rye? what kind of effect is that going to have to the texture or make up of the liquid? or if i use the bulleit rye (which is already pretty hot) with the sichuan...what will the spice factor translate into in that infusion?

so many questions. so many possibilities.

all twelve jars are just hanging out in my fridge right now.

i'm definitely not done.

i have a feeling that my next round of infusions will include different types of coffee, tea, honey, maybe maple, chilies, ginger, and there is this mix of asian herbs that i'm thinking about trying out as well.

see what i mean by getting my nerd on?

this is an example of why i love being a home cook....being able to tinker....make mistakes...try out random things....and just see what happens. sometimes, i just love cooing over the color of the citrus as i do the prep. it is difficult to explain why i love seeing the colors....and inhaling the bright fragrance of a just cut citrus. it is simply a lovely moment.

i was able to make myself a cocktail with some of the random bits left over (like the fruit fibers leftover after i'd crushed them in a citrus wring out some additional use from the fruit).....

and had this very tasty cocktail with blood orange, kumquats, meyer lemon, spiced pear syrup (june taylor), carpano, bulleit bourbon, and ice.

as i was sipping through the cocktail, i was thinking that perhaps....perhaps my next party will be a cocktail playground of infused bourbons and ryes. i love being able to have friends over....and all of us having a chance to just play.

we'll see.

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