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Flavored - Rums, Rhums and Cachaзas

From real fruit to the worst synthetic flavors what do you like and how do you drink it?


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Old 03-31-2008, 06:23 AM   #1
Tiare
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Default Blood orange cachaca

Hi folks, is there anyone here who has an idea/good recipe for Blood orange infused cachaca?
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Last edited by Tiare; 03-31-2008 at 07:29 AM.
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Old 04-03-2008, 05:52 PM   #2
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I got a excellent recipe from Chris, (Samuraibartender) thanks! so i made a batch tonight, but i halved the recipe as i only have a half bottle left..:

750ml: Cachaca (Pitu works well here)
5-6 fresh Blood Oranges
3 Tablespoons Raw Sugar
1 Tablespoon Bar/Superfine Sugar
1 Tablespoon Lemon Grass, minced
1/2 Teaspoon Cardamom, removed from pods
1 1/2 Tablespoons Water

* Carefully peel Blood Oranges, being sure to remove & discard all bitter pith from the skin. Likewise remove & discard all pith from the flesh of the Oranges.
* Mince Lemon Grass & shell Cardamom.
* Combine ingredients in a clean container & add Cachaca.
* Seal container & swirl/shake vigorously.
* Place in a cool, dark location for approximately seven days, swirling vigorously several times.
* Strain three times by preferred method (coffee filter, cheesecloth &c), pressing on fruit to remove all liquid.
* Clean container with hot water and replace liquid within. Allow to stand for one week.
* Strain or rack again if necessary, bottle and store for several months (longer if refrigerated).

Enjoy in any cocktail (as appropriate, flavor-wise) which calls for Cachaca - a Caipirinha w/ half lime & half blood orange muddled works nicely. Or try a tangy,

Sangriento Rabo-de-Galo

2 oz. Blood Orange Cachaca

3/4 oz. Italian Vermouth

1/4 oz. Aperol

1 dash Angostura bitters

Stir with ice & strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a wheel of fresh Blood Orange.
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Old 04-03-2008, 07:40 PM   #3
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Curious... why add water? Also curious, is that not a lot of sugar? (Keep in mind, I tend to just do what ever myself - so not like I'm familiar or know the standards).

My reason for focusing on those two specific points is I was wondering if the water is a requirement to offset the combined amount of sugar? And if it is ~ would it make sense to scale down the sugar and forgo the addition of water altogether?
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Old 04-03-2008, 08:18 PM   #4
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So I know alot of people like to add simple syrup in small amounts after the primary flavor infusions are complete, usually to round off the edge of the base spirit, or to sweeten the flavor a touch. This is one good way to do it, especially b/c sugar doesn't dissolve too well in alcohol.

When infusing, I almost always add a small quantity of sugar (it's 4 Tablespoons to a whole fifth of spirit - example - a Caipirinha is approx. 2 Tablespoons to aprox. 2 oz spirit, which while sweet, is not so sweet as to overpower the spirit) from the start, so the slight sweetness becomes part of the overall flavor in the primary infusion, rather than after it's over. Adding the sugar in advance could also be considred a time-saving move also (?) - generally when you add simple after the fact, you've got to wait for the sweetness to settle in with the other flavors, then taste, readjust, etc.
The water is there for two reasons: 1) it helps the sugar dissolve slightly better/faster than it would in the spirit alone. 2) I add a touch of water to any citrus infusion to help with clarification of the sludge/silt that (often forms something like a week after you think you've filtered an infusion enough) seems (to me at least) to settle itself out more completely when a touch of water is added.

You could certainly nix the sugar & water and sweeten it (or not at all) after the primary infusion, but this is the way I've been making it & it comes out quite nicely this way. I'm sure other methods would work just as well & I'd like to hear about them (if anyone tries this or others).

Hope this helps,
Chris

Last edited by SamuraiBartender; 04-03-2008 at 09:27 PM. Reason: addition
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Old 04-04-2008, 01:12 AM   #5
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These are good points. Part of my question stems from putting what I'd guestimate as 2-3 tablespoons of sugar in a 500ml infusion (honey dew mellon), but as you described it came out syrupy. This was precisely what prompted my inquiry.
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Old 04-04-2008, 06:17 PM   #6
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Lets see in 2 weeks how mine will be..i`m quite curious..
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Old 04-05-2008, 10:42 AM   #7
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Chris,

To go back to this, thanks for clarifying. I'm, I'd say, rather new or green to the art of infusion (at least on a serious level - as I've always liked to 'goof' around but more so in an individual pour manner). With the exception of the times I've had the urge to goof around, I pretty much enjoyed spirits straight (not mixed / cocktail).

All that's to say is my perspective is shaped more from a newer to cocktails, infusions etc. approach. Having the pre-sweetened elixir on hand in the manner you describe makes perfect sense (doh) now that I think about it... but for it to make sense, I'd have to have contemplated it from the right perspective. I guess I'm stubborn, I'd guess that I end up having at least 40% of what I've infused straight or over a cube or two of ice. I generally start with a decent white rum that is at least bearable before infusion, obviously.

Moving to the water thing... are you starting with over-proof or generally 80 proof product and adding the water? I hear you on the "sludge" issues etc. unfortunately I'm one who takes great pride in ignoring appearance (so much for me being elected a judge - lol) and couldn't care about things like 'hazing' of non-filtered spirits that meet cold temperature.

Anyway, what you've said makes sense. The syrup factor can be eliminated altogether in some instances. As for me, I almost always add sugar when infusing but probably somewhere in the neighborhood of a teaspoon to a tablespoon. What I generally do is put raw fruit in a jar, sprinkle sugar over the raw fruit, let sit (often in the fridge for 1/2 an hour but admit forgetting it for hours sometimes and at least once over night) then add rum / cachaca. And actually, in my experience, the sugar dissolved quite well with out agitation, the only time I noticed sugar past a day or two later, was the one syrupy infusion I made (described above) where I put about 2 or 3 tablespoons of sugar. That one took many weeks before the sugar disappeared completely. As it disappeared, I noticed the contents was browning in a manner that kind of gave the impression it was gaining slight oak / barrel influence (compared to the original solution's appearance).
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Old 04-07-2008, 03:00 PM   #8
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Sorry this took so long - Ive been a bit swamped,

Quote:
To go back to this, thanks for clarifying. I'm, I'd say, rather new or green to the art of infusion (at least on a serious level - as I've always liked to 'goof' around but more so in an individual pour manner).
I'm hardly an expert - I've been making liqueurs & cordials for a while, but largely by trial & error - the only constant I've encountered has been, "do whatever works". I've stumbled accross some beautiful combinations (& have even had the wherewithall to write 'em down), but have concoted an equal (if not exceeding) number of attrocities - case in point - I've never been able to get a melon infusion to work properly. How's that coming by the by?

Quote:
All that's to say is my perspective is shaped more from a newer to cocktails, infusions etc. approach. I'd guess that I end up having at least 40% of what I've infused straight or over a cube or two of ice. I generally start with a decent white rum that is at least bearable before infusion, obviously.
As far as infusions go I'm a big fan of custom-flavored ones for customized drinks or substitutions in classic cocktails. Certainly nothing wrong with a good straight spirit, but I love the interplay of flavors you find in alot of cocktails.
How the infusion is flavored (& how strongly) depends on what you plan to do with it. I occasionally make infused/flavored liquors (ex- I don't buy vanilla rum or vodka in favor of making it myself), while other times I'll make soemthing like this cachaca (which would be equally good straight or in any number of cocktails). Yeah, it seems to be a good idea to use a decent spirit (not a quality sipping one but..), despite the notion that any rotgut will do for the process, a miserable base spirit really shows in almost any infusion.

Quote:
Moving to the water thing... are you starting with over-proof or generally 80 proof product and adding the water? I hear you on the "sludge" issues etc. unfortunately I'm one who takes great pride in ignoring appearance (so much for me being elected a judge - lol) and couldn't care about things like 'hazing' of non-filtered spirits that meet cold temperature.
As for proof, that depends wholly on the infusion. I've lately been a fan of doing blends of different rums (or other spirits) of different characters and/or proofs. For example, I've got a Grains of Paradise, Vanilla & Pineapple rum lying about which began its life as half J.Wray & Nephew (126p) & half Appleton's white (80p). Granted the juices from the Pineapple cut the proof somewhat, but the end proof is still around 90.

As far as hazing, I've had a liqueur which tasted brilliant (initially) go south on me due to haze & time (I got lazy & didn't strain). Sometimes the haze is just pulp, pectin, tannin, spice-bits &c. which aren't carrying much flavor after the infusion has settled, but other times (for reasons I'm not certain on), there is bitterness or sour/off flavors in the haze. So I usually do the extra bit of straining (I homebrew so I can "rack" liquids w/ a siphon to avoid having to strain goop all day & night) to get both a clearer color as well as a more stable flavor in the infusions.

The hard & fast rule on proofs seems to be that you should consider what flavors you're infusing & how strong you want the end infusion to be (both in flavor & proof). I know from making bitters & tinctures that the higher-proof your base spirit, the better (and faster) complex spice flavors are extracted. Theoretically this applies to all flavors, but it may be a matter of ease in extracting the oils, flavanols, &c. that give spices their flavors.

Also worth consideration - in some 'overproof' spirits (especially rums) the extra alcohol carries more complex flavors to your taste buds - a number of 90+ proof spirits are strong, but quite sippable (& enjoyable) with a little ice or some such. I've tried infusing lower proof items (wines mostly), and while it works, it usually takes a lot longer to get the flavors to the intensity you want them at.

Quote:
Anyway, what you've said makes sense. [...] neighborhood of a teaspoon to a tablespoon. What I generally do is put raw fruit in a jar, sprinkle sugar over the raw fruit, let sit (often in the fridge for 1/2 an hour but admit forgetting it for hours sometimes and at least once over night) then add rum / cachaca. And actually, in my experience, the sugar dissolved quite well with out agitation, the only time I noticed sugar past a day or two later, was the one syrupy infusion I made (described above) where I put about 2 or 3 tablespoons of sugar. As it disappeared, I noticed the contents was browning in a manner that kind of gave the impression it was gaining slight oak / barrel influence (compared to the original solution's appearance).
Cheers! It sounds like you're doing what they used to at bars in the old days (1860+) when sugar came in loaves. They would take the fruit in question & rub it on the sugar to color & flavor it - the sugar worked to leech the flavors out of whatever (usually citrus). Similar idea you've got going on, using the sugar as an early extractor.

As far as sugar dissolving in alcohol - to a point it seems that the mixture will dissolve fine, but past that point & the sugar sems to have trouble dissolving completely. Hence why we're told to use castor/superfine sugar to make most cocktails - smaller particles dissolve simpler (though simple syrup bypasses this step altogether). Similarly, if you're only adding tiny amounts (teaspoon-ish) as you said, it's the same idea - less sugar, easier mixture.

As for the browning - interesting - I'm guessing that was with apples or pears or a similar fruit? Or that you iused a darker sugar (not white)? Those are such a pain sometimes to get right, although fining sometimes mellows out the 'browning'. I will say though, that a bit of the browned color can add a nice touch to the look of a given infusion (especially in liqueurs), gives it a little bit of darkness/opacity.

On an unrelated note, speaking of barrel aging - if you want a bit of woody flavor, those bags of toasted oak chips (for winemaking) tossed in with your infusion work great - it's doing a brilliant job on my latest batch of bitters.

Cheers!
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Old 04-08-2008, 11:24 AM   #9
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-I was asking about the added water in respect to what proof rum you were starting out with, because my understanding was that higher proof = better extraction for the infusion. In retrospect would adding the water (after the week infusion) possibly aid the final product in the way you've described? My asking is even though we're talking about a little water, wouldn't the addition on the front end possibly hurt extraction rates?

- My mellon infusion is still in progress. I added some more fruit because, well, it's quite syrupy right now, the sugar dominated the fruit extraction pretty significantly IMHO. Eventually I'm thinking I'll take the current solution (hoping for more melon flavor before proceeding and may swap out fruit again this weekend) and then break it down into two jars filling each with 50% rum to see if that plows down some of the syrup concept. If not, I'll simply chalk it up as a another syrup to throw in the fridge.
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Old 04-09-2008, 03:12 PM   #10
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Now that you mention it I suppose it likely does tweak the extraction rate (though likely not by too much). Tell you what - I'm going to make another small batch of this before Blood Oranges go out of the stores here - but I'll do 1) without the sugar & water additions on the front end, 2) with the sugar, but no water & one with the water but no sugar. I'll post the up as I go..
We'll see how they come out - cheers for all the questions by the by - I've never put this much dedicated consideration into why I'm doing what I do when making infusions...

Cool on the melon - and even if it is, a melon rum-syrup sounds like a neat addition to a summer (or anytime) drink..

Cheers!
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