Chocolate Covered Rum

Chocolate Covered Rum

Well, we have chocolate covered peanuts and chocolate covered espresso beans and chocolate covered everything else so why not chocolate covered rum? I made a chocolate simple syrup with coconut nectar and drinking chocolate.  It is really deeply chocolate and very thick.  This cocktail has the flavor of rum and coconut but the dark chocolate predominates.  The spice of the chipotle and bitters keeps the sweetness at bay.

  • 1 1/2 oz. Rum
  • 1/2 oz Coconut Liqueur
  • 1/4 oz. Chocolate Simple Syrup – Recipe here
  • 2 pinches chipotle powder
  • 1 dash Fees Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters

 

  1. Chill a cocktail glass with ice and water
  2. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and stir with a spoon to dissolve the chocolate syrup
  3. Add Ice to the shaker and shake to chill
  4. Double strain into chilled glass and serve

Cheers!


 




Chocolate Simple Syrup

This is like eating a 97% cacao chocolate bar.  Only a touch sweet.  You can use this as a substitute for Simple Syrup in any cocktail that has chocolate.  For some examples of chocolate cocktails using this syrup go here.  If it’s too thick, add some hot water.

  • 1 oz. Water
  • 1 oz. Coconut nectar or sub honey
  • 4 tbls. Dagoba Drinking Chocolate mix.  You can substitute another brand but I used 130% of the amount to make 1 cup of drinking chocolate.
  • 1 tbls. Sugar or to taste.
  1. Heat all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat until dissolved
  2. Cool slightly before use.
  3. If it’s too thick, add some hot water.



Cold Brewed Coffee Syrup

I prefer to make cold coffee cocktails with cold brewed coffee.  Our coffee cocktails will work with whatever coffee syrup you like to use for cold coffee.  I usually make this syrup using Starbucks Sumatra dark roast.

  • 3 1/2 cups coarsely ground coffee
  • 5 cups water
  1. Combine coffee and water in a container stir well and let sit for 12 hours at room temperature.
  2. Strain, first through a fine mesh filter, then through a paper filter
  3. Keeps refrigerated for 1-2 weeks

To make cold coffee combine 1:3 or 1:4 coffee syrup to cold water.

Cheers!




Gin & Blood Orange Tonic with Cucumber Cardamon Foam

Gin and Blood Orange Tonic with Cucumber Cardamon FoamThis drink is based on Kathy Casey’s Luxury Gin & Tonic Cocktail with Cucumber Lime Foam, (if you don’t follow her on Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen, you should).  I did not have all of the ingredients she called for and, besides, I generally like to mess with recipes!  This cocktail demonstrates a number of things:

  • How you can substitute ingredients
  • How to make your own ingredients when necessary
  • Making a flavored simple syrup with fresh ingredients
  • Making a rapid infusion to create a syrup
  • Making a rapid infusion to create all new bitters flavors
  • How you really need an iSi Whipper if you’re serious about craft cocktails at home.

Total active prep time for this cocktail was about 20 minutes.  Inactive prep time was 4 hours.  Without an iSi Whipper, there would be no foam and the infusions would have required 12-24 hours.  Bottom line, get yourself 2 or 3 iSi Whippers.

You can purchase Dry Blood Orange Soda (Dry is the brand name), and Monin Cucumber Syrup.  I used fresh blood oranges to make blood orange syrup and used that to make a blood orange soda.  I also added cardamon to the foam, cucumber to the simple syrup and substituted Luxardo for the Monin Bitters.  This cocktail doesn’t work without the foam.  With it, the drink comes alive with herbal notes from the gin and bitters, the citrus of the orange and lime and of course, the cucumber and cardamon.

Gin & Blood Orange Tonic with Cucumber Cardamon FoamGin and Blood Orange Tonic

  • 1 1/2 oz. Hendricks Gin
  • 3 oz. Blood Orange Soda – see below
  • 1/2 oz. Fresh lime juice
  • 3 dashes Tonic Bitters – see below
  • Cucumber Cardamon Foam – see below
  1. Chill a cocktail glass with ice and water
  2. Combine everything except the foam in a mixing glass with ice – stir to chill
  3. Strain into chilled glass and top with the foam.
  4. Serve immediately

Blood Orange SodaBlood Orange Soda

  •  Zest and juice from 5 blood oranges
  • 1/4 tsp Citric acid
  • 1/2 – 1 Tbl. Agave to taste
  1. Combine all ingredients in an iSi Whipper and swirl to combine (do not shake or particles can plug the Whipper)
  2. Charge with 1 N2O cartridge and swirl for 30 seconds
  3. Let sit for 30 – 60 minutes
  4. Holding the Whipper upright, discharge rapidly.  Hold your hand about 10 inches over the top to prevent spraying your ceiling.
  5. Let sit for a few minutes then strain through a fine mesh strainer.
  6. Keeps refrigerated a few days.

To make Blood Orange Soda, combine 1 part of the Blood Orange Syrup with 3 -4 parts carbonated water.

Cucumber Simple Syrup

Cucumber Simple Syrup

  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 – 2 1/2 inch piece of English Cucumber
  1. In a small sauce pan, bring the water and sugar to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  2. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Puree the cucumber in a food processor or with a stick blender.
  4. When the syrup has simmered for 10 minutes, turn off the heat and add the pureed cucumber.
  5. Set aside for 30 minutes.
  6. Strain through a fine mesh strainer.
  7. Will keep refrigerated about 2 weeks.

Cucumber Cardamon SyrupCucumber Cardamon Syrup

  • 4 oz. Over proof vodka
  • 3/4 Tbl. Cardamon pods – crushed
  • 1 – 2 1/2 inch piece of English Cucumber – pureed
  1. Combine all ingredients in an iSi Whipper and swirl to combine (do not shake or particles can plug the Whipper)
  2. Charge with 1 N2O cartridge and swirl for 30 seconds
  3. Let sit for 5 – 10 minutes
  4. Holding the Whipper upright, discharge rapidly.  Hold your hand about 10 inches over the top to prevent spraying your ceiling.
  5. Let sit for a few minutes then strain through a fine mesh strainer.
  6. Keeps refrigerated a few weeks.

Cucumber Cardamon Foam

Cucumber Cardamon Foam

  • 2 Sheets Gold gelatin
  • 4 oz. Cucumber Cardamon Syrup
  • 2 oz. Water
  • 3 oz. Cucumber Simple Syrup
  • 2 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
  • 4 oz. Pasteurized egg whites
  1. In a small sauce pot, warm the water and syrups over medium heat.
  2. In a separate dish, “bloom” the gelatin sheets in room temperature water.  They will feel soft and gummy.
  3. Remove the gelatin sheets from the water and squeeze out most of the water.  Add to the sauce pot with the warm syrups.  Stir until the gelatin is dissolved.
  4. Remove the sauce pot from the heat and allow to cool 10-15 minutes.
  5. Add the lime juice.
  6. Lightly beat the egg whites and pour through a fine mesh strainer into the the iSi Whipper.
  7. Pour the cooled syrup, gelatin and lime mixture through a fine mesh strainer into the the iSi Whipper.
  8. Close the whipper and shake vigorously.  Double charge the Whipper shaking between each charge.
  9. Refrigerate for 4 hours or, preferably, overnight.
  10. Will keep refrigerated for 10 -14 days

Tonic BittersTonic Bitters

  • 8 oz. Luxardo Bitters Liqueur
  • 1 Tbl. Ground Cinchona (Peruvian) Bark
  1. Combine all ingredients in an iSi Whipper and swirl to combine (do not shake or particles can plug the Whipper)
  2. Charge with 1 N2O cartridge and swirl for 30 seconds
  3. Let sit for 10 – 15 minutes
  4. Holding the Whipper upright, discharge rapidly.  Hold your hand about 10 inches over the top to prevent spraying your ceiling.
  5. Let sit for a few minutes then strain through a fine mesh metal coffee filter (“gold” filter) and then through a paper coffer filter.
  6. Pour into a bitters bottle.
  7. Keeps on the shelf indefinitely – but the flavor will become more bitter over time.

Cheers!


 

 




Tonic Syrup: for Gin, Vodka or Rum and Tonics

This is the first in our series on syrups. The simplest syrup to make is, of course, simple syrup. However, this is not where we are going to start. While tonic syrup is more complicated, it is not difficult. Tonic syrup is easily customized and is highly adaptable to cocktails other than gin and tonics. So, we are going to discuss two different aromatic syrups that you can mix with a tincture of quinine. These “Tonic Syrups” can then be combined with carbonated water to make tonic water, or used directly in cocktails.

Tonic Syrup and TinctureI had an opportunity to discuss Gin and Tonics with Jason Kosmas, Co-founder of The 86 Company, (Ford’s Gin among others), Co-founder of Employees Only and Co-author of Speak Easy. His take on tonic syrups is to include citrus, coriander and herbs – even herbal tea. Keep in mind that the base spirit you choose will lend itself to various flavors. As Jason pointed out – read the back label for flavor ideas. For syrup used in Rum and Tonics, he would add lime, pineapple, cinnamon and vanilla. (The rest of the interview centered on Gin Tonics and will be included in a future post)

Fever TreeqtonicThese days, you are not limited to buying tonic water in 1 liter bottles. There are a number of premium tonic waters available such as Fever Tree and Q Tonic. The primary idea of making your own tonic syrup is to customize it for various drinks. These recipes will take about 15 minutes of active and 45 minutes of inactive time.

Tonic water is primarily carbonated water and quinine. Quinine is most famous for treating the symptoms of malaria. The idea of mixing gin and quinine dates to the British in various malaria prone climes where soldiers used gin to make the bitter quinine more palatable. In those days, quinine was extracted from cinchona bark in a process not unlike making tea. Since World War II, quinine has been manufactured as a white powder formed into pills. You can purchase quinine pills over the internet and dissolve them to use in tonic water. This is a bad idea. First, you can poison yourself and guests with too much quinine. Secondly, an extract of cinchona, which you will make in 30 minutes or less, brings a lot of flavor to your cocktail. If you want quinine water, buy commercial tonic water, it’s cheap.

Making tonic water at home became a widespread fashion in the early 2000’s. An internet search for ‘DIY tonic water’ will result in a number of recipes. Jeffrey Morgenthaler posted a recipe in 2008, (found here), which became one of the most popular. Since then, he has published a newer version in his book, The Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique. I like his new version, which can be found on line here, because he separates the aromatics from the quinine. This lends itself to easy modification. My recipe for tonic syrup for use with gin differs only slightly from his.

The only equipment you will need that is slightly out of the ordinary is a digital food or postage scale. Only the precise weight of ingredients ensures that your syrup will be consistent from one batch to the next.

For the Quinine Tincture:

Quinine Tincture

  • 6 gr. Powdered red cinchona bark
  • 150 ml 100 proof vodka
  1. In a 1 cup measuring cup, dissolve the cinchona in the vodka
  2. Allow to sit 10 – 15 minutes, stirring occasionally
  3. Strain the liquid into a second measuring cup. This will take up to 30 minutes total time. Filter the tincture back and forth between the 2 measuring cups in the following order:
    1. First through a fine mesh strainer
    2. Second through a metal “Gold” coffee filter – preferably cone shaped
    3. Thirdly through a paper coffee filter
  4. Pour into a small bottle and store at room temperature. The tincture will keep indefinitely.

For the aromatic syrup for gin or vodka and tonics:

 

Tonic Syrup Aromatics

  • 20 gr. citric acid
  • 10 gr. whole gentian root
  • 1 gr. coriander
  • 1 gr. Ceylon soft-stick cinnamon, broken into small pieces
  • 30 gr. lemon peel
  • 30 gr. grapefruit peel
  • 400 gr. sugar
  • 500 ml. water
  • 2 – 3 to 4 inch sprigs of fresh lavender (optional)

Tonic Syrup Prep

  1. Combine all of the ingredients, except the lavender, in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes
  3. Remove from the heat, add the fresh lavender and allow to cool.
  4. Strain through a fine mesh strainer.
  5. Add 1 ½ oz. Quinine Tincture and store, refrigerated, in a seal-able bottle or jar. It will keep 3-4 weeks before it turns cloudy.

 

 

For the aromatic syrup for rum and tonics:

 

Tonic Syrup Rum Aromatics

  • 20 gr. citric acid
  • 10 gr. whole gentian root
  • 1 gr. Star Anise
  • 2 gr. Ceylon soft-stick cinnamon, broken into small pieces
  • 3 Kaffir Lime leaves (Optional – available at Asian Markets)
  • 10 gr. lemon peel
  • 50 gr. Lime peel
  • 400 gr. Turbinado sugar
  • 500 ml. water

 

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes
  3. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  4. Strain through a fine mesh strainer.
  5. Add 1 ½ oz. Quinine Tincture and store, refrigerated, in a seal-able bottle or jar. It will keep 3-4 weeks before it turns cloudy.

 

To make tonic water add 1 part Quinine Syrup to 3 parts carbonated water.

The resulting tonic water will be brown.  It is not unattractive and tastes amazing!!

Gin, Rum or Vodka Tonics

  • 2 oz Spirit – either Gin, Rum or Vodka
  • 6 oz. Tonic Water (1 1/2 oz Quinine Syrup and 4 1/2 oz. Carbonated Water)
  • Optional dash of simple syrup for gin or vodka/demerara simple syrup for rum
  • Garnish – see below

Rum and Tonic

Rum & Tonic

Method #1

  1. Add large ice cubes to a large, stemmed wine glass
  2. Add garnishes except for any citrus peels for expressing
  3. Add your Spirit of choice
  4. Slowly add the Quinine Syrup followed by the carbonated water.
  5. Express any citrus peels and serve

Method #2

  1. Fill your large wine glass with large ice and garnish
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to a mixing glass with ice and stir
  3. Strain into your prepared glass
  4. Express any citrus peels and serve

Suggested Garnishes:

You should let your imagination run with the garnishes.

Gin or Vodka

  • Lemon & Lime Wheels
  • Lemon & Lime Peels
  • Grapefruit Peels
  • Sliced Berries
  • Cucumber Slices
  • Fresh Lavendar
  • Fresh Rosemary
  • Fresh Sage
  • Kaffir Lime Leaves
  • Lemon Grass

Rum

  • Lemon & Lime Wheels
  • Lemon & Lime Peels
  • Sliced Berries
  • Kaffir Lime Leaves
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Fresh Pineapple
  • Corriander
  • Fresh Hibiscus Flowers
  • Lemon Grass

Tonic Garnishes

G-n-TiniGnTini

Here is a cocktail that uses Tonic Syrup directly in the drink.

Fords Gin

  • 1 1/2 oz. Fords Gin
  • 1/2 oz. Dolin Sweet Vermouth
  • 1/2 oz. Tonic Syrup for Gin
  • Grapefruit peel for garnish
  1. Stir the first three ingredients in a mixing glass with ice to chill
  2. Strain into a chilled coup
  3. Express the grapefruit peel over the drink and float the peel

Cheers!


 




Cranberry Bellini with Cranberry Syrup

This is from Chris Tunstall at abarabove.  I am re-posting it here because making a syrup from jellied cranberry sauce is a great idea, (for other awesome ideas, you should check out their site).  We used the cranberry syrup in their Bellini and I also used it to make a version of Patriot Punch.

The syrup is extremely easy.  You will need:

  • 1 – 14 oz can jellied cranberry sauce
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  1. In a quart sized microwavable container, melt the cranberry sauce on high in 30 second intervals, stirring in between.
  2. Meanwhile, using a small sauce pan on the stove, dissolve the sugar in the water.
  3. When the the sugar is dissolved, add the melted cranberry sauce and stir to combine.
  4. Allow to cool.  This will keep refrigerated in a sealed glass bottle for at least a week.

Chris Tunstall’s Cranberry Bellini

Chris uses sparking water.  We opted for champagne or sparking apple cider.

  • 1 oz. Cranberry Syrup
  • Champagne or sparkling cider
  1. Add the cranberry syrup to a chilled flute or coup
  2. Top with the champagne or sparkling cider
  3. Toast Chris

Patriot Punch

There are a number of versions of this punch.  They usually call for cranberry juice and apricot brandy.  I saw a use for the cranberry syrup and besides, I can’t leave anything alone!

  • 1 oz. Irish Whiskey
  • 1/2 oz. Apricot Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz. Cranberry Syrup
  • 1 oz. Champagne
  • Lemon twist and brandied cherry
  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir until chilled
  2. Strain into a chilled coup.  Express the lemon peel and float it on top.  Drop in the brandied cherry.

Cheers!




Passion Fruit Syrup

  • 1 part passion fruit puree – Goya brand available in Mexican Markets or large grocery stores
  • 1 Part simple syrup
  1. Combine and store in glass bottle for a few days refrigerated



Don’s Mix

As in Donn Beach

Total Time: 2 1/2 hours

Makes up to 6 cups

  • 2 parts white grapefruit juice
  • 1 part cinnamon syrup – see below
  1. Mix, bottle and store in the refrigerator.

Cinnamon Infused Syrup

  • 3 cinnamon sticks, crushed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar or WheyLow
  1. Bring all ingredients to a boil in a small sauce pan.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 min.
  3. Remove from heat, cover and allow mixture to stand for 2 hours
  4. Strain and bottle
  5. Keep refrigerated



Falernum

This syrup is simple to make and is a required ingredient in several Tiki drinks.  It’s also good in several soft drinks.  See simple syrup.

  • 8 oz. Overproof rum
  • 50 cloves
  • 1T whole allspice
  • 1 whole nutmeg
  • 8 limes, zested (Make sure to get as little pith as possible, nitrogen cavitation seems to really go for the bitter flavor in pith)
  • ½ C thinly sliced ginger
  • 1 ½ C 2:1 simple syrup
  1. Grind or bash spices
  2. Add all ingredients to whipper and follow instructions for nitrogen cavitation
  3. Add the 2:1 simple syrup to the strained liquid.



Grenadine

Grenadine is made from pomegranates, not cherries.  It is supposed to be red.  If you boil this, it will be brown.  There is no need to reduce the juice on the stove.  Heat it just enough to dissolve the sugar, no more.  You can use Whey Low, but it will not be as sweet.Pomegranate
  • 2 cups unsweetened pomegranate juice
  • 4 cups sugar or 2 cups Whey Low
  • 1 tsp. rose water
  • 2 oz. pomegranate molasses
  • Handful dried hibiscus flowers (optional)
  1. In a sauce pan, slowly heat juice and sugar, stirring constantly, until sugar is completely dissolved.  Do not allow to boil.
  2. Add hibiscus flowers, if using, and simmer on very low for 10 min.
  3. Remove from heat, fish out and discard the Hibiscus leaves, and add rose water and molasses.
  4. Allow to cool and decant into a glass bottle.
  5. Keep refrigerated.