Feedback on Infusions (from one of our customers)

We had this great comment from one of our customers “Tony” after he had experimented extensively with the infusions! We thought the comment was really insightful and so we wanted to add it as a blog post. Thanks again Tony!

“I have tried this now twice with my Mosa 1 pint cream whipper I purchased from Creamright. Definitely a winner!

First I infused Sobieski vodka with fresh cilantro, black pepper, and celery. I slightly cracked open the peppercorns with a wood muddler, and I’d recommend “easy does it” on the pepper (unless you like it very strong and spicy). I cut a rib of celery into diagonal cuts, and added all items to the cream whipper. I added about a pint of Sobieski to the whipper, and charged it with two nitrous chargers, shaking between each charge. I did periodic gentle shaking during the next 5 minutes. After 5 minutes I blew all the gas, and waited about a minute or so for flavors to diffuse more. Using a stainless steel filter, I poured the infused vodka into a measuring cup. It looked somewhat greenish and slightly muddy. The smell was very fragrant and pleasant.

This vodka was then used to make first a martini and then Bloody Marys. The martini was strong and curious, and spicy. I did this first, because I wanted to experience the flavor directly without any competition. The cilantro and black pepper were very noticeable, but the celery manifested more as just some bitterness. Next time I will omit the celery or use only a small slice or two. Now I like strong flavors, and did enjoy the cilantro/black pepper/celery martini, but I’m positive it would be too strong for most people (on account of the celery).

Now, on to the Bloody Marys. I used about 1 part infused vodka to 3-3.5 parts Zing-zang mix, added a dash of Worcestershire, 2 dashes sea salt, and garnished with the very necessary celery stick. Amazing. Absolutely amazing result. In the past I have muddled cilantro for Bloody Marys, but the infused vodka had stronger and purer cilantro flavor. Infusing black pepper into your own vodka creates a product (and flavor effect) superior to Absolut Pepper (which tastes more like Louisiana peppers – the green ones in the vinegar). I suppose it’s black pepper vs. the Louisiana style peppers. I really like black pepper flavor for a bloody mary. I think you will too.

Second experiment – Chocolate infused vodka.

I used Cacao Nibs (Scharffen Berger brand) and Sobieski vodka.

Sobieski scored a 95 by the beverage tasting institute, outranking most other vodkas (including Stoli, Pinnacle, and Svedka). Though it is less expensive than the “Ultra Premiums” such as Grey Goose or X-Rated (my favorite), Sobieski should be considered in the same class. As you will be adding flavor to the vodka, using ultra premiums is not necessary – the vodka’s inherent flavor will be overwhelmed by the flavors you infuse.

Back to the chocolate infusing… I decided to perform an experiment to determine the effect of N2O cavitation. I used a cup of Sobieski and a tablespoon of cacao nibs in both cases. For the “Control” condition, I slightly cracked the cacao nibs with a wood muddler, and added them to the vodka. For the “Experimental” condition, I did the same in a cream whipper, charged with 1 N2O cartridge, and shaked. For experimental consistency, both vodkas were stirred/swirled for the next 5-6 minutes. Then I blew the gas from the cream whipper, waited 2 minutes for flavors to continue infusing, and then poured each vodka into a funnel equipped with a coffee filter. It took several minutes to filter the chocolate pieces out of the vodkas.

Observations:

The Experimental batch from the cream whipper was more cloudy and muddy looking than the control (just swirled). Both vodkas smelled of chocolate, but the taste was much stronger with the Experimental vodka. Long story short, you get a lot more chocolate flavor with the cream whipper infusion method.

I tried a few different experiments. First, a chocolate martini. I did the usual “vodka martini”, sans vermouth of course. Cold chocolate vodka slightly diluted is quite tasty. You get even more pleasure by the addition of a little simple syrup. You can also add milk or cream if you like a more “milk chocolate” flavor, and this is good too, but I personally like dark chocolate.

Next, I had the unusual idea to pair two bitter flavors together – chocolate infused vodka, and white grapefruit juice. Very tasty and pleasant. The slight sourness of the grapefruit gives just the right contrast to the smooth bitterness of the chocolate. There is just enough natural sugar in grapefruit juice to take the edge off the bitterness. I’m not sure what to call this new drink. It’s not a screwdriver, and it’s probably something most bartenders would never think to try (but should)! If you try this, post your thoughts on a good name. Something this good needs a name.

Chocolate infused vodka mixes well with Skyy Cherry, a little Kahlua, hazelnut liqueurs, anything vanilla, and amaretto. It seems I’ve only begun to imagine the possibilities.

For the future –
* Flaming meat dishes in a chafing dish with black pepper infused vodka (maybe white pepper too)
* Dill infused vodka for Bloody Marys and flaming food
* Cucumber infused vodka
* Mango & Black Pepper vodka (to replace now extinct Absolut New Orleans)
* Spearmint infused rum for an alternative Mojito

A big thanks to the Creamright blog that exposed me to this new and wonderful (and quick) technique!

Everybody please keep posting your ideas and experimental results!”

Just a side note, you can also purchase cacao nibs from a sister compnay International Organics called Conuco Reserve – they are also fantastic.

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