Friday, September 20, 2013

Infusing Spirits

Today I play with my isi whipper a little more.  This time I'm infusing spirits.  Specifically, I'm infusing a nice reposado tequila with cilantro then making an Oaxaca Old Fashioned.  I'm going to throw the spirits and herbs into the whipper and inject it with NO2.  The process of nitrogen cavitation will quickly infuse the herbal flavors into the booze.  And by quick I mean literally 1 minute.  No storing stuff in a jar for two months.

2 oz reposado tequila
3/4 oz mezcal 
1/4 oz agave nectar
3 dashes falernum bitters (see previous posts)
Handful of fresh cilantro w/ larger stems removed

Start by pouring the spirits into the isi whipper.

Add a handful of cilantro.  Remove the bigger stems.  The nitrogen cavitation process really brings out the bitter flavors in the stem part, otherwise.  Whatever you're infusing, just be wary of the fact that it will bring out the flavor of whatever you put in there, so make sure whatever goes in is exactly what you want infused into your booze.  So basically watch out for stems and excessive pith, in general.

Add the NO2 charge, shake, lit sit for a minute, pour through a fine mesh strainer.  Then you just make the old fashioned from there.  Add all the ingredients, stir with ice, pour over a large ice sphere and garnish with a cilantro stem.

Nice, smokey, savory, and a healthy, herbal splash of cilantro.  Simple and fantastic for a Friday afternoon.

P.S. If you're not into buying expensive toys for booze like an isi whipper, a similar flavor can be achieved by gently muddling the cilantro in the mixing glass with the agave nectar before adding the booze and ice instead of infusing it.  Not quite as nice, in my opinion, but definitely not bad and worth trying.

P.P.S. I just bought two charred oak barrels for aging cocktails and spirits in.  I hope someone out there is as excited about this as I am.

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