A fresh look

First post with the new site! What better way than to celebrate it with some alcohol…rotovaped, sonicated and sous vide. Before we go to that, just need to mention that the old site is still up but will be left like an abandoned insane asylum, sans creep factor. You can find the link up top, entitled previous website (Playing with food and Gel).

Without further adieu, here is today’s experiment. First started with maple whiskey, handcrafted in Canada. I love maple syrup, so it’s no surprise I  would also love it in alcohol form. First I distilled it to separate the alcohol and some volatiles from the water.

Now I have 2 liquids. On the left is some beautiful alcohol, I imagine it to be at least 80% alcohol.  On the right side is what’s left of the whiskey, whiskey flavoured water. The water actually tastes good, unfortunately its lack of alcohol can be associated with whiskey that’s been sitting on ice for over an hour. However, it makes for AMAZING syrup.

Here is the alcohol. First through the SonicPrep to disrupt the cells of the vanilla beans and orange zest. What it does is it just allows for more and faster infusion. Think grinding at a cellular level.

 

After that, I placed it in a vacuum bag and heated to 60 celsius to infuse for 2 hours.

 

And now for the syrup. This part is the one that actually requires attention. First you caramelize the sugar. I like that nice, dark amber that has a lot more depth in flavour and some bitterness. Once the sugar has reached the right colour, just slowly pour the non alcoholic whiskey and stir.

Just LOOK at the colour on that. It tastes amazing to boot!

So main question, what does it taste like??? Well, lets start with the alcohol. The stuff is quite harsh at the start. It is some high proof alcohol after all. I wouldn’t drink it like a cocktail, and definitely not a shot. Sip it like a wine and it will reward you! First is the burn, which is expected. It quickly evaporates and doesn’t even reach your throat. The sensation is a bit of a shock.  It’s what you get after the burn that makes you go wow. First the orange comes through, and it feels like it’s just floating in your mouth. There’s nothing to chew on, to feel, but you can taste it. Then, that beautiful, unadulterated vanilla arrives, and it just lingers there, almost forever.

As for the syrup, think of a very deep, caramel flavour syrup with some hints of maple. You can taste the barrel aging quite well. That, mixed with the bitterness of the sugar comes together wonderfully. I want some Hagen Dazs vanilla bean ice cream now.

That’s it for today. Cheers folks!

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About torontofoodlab

Chef of Toronto Food Lab, a GPI division. View all posts by torontofoodlab

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