We will be covering two methods of infusing here- Fat washing and steeping.
At its most basic, fat washing involves adding a fat to a liquor, letting it sit, and then straining the fat from the liquor. This process achieves two purposes- first- it can add flavor to the spirit, and second it can remove certain flavors and characteristics from spirits.
The science behind this- very generally- is that the added fats and proteins bond with polyphenols in the spirit. Polyphenols are naturally occurring chemicals that can cause astringent flavors- think tannins in tea, wine, and barrels. When the fat is removed from the spirit, these polyphenols are removed as well. This can help smooth the edges of an inexpertly crafted spirit or help remove the burn from a high proof liquor.
We started with a quasi-fat washed cocktail called the Raised on Promises. We actually add the fat to the shaker instead of the spirit first. Sesame oil can overpower the spirit quickly. We literally use one drop of sesame oil in the shaker.
Raised on Promises
2 oz Rye
3/4 oz Lapsang Syrup
¾ oz Lemon
Drop Sesame Oil
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until very cold and strain into an old fashioned glass with fresh ice and a sesame rim.
Lapsang Souchon Syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 heaping teaspoons tea
Bring sugar and water to a boil and stir until dissolved. Add tea and remove from heat. Steep for 10 min. Strain tea out and keep refrigerated for up to a month.
10-12 Sesame honey candies
1 tsp kosher salt
In a food processor or traditional mortar and pestle, crush the candies. Add salt and stir. Keep in an airtight container.
Brown Butter Fat Washed Rum
For this recipe we use about a stick of butter to a cup of rum. To make brown butter- place a stick of butter in a cold stainless pot or pan (not non-stick because you need to watch the color of the butter change). Over medium heat melt the butter- stir occasionally to ensure even melting. As the butter heats up, it will start steaming and foaming. At this point you probably should start stirring with a non-reactive utensil- another bit of culinary knowledge- you should avoid using stainless tools to stir dairy products in a stainless pot or pan because it can cause a reaction that turns the dairy grey. This process takes about 5 minute, but it seems like a lot longer because it requires your undivided attention. Much like toasting nuts which is best described as not done- not done- burnt- this process can get away from you fast.
So- just stir-stir-stir. You will notice little bits of butter solids forming- this is what we are browning. As soon as the milk solids are a nice toasty color remove the pan from the heat and pour the butter into your container- being sure to get as much of the bits as you can.
Once you have browned the butter, let it cool for a few minutes. Meanwhile, take a jar that is large enough to hold the rum and butter and dump the rum in it. After the butter has cooled to a point that is will not sizzle and spit when added to the rum, pour it into the jar. Next tighten the lid and shake. Let the jar sit at room temp for several hours to overnight- and shake several times. After waiting your chosen amount of time, place the jar into the fridge. Leave this in the fridge at least overnight- or until you are ready to strain it. While chilling in the fridge, the butter will float to the top of the rum and solidify and some milk solids will settle out and fall to the bottom of the rum.
Steeping is literally taking an ingredient and letting it steep in the alcohol. The higher the proof of alcohol, the more intense the flavor will be.
Buttered Rum Old Fashioned
2.5 oz Rum
.25 oz 7 Syrup
.25 oz Simple Syrup
Dash of Chocolate Bitters
Garnish with an orange
Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice. Stir until very cold. Strain into an old fashioned glass with fresh ice. Garnish with an orange twist.
Pepper Infused Tequila
3-4 peppers of your choice (can be fresh or dried), cut in half
2 cups Blanco 100% Agave Tequila
Add peppers to tequila and allow to steep for at least 2 days before transferring to the fridge. Keep in the fridge until you are ready to strain. Strain peppers and add an equal amount of regular blanco tequila to the infused tequila.
Spicy Watermelon Margarita
1.5 oz pepper infused tequila
1.5 oz watermelon juice
.75 oz lime juice
.75 oz Cucumber Citrus Mint Mixer
.75 oz simple syrup
Shake and strain into a fresh rocks glass. Garnish with fresh mint and watermelon cube.
Traditional Italian Limoncello
1 liter grain alcohol (Everclear or Neutral Grain Spirit- the higher the proof the better)
5 cups Honey Syrup or Simple Syrup (1:1 water to honey or sugar)
1 liter water
7 organic lemon rinds
Wash lemons thoroughly. Peel and add rinds to grain spirit. Steep for 1 week, shaking the jar at least once a day. Strain alcohol and add honey or simple syrup. Add water. Filter once. Store in the freezer or fridge for best results.
Rum Infused Brown Butter Apple Blondies
2 cups peeled chopped apples (about 2 medium apples)
1 TBSP 7 Syrup
1 TBSP brown sugar
1 cup rum infused browned butter*
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tsp 7 Syrup
1 2/3 cups packed light or dark brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 TBS milk
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tsp buttered rum
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom and sides of a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the sides.
Add the apples, 7 Syrup, and brown sugar. Stir and cook over medium heat until apples have slightly softened, about 3-5 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together.
In a medium bowl, whisk 3/4 cup rum infused browned butter, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in the apples. Batter will be thick.
Evenly spread batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 35 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick comes out *mostly* clean. Remove from the oven and allow the blondies to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
Rum Infused Brown butter icing: Heat the remaining 1/4 cup of brown butter in the microwave for a few seconds. Whisk in confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. If needed, add more confectioners’ sugar to thicken or more milk to thin out. Drizzle over cooled blondies, then cut into squares.
*Rum Infused Brown Butter:
1 cup butter
1 cup good dark rum
What is brown Butter? It is butter that has been heated until most of the the moisture in the butter has evaporated and the milk solids left are toasted.To make brown butter- place a stick of butter in a cold stainless pot or pan (not non-stick because you need to watch the color of the butter change). Over medium heat melt the butter- stir occasionally to ensure even melting. As the butter heats up, it will start steaming and foaming. You will notice little bits of butter solids forming- this is what we are browning. As soon as the milk solids are a nice toasty color remove the pan from the heat and pour the butter into your container- being sure to get as much of the bits as you can.
Once you have browned the butter, let it cool for a few minutes. Meanwhile, take a jar that is large enough to hold 1 cup of rum and butter. After the butter has cooled pour it into the jar. Next tighten the lid and shake. Let the jar sit at room temp for several hours to overnight- and shake several times. After waiting your chosen amount of time, place the jar into the fridge. Leave this in the fridge at least overnight- or until you are ready to strain it. While chilling in the fridge, the butter will float to the top of the rum and solidify and some milk solids will settle out and fall to the bottom of the rum.
To separate the butter from the rum, break through the butter and allow the rum to pour out. Usually a small pie wedge cut out of the solid butter works best, which allows the rum to flow freely without breaking the butter up too much. Strain at least once through a coffee filter.
Infusion is a two way street. You have not only created buttered rum, you have created rum butter! This can be used wherever you wish to add buttery flavors or an amazing infused rum.
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