Update from the Lab: 8th Nov 2010
#1 Mincemeat Vodka & Mincemeat Liqueur
I was inspired to make this by an end-of-the-aisle display in my local hypermarket. I added mincemeat to vodka (no sugar was required, as mincemeat
has sugar enough already) and left for a week, shaking at intervals.
Vodka: I was surprised at how much flavour has been infused into the vodka; the smell of the fruits and spices is there and that is represented in the taste. On the downside, the finish is a little harsh, but I think that this may be better for mixing in cocktails, whilst the liqueur may be better for sipping.
Liqueur: This is essentially the former spirit, diluted with extra water and sugar. The flavours of the mincemeat are still very present and Mrs. B says it reminded her of Stollen and Christmas. She is very keen for me to try using it in a hot cocktail.
#2 Ginger Tonic Water Syrup
This was my first attempt at making Ginger Ale Syrup, but it really turned out more like Ginger Tonic Water.
On it's own: This is an odd one; it definitely isn't ginger ale, but it has a savoury-ness and an understated sweetness that is hard to place. The ginger comes through, as does the bitterness from the Cinchona bark, but it is not as tart or tangy as tonic water syrup.
With Gin: Initially, this tasted just like a gin and tonic, but towards the end the bitterness is replaced by a gingery warmth; rather odd, but Mrs. B liked it.
#3 Ginger Ale Syrup
This was created in a similar way to the Ginger Tonic syrup, apart from the additional of lemon zest, the exclusion of Citric Acid and Cinchona Bark, and, before any water was added, the sugar, ginger and lemon were caramelised together. OK, it was the same as the Tonic syrup in that it contained ginger, water and sugar!
On it's own: As with all syrups, the trick is getting the right dilution. After a little experimentation, we were left with a sweet ginger ale, with a bit of citrus and a little fire towards the end; spicy, but not blazing. Quite nice for a first go.
With Gin (Gin Buck): The gin is more dominant and, in order to get the ginger through, I had to add more syrup, making it sweeter. For the next batch, I think I need a bit more ginger and a less sugar. A work in progress.
What I'm drinking:
It seems to be the latest trend in London Bars, a Gin & Tonic in the "Evans" style: garnished with both Lemon and Lime, citrus bliss! (I used Oliver Cromwell Gin & Waitrose Tonic)
Can one man make his own Old Tom Gin?