An answer came today to the question I posed a couple of days ago: What’s in the Bottle? by way of a blog post.
Rina Rapuano, in an NPR blog post entitled Infuse The Holidays With Spirits, on the topic of infused liquors, reported on simple experimentation by Melkon Khosrovian, “now co-founder, CEO and spirits maker of the 8-year-old Greenbar Collective, a California-based company that makes organic, handcrafted spirits, such as bitters, wheat vodka (plain or infused with lemon or vanilla) and rum (plain or spiced), among others.”
Simple experimentation is the ground of invention, and can often be the impetus for successful business creation. The Greenbar Collective now produces organic gin, vodka, rum, tequila, whiskey, bitters and liqueur. Infusions include the use of hibiscus, orange and jasmine as flavors.
Khosrovian offers some simple, but key, advice for those who want to experiment with infusions: “Next, choose a base alcohol. “Use a base that makes sense for what you’re going to produce,” he told me. “If you’re going to use vodka, use a high-proof vodka. If you’re going to make something sweet, use a light rum base. Then start building a list of ingredients that taste great.
“Khosrovian recommends choosing ingredients that are organic, local and seasonal. “The final thing, which is part of the experimental nature of this project, is to pick a few themes for your infusions before you start,” he says. “If you’re going to make something for the holidays, spices should be a major theme. If you’re going to drink it warm, pear and spices would work great. If you’re going to make a cocktail, citrus and spices would be best. Don’t just put equal parts of everything … Just as it gets colder and you layer your clothing, you layer your flavors.
“Next comes the easy part: Put everything in a jar, shake twice a day, taste once a day — taking out anything that’s taking over the flavor — and strain through two or three layers of coffee filters when you are happy with the flavor, which is usually after about two weeks.”
Great advice for a project requiring only super-simple technique. A blog post well worth reading if you have an interest in trying it yourself.
So, what’s in the bottle? Limoncello, the Italian sipping liqueur that’s a synthesis of Meyer lemon zest, sugar, fresh lemon juice and vodka. I gave this as Christmas gifts this year.
Serve it very, very cold after dinner. Put the idea in your pocket as a great future gift idea for any special occasion.