sweeteners Feed

The History of Grenadine Use in Cocktails: Literature Review

When was grenadine first used in cocktails? I thought this would be a simple question to answer, but not so much. Along the way to figuring this out, I've had to split up this one blog post into several. First we'll look at the cocktail books from 1862 - 1930 and see where grenadine is called for in recipes. Then we'll try to draw some conclusions from that. And then we'll look into what the grenadine that bartenders were using really was: made from fresh pomegranate or artificially-flavored? So let's get busy. From Nowhere to Everywhere In Jerry Thomas' How... Read more →

Get Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF.


Dehydrated Liqueur Flavor Pills and Champagne Cocktails

As an ongoing part of my Solid Liquids Project, I have dehydrated various liqueurs into flavored powders and am now experimenting with new ways to use them. In yesterday's post I described how I bought a pill press to make tablets out of the liqueurs. I started with Angostura bitters, but then made additional "flavor pills" out of Campari, Midori, and Aperol. I was thinking that these would be fun flavor enhancers for drinks, especially champagne drinks. A cool presentation might be to give a guest a glass of champagne and a variety of flavor enhancers from which to choose.... Read more →

Get Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF.


The Bitter Pill: Dehydrated Angostura Bitters Tablets

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I wanted to find some more uses for the dehydrated liqueurs I spent a few months developing. The index to that experimentation is here. Yesterday I tried putting dehydrated liqueurs into pill capsules, but these did not readily dissolve in any of the drinks I put them in. So I went online and bought a pill press. You'll find them online often called a "pollen press" to make some sort of pollen pills (and I get the impression that they're also used in vaporizers with marijuana). Anyway, the one I bought was this simple... Read more →

Get Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF.


A Brilliant Idea That Didn't Quite Work

You'll remember I spent a few months figuring out the best way to dehydrate liqueurs into flavored sugars. Now I'm finding new ways to use those liqueur-flavored sugars. Typically bartenders who use these dehydrated liqueurs sprinkle some on top of an egg white foam or use them as a rimming sugar on a cocktail glass. But I had the idea to use them as an optional flavor enhancer to cocktails - give the customer a drink and some powdered liqueur and let them add it if desired. (Some bars do this with bitters and tinctures.) So I bought some vegetarian... Read more →

Get Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF.


Show Us Your Sugar: The Sugar House in Detroit

As part of my ongoing study of sugar in spirits and cocktails, I am curious to know what sugars bartenders are using in their bars - raw sugars, simple syrups, and any other sugars. Bartenders: I'd love it if you'd send me a picture of your sugar and tell me about your program. I got the idea for a series from Dave Kwiatkowski of Sugar House in Detroit, who sent a picture of his sugar. Kwiatkowski says, "It's certified fair trade Malawian natural demerara sugar. It's extremely sweet and an amazingly rich tasting, so instead of a 2:1 we use... Read more →

Get Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF.


Sugar in Mexico: Mascabado

Alcademics reader Warren mailed me a picture of a sugar packet he picked up near Cancun. It's labelled "Mascabado," which is the same thing as muscovado. According to Sugar.org, "Muscovado sugar, a British specialty brown sugar, is very dark brown and has a particularly strong molasses flavor. The crystals are slightly coarser and stickier in texture than "regular" brown sugar." The Sugar Spirit Project is sponsored by Bacardi Rum. Content created and owned by Camper English for Alcademics. For the project index follow this link. Read more →

Get Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF.


Cane and Beet Sugar, Revisited

I keep finding information about sugar in unexpected places. Previously as part of the Sugar Spirit project I read this from Sugar.org, the sugar industry's website: Sugar is simply separated from the beet or cane plant, and the result is 99.95% pure sucrose (sugar). The sucrose from sugar beets and sugar cane is not only identical to one another, but each is the same as the sucrose present in fruits and vegetables. But I've come across some contradictory statements in a different book. I've been reading Bi-Rite Market's Eat Good Food: A Grocer's Guide to Shopping, Cooking & Creating Community... Read more →

Get Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF.


Sugar in Italy

As part of the Sugar Spirit project, I am starting to be more aware of types of sugar in other countries. When traveling to Italy recently, I picked up a couple of packets of sugar. The "classico" sugar, according to my trip host, would be Italian-produced crystallized beet sugar. The (slightly racist?) "tropical" sugar is labelled as "zucchero bruno di canna" or "brown sugar of cane," so it's like Sugar in the Raw but the grains are smaller. Not a huge revelation but one data point that will hopefully be part of a large collection of others going forward. The... Read more →

Get Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF.