We are three sisters united in our search for the divine - in food, libation, literature, art, and nature. This blog will capture the true, sometimes decadent, at times humorous, and every so often transcendent adventures of the Salvation Sisters.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Improve Your Cocktails with Plain and Fruit Flavored Gomme (Gum) Syrups

by Michelle

A classic cocktail, an Old Fashioned, made the traditional way with homemade gomme syrup.
   Gomme syrup is simply a sugar syrup enriched with food grade Gum Arabic.  What, you say—gum? Gum Arabic is a white powder that is made from the resin of the Acacia tree. It makes the sugar syrup thicker, giving a more substantial mouth-feel to a classic cocktail. It's one of those things that you don't know what you are missing until you've tried it.
    For many spirit-forward classic cocktails such as a Sazerac that call for simple syrup, you may swap the same measurement for gomme syrup. While gomme syrup is not difficult to make, it fell out of favor with bartenders. The good news is that just like Justin Timberlake brought sexy back, mixologists across the country are bringing gomme syrup back.

Many classic cocktails are stirred with ice, not shaken, then strained into a chilled glass.
Gomme Syrup

   Food grade gum Arabic can be difficult to source. I finally ordered mine from on on-line retailer.

2 ounces food grade gum Arabic
2 to 3 ounces very hot water
2 cups granulated sugar or 1/2 granulated sugar and 1/2 demara sugar
1 cup filtered water
1 Tbsp vodka, optional—acts as a preservative to extend the shelf life of the syrup

Gum Arabic and hot water mixed to a thick gelatin-like paste.
Procedure:
1. In a mug mix together the gum Arabic and 2 ounces very hot water. Blend together vigorously for a few minutes until well combined. Add a little more water, if needed, to blend thoroughly. Set aside.
2. In a saucepan, heat the sugar and water over medium high heat, stirring frequently until the mixture reaches a boil. Reduce the heat, and maintain a boil, while stirring constantly for two minutes. Add the gum Arabic mixture and continue to boil, while stirring constantly, for two minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
3. Strain the gomme syrup and whisk in one tablespoon vodka. Transfer the mixture to an impeccably clean jar with a tight fitting lid, or a squeeze bottle with a cap. The gomme syrup will last about 6 months when stored properly in the refrigerator.

Strained and ready-to-go gomme syrup.
The marinated pineapple chunks can be frozen and used as garnish for tropical inspired drinks.
Pineapple Gomme Syrup

  Infuse Gomme Syrup with the flavor of pineapple and make a number of cocktails including Pisco Punch.

Ingredients:
1 ripe pineapple
2 ounces food grade gum Arabic
2 to 3 ounces very hot water
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup filtered water
1 Tbsp vodka, optional - acts as a preservative to extend the shelf life of the syrup

Procedure:
1. With a sharp knife, remove the top and bottom of the pineapple. Slice down the sides of the pineapple to remove the peel, and discard. Slice in quarters, remove and discard, the core. Slice each quarter in half lengthwise, and then cut each quarter into 1-inch cubes.
2. In a mug mix together the gum Arabic and 2 ounces very hot water. Blend together vigorously for a few minutes until well combined. Add a little more water, if needed, to blend thoroughly. Set aside.
3. In a saucepan, heat the sugar and water over medium high heat, stirring frequently until the mixture reaches a boil. Reduce the heat, and maintain a boil, while stirring constantly for two minutes. Add the gum Arabic mixture and continue to boil, while stirring constantly, for two minutes. Remove from heat and add pineapple cubes. Let sit overnight.
4. In the morning, remove the pineapple slices. You can place the pineapple in a single layer on a cookie sheet and freeze. Once frozen, put the pineapple cubes in a ziplock bag and return to the freezer.
5. Strain the gomme syrup and whisk in one tablespoon vodka. Transfer the mixture into an impeccably clean jar with a tight fitting lid, or a squeeze bottle with a cap. The gomme syrup will last about 6 months when stored properly in the refrigerator.


Raspberry Gomme Syrup

  Infuse Gomme Syrup with the flavor of raspberries and use as a substitute for grenadine in your favorite cocktails.

Ingredients:
2 ounces food grade gum Arabic
2 to 3 ounces very hot water
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup filtered water
1 bag partially thawed frozen raspberries
1 Tbsp vodka, optional - acts as a preservative to extend the shelf life of the syrup

Procedure:
1. In a mug mix together the gum Arabic and 2 ounces very hot water. Blend together vigorously for a few minutes until well combined. Add a little more water, if needed, to blend thoroughly. Set aside.
2. In a saucepan, heat the sugar and water over medium high heat, stirring frequently until the mixture reaches a boil. Reduce the heat, and maintain a boil, while stirring constantly for two minutes. Add the gum Arabic mixture and continue to boil, while stirring constantly, for two minutes. Remove from heat and add raspberries. Let sit overnight.
3. In the morning, remove and discard the raspberries. Strain the pretty pink gomme syrup and whisk in one tablespoon vodka. Transfer the mixture into an impeccably clean jar with a tight fitting lid, or a squeeze bottle with a cap. The gomme syrup will last about 6 months when stored properly in the refrigerator.

I prefer to place one over-sized ice cube in a chilled crystal glass for an Old Fashioned or Sazerac.
A large ice cube, a twist of fresh orange peel and a Luxardo Maraschino are the perfect garnishes for an Old Fashioned: 2-1/2 ounces rye, 1/2-ounce plain gomme syrup and 2 dashes Angostura Bitters stirred over cubed ice and strained into a chilled crystal glass. 

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