• Kim Haasarud

Fast (Sous Vide) Infusions


While "complex" infusions are more popular than ever with craft cocktail bars, they can be hard to execute on a consistent basis and across multiple accounts. And, depending on what ingredients you are using, it can take hours or even days. Sous-Vide is a great way to infuse ingredients, consistently and FAST! In addition to infusing alcohol, you could even make your own cordials and syrup compounds using existing syrups, like Monin. Below are a couple of our favorite sous-vide recipes.

Kaffir Lime Gin

6 Kaffir lime leaves, roughly chopped

1, 750ml bottle of gin

1 oz simple syrup, 2:1 (or Monin Pure Cane)

Vacuum seal bag and sous-vide at 130 degrees for 2 hours. Let cool and strain off kaffir leaves. (Recommended cocktails: Kaffir Lime Gin & Tonic, Kaffir Lime Gimlet)


'erbed Strawberry Infusion

250 grams strawberries, hulled and sliced

1, 750 ml bottle vodka

2 rosemary sprigs, 4" in length

1 oz simple syrup, 2:1 (or Monin Pure Cane)

Vacuum seal bag, sous-vide at 130 degrees for 2 hours. Let cool and strain off strawberries (or use in a compote). Recommended cocktails: Sangria with a Rose wine, Tonic, Collins

Lemongrass Gin

3 lemongrass bulbs (about 3" in length), cut in half and smashed.

1, 750ml bottle of gin

1 oz simple syrup, 2:1 (or Monin Pure Cane)

Vacuum seal bag, sous-vide at 130 degrees for 2 hours. Let cool and strain off lemongrass. Recommended cocktails: Tonic, Collins, Ginger Beer.

Advantages

Multiple Uses

Because more restaurants are using sous-vides in their kitchens for braising and for food, this is a great second use with no additional cost.

Consistency

Provides an extremely consistent product. From time to time, you may need to adjust (add more fruit or sugar) depending on ripeness level.

Easy Operationally

The first time you do it, need to get the vacuum seal right (which is really pretty easy once you get it down), but after you do it twice, it's a simple as dumping the ingredients in the bag, sealing in and dropping it on the sous-vide bath for a couple of hours while you work on something else. It's really that easy.

And it's hard to mess up. Even if you came back 4 hours later, because the temperature is staying the same, it won't change the integrity. (One of the reasons why chefs love it is because you can't overcook the meat.)

Disadvantages

The Set-Up & Cost

It does require some set-up and some space to infuse. A few years ago Sous-Vides were pretty expensive, but now you can get them for around $100. I like the simpler ones without all the bells and whistles that I can just clip onto any kind of a tub or food-safe bucket. You also need vacuum seal bags and a vacuum sealer. (Sealer is about $40 and the bags will be around $0.25 / bag.)

Legalities

There is a little gray area, as some states don't allow spirits to be poured into another bottle and re-sold. But, we've found that many states DO allow you to pour spirits into another container or bottle, but it just can't be back into a liquor bottle. It has to be an unlabeled bottle that wasn't sold as alcohol. (So, you couldn't pour the spirit out of the bottle, make an infusion and then pour it back into the same bottle.) Those clear bottles with flip tops or screw caps work just fine.

#infusions #infusion #fruit #sousvide #fastinfusion

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