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The recipe proportions are correct. After all the steeping, straining and filtering, I was left with 1 1/2 cups of finished product.
Auds22001 - Here's a honey liqueur recipe: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/09/homemade-honey-liqueur-barenjager-recipe.html
Beekeepers' honey liqueur will always be the best :)
@cocktailmaven: Definitely don't use a fine cognac! I would recommend using an affordable brandy, like Korbel, rather than Everclear. Aside from liking that flavor profile better, it's actually cheaper. (Your price may vary ... I live near Korbel, so it's possible that it's higher in other areas. Christian Bros is a low-cost brandy that is fine for projects like this, too) That said, if you wanted to use vodka or Everclear, you could, but you'd just have to adjust to taste both for ingredients and steeping time.
@oliveheights Yep, you can just double the ingredients to make a larger batch. Just be sure that you don't double the steeping time. :)
My cheap vanilla bean sources, which may not apply in your area: Trader Joe's, Costco, Latin groceries (in my area Lola's is a good chain for that, but there are also a lot of independents).
@seaweed58: The recipe amounts are correct. The water should be hot and gradually added to the gum arabic while stirring. It will be quite gelatinous after sitting, but when combined in the next step with water and heat, will turn into syrup.
Here's a post on basics: http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2012/05/diy-vs-buy-how-to-infuse-spirits-at-home-flavored-vodka-or-rum.html
I've been looking for an excuse to play with bottled cocktails. I'm on it! RE: sichuan peppercorns and watermelon ... what about just infusing the peppercorns and then using that in a cocktail made with fresh watermelon?
I've always used it up within a month, but it should actually last up to 6 months if you have used the citric acid. (Without the citric acid, a month tops)
UV Vodka has a 100 proof version that is cheap! And it's good enough to use in mixed drinks like Bloody Marys, too. I'd skip anything high-end for this kind of project, but definitely don't want anything with bad flavor creeping in.
@smartanimal: You're right that this would be higher in alcohol than most commercial amari but still less than spirits typically have. If you wanted to start off with an 80 or 100 proof base, I'd suggest steeping for longer.
@LeonaLaurie: It's hard to say exactly because honey varies so much in sweetness and flavor. I'd start off with 2/3 cup of honey (instead of 1 cup sugar) and then adjust from there. With milder honeys it usually ends up being 3/4 of a cup as a sub for 1 cup of sugar, but word on the street is that White Gold Honey is more flavorful. You'll have to experiment with that amount as well as how much seltzer to dilute with. The good news is that even when it's the wrong amount, it still tastes good.
We do have Orangina here and I love it! PULP! But I consider it a whole different drink from orange sodas like Sunkist.
@moedersin: Eep! Thank you for catching that. The recipe headnote has now been corrected. (The recipe itself was correct, as you guessed.)
While the citric acid does extend shelf life, its main function in this recipe is to add a sharpness and a tartness (similar to the powder on Sour Patch Kids). This is that familiar kick that commercial sodas have that balances the sugary aspects. So you could make this without citric acid, but then the flavor would be sweeter and less like what we associate with soda. (Adding lemon would add tartness, but then that also adds the flavor of lemon. Citric acid adds tartness without detracting from the orange flavor or adding another fruit flavor to the mix.)
@JanelJ: Sounds like a great variation! That's the fun part about making your own ... the tasting and tweaking. I have, in the past, used the pulp in grapefruit bitters and agree you get great flavor that way.
I think the flavors would be great with rum. However, I think that something high proof would require more steeping time. I didn't do it myself, because I was trying to keep it simple, but perhaps steeping ingredients for a while in the rum? You could use the same method I did, but I think the heat would overtake the flavor a bit if you did it that way.
Thanks, everyone! As a life-long Californian, I've never had Moxie. (Maybe it is for sale here and I've just not noticed.) But now I will get my hands on some and see what I can do. Keep the suggestions coming!
Here are some that I've done that it sounds like some of you are interested in:
Root beer: http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2012/08/diy-vs-buy-how-to-brew-your-own-root-beer-at-home.html
Sweet vermouth: http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2011/12/diy-vs-buy-how-to-make-sweet-vermouth-at-home.html
Hazelnut liqueur: http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2012/07/diy-vs-buy-how-to-make-hazelnut-liqueur-diy-frangelico-cocktails.html
@shoneyjoe: Last year I wrote a post about a few of the things that landed on the 'buy' side for me: http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2012/03/diy-vs-buy-cocktail-ingredients-you-should-not-make-yourself.html?ref=title
This relates to what @bkozel says, because some of the hardest to get right are amari. (I've done a few I like, but it's hard!)
@LeonaLaurie: It's not just alcoholic things. I've posted root beer and grape soda recipes, and someone else on the site has done a ginger beer (which is non-alcoholic but more gingery than ginger ale). So any others that come to mind (i'll look into sarsaparilla), let me know!
My favorite type of bottle to put it in is what I guess is called a 'condiment bottle.' It's like what commercial bitters come in: http://www.acemart.com/dining-room/tabletop-supplies/condiment-supplies/condiment-bowls-jars/specialty-bottle-clear-woozy-bottle-black-cap-spb-wz5/prod272211018.html
Second choice is a dropper bottle: http://www.kegworks.com/cocktail-bitters-amber-glass-dropper-bottle-empty-4-oz-618-p175445
@ErrantBaritone: This recipe had milder flavors than the cherry bitters recipe (floral and citrus instead wood and spices)and doesn't steep for as long because of that. So I didn't need the stronger spirit to pull the flavors out. In general, this is a gentler bitters than the cherry.
@Phil88: The recipe should've called for gentian root as the note says. It's now fixed to have the right ingredient.
@gumbercules: Yes to this in gimlets! :)
No lettuce on burgers! Also: Champagne w/ burgers is the greatest.
There would possibly be a negligible amount of alcohol present.
@Rettakat: You could use stevia. However, it will have a much thinner texture since stevia, in my experience, doesn't really get as syrupy as sugar. I haven't tried it myself, but I don't see why it wouldn't work as long as you looked up the equivalent quantity to use as a sugar substitute and kept in mind that it may be a bit thinner. I'm no expert in alternative sweeteners, but maybe experiment with simple syrup first to see how that works and consider other alternatives like xylitol if you're unhappy with the result.