12 May 2013

Tinctures, Part 3

Another update on the tincture batch.

The lemon tincture and all of the fruit tinctures that I started a few weeks ago are done.  Yesterday, after capturing a half-dozen grapefruit peels, I started a jar of grapefruit tinctures.  Also, the bittering agents that came as dried leaves (leafs?) or powders are all out and strained.  That means that in addition to the grapefruit tincture, the only ones left are the woody bittering agents (barks, peppercorns, cardomom pods, etc.).

I've tasted a few of the bittering agents, and they're definitely bitter!  All I do is dip my fingertip in and taste it, but still, they make my tongue go numb. And what an intense flavor!

I think I've got another week or so before I can strain the bittering agents, and at that point, I can start experimenting with creating cocktail bitters. Any requests?

05 May 2013

Star Wars/Derby Day BBQ

Yesterday, S and I hosted a cookout at our place.  It was partly in honor of Derby Day, and partly to recognize Star Wars Day (May The Fourth Be With You!).   We had lots of people over for lots of grilled foods (sausages, hot dogs, garden burgers, shrimp, salmon, corn, asparagus, pineapple), salads (potato, brussel sprout/kale, quinoa), cakes (glazed fruit, chocolate), cookies, beer, wine, juice, and home-made Arnold Palmers.  We tidied up the backyard area and set out some chairs and a sun sail.  The grill was on all afternoon, and the Star Wars trilogy (the good ones) were playing in the living room.  A good time was had by all!

Tinctures, Part 2

It's been a week since I started the tinctures, so maybe it's time for a quick update. Every day I shake all of the jars, which, in addition to the functional benefit of encouraging the infusing, also gets me in the room to monitor the process.

The floral tinctures are already completed. The hibiscus was the first one done, followed shortly by the rosemary, juniper, lavender, sassafras, and a few others. There's no easy way to tell when they complete; you just have to taste them every day (taste, do NOT just smell, as the smell is pretty rancid). Then, when they're done, you remove the solids, rinse the jar, and re-jar the liquid.

Most of what's left still infusing are barks and woody bits, though I did add a jar of lemon tincture to the shelf a few days ago. It's already beautiful and yellow!