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#31 AiO

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 03:11 PM

So I finally sampled my batch of Amer Boudreau the other day after letting it rest for a week, as per the directions. I've been meaning to post about the results, which were not entirely satisfactory.

The main problem is that the flavor of the orange tincture overpowers all of the other ingredients. The amer essentially smells and tastes very strongly of Seville orange. Very sharp, sour, and intense. Not exactly unpleasant, just... intense. The Ramazzotti and bitters are almost entirely lost in the mix. I may add more of each to this batch to see if it makes a difference, but I'm already planning the next batch. I think the key will be to use dried orange peel and a lower-proof (100-proof) vodka next time. Fresh peel and 190-proof Everclear adds up to too much flavor extraction. Good for limoncello, not good for an amer.

Another benefit of using a lower-proof vodka will be purely aesthetic. I hadn't thought about the clouding that typically happens when you cut 190-proof, infused Everclear with water. Again, not a problem when you're making limoncello (which is usually cloudy), but not attractive when you're making an amer. The batch of Boudreau I made this time looks like muddy river water. Yeck.

The stuff's not a total loss. I didn't care for the Picon Punch I made with it, but I've used it in dashes in Brooklyn cocktails, etc. to good effect. I just think it can be better.

Oh well. Like Wile E. Coyote, I'm back to the drawing board.
"Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot" -- Charlie Chaplin

#32 jcbphd

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 04:09 PM

Sounds like you made a valiant effort. Sorry the results left much to be desired. I'm excited to hear what you learn on your second go around. :cheers:
Temperance, like chastity, is its own punishment. ~Four Vines "The Peasant"

Ça descend la gorge comme le bébé Jésus en culottes de velours.

You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you do not trust enough. ~Frank Crane

#33 AiO

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 06:22 PM

Thanks, Doc. I'll keep you posted. :cheers:
"Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot" -- Charlie Chaplin

#34 AiO

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 11:19 AM

Attempt #2 is underway. Dried orange peel of indeterminate variety (Spice Islands brand) soaking in 100-proof Stoli. In three weeks, I'll blend it with the other ingredients and let y'all know how it turns out. Should be interesting to compare the two batches...
"Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot" -- Charlie Chaplin

#35 AiO

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 09:12 AM

Been meaning to give an update for awhile now.

I ended up doing two side-by-side batches, one with the dried orange peel of indeterminate origin (roughly 3 oz. or 80 grams) and the other with freshly-grated zest from Navel oranges (4-5). Both batches were macerated in 100-proof Stoli for two weeks, shaken once a day for good luck.

The clear winner was the batch made with fresh Navel orange zest. It had a nice, bright, zingy flavor and wasn't overpowering like the fresh sour orange batch I made with Everclear. Blended well with all the other picon ingredients too--no cloudiness or muddiness, just a thin layer of orange oil that developed on top with refrigeration (not difficult to skim off, if you want). And the flavor is really wonderful--like an orange-ier version of Ramazzotti.

The other batch (with dried orange peel) was pretty awful. It smelled and tasted like the cheap kind of frozen OJ from concentrate you buy and mix with water to make "orange juice." I sinked it.

So there you go, FWIW.
"Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot" -- Charlie Chaplin

#36 Jay

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 09:55 AM

Thanks for all of the detailed info on your experiment. Did you do side by side Picon Punches with these as well? That would likely be the first recipe I'd try using Amer Picon substitutes, so I'm curious if you Navel orange version would still be your pick for that.

#37 AiO

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 02:28 PM

I didn't do a side-by-side Picon Punch, honestly. The dried peel infusion was so inferior to the fresh peel tincture that I just tossed it. I can't imagine that it would have made a better drink. I can, however, vouch for the deliciousness of a Picon Punch made with the fresh orange peel infusion (in Boudreau's picon recipe). Very tasty indeed.
"Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot" -- Charlie Chaplin

#38 Jay

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 01:53 PM

Sound more than fair enough to me. Thanks for the info, AiO!


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