We will spend an evening making our own Gomme simple syrup and Citrus super juice, and will compare them to ordinary rich simple syrup and ordinary citrus juice in a few choice drink recipes.
Gomme simple syrup
A common place ingredient in cocktail recipes from the 1800s, gomme syrup (or gum syrup, or simply gum) is a rich simple syrup with gum arabic. The hydrocolloid stabilizes the syrup (preventing sugar from crystallizing out) and changes the texture of cocktails made with it.
Most recipes that you can find will ignore what we now know about hydrocolloids and their behaviors and rely on very long wait times to hydrate the gum arabic before using it. We will be using a blender for a different, faster and more reliable way to produce gomme syrup.
Invented recently by Nickle Morris at the Expo bar in Louisville KY, super juice is an approach to producing citrus juice that uses oleo citrates (a method analogous to the classic oleo saccharums from 1700s and 1800s punch and cocktail recipes) to infuse citrus peel flavors into the finished juice. The result is a shelf stable (keeps for weeks, not hours) citrus juice with intense flavor and a much, much higher yield than freshly pressed citrus.
We will jointly make a batch of gomme rich syrup and a batch of super juice (meyer lemons if I can find them, otherwise lemon, orange and/or lime) and compare their effects: gomme syrup compared to rich syrup in an old fashioned, and super juice compared to fresh citrus juice in a whisky sour. If you do not like whisky, we can produce analogous comparison pairs for gin, rum, or pretty much any base spirit you prefer.
Once we finish for the evening, we will bottle the juice and the syrup, so that you can take one bottle of each with you home for further mixology experiments.
A professor of data science for his day job, Mikael Vejdemo-Johansson goes deep into any hobby he picks up. Cocktails, cocktail techniques, mixology and historical (and weird) approaches to cocktails have been an obsession on and off again for years now, and occasionally documented at https://sapores.tumblr.com/.
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(image from NYPL digital collections, https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47df-b7a6-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99 , free for use without restrictions