The Bourbon LabNovember 16, 2012
It was only a matter of time until my mason jar experiments started taking over the apartment. Looks like it’s time to re-organize my liquor cabinet!
But when the results are as good and as interesting as the oak chip bourbon aging project and the pumpkin and cinnamon infusion, it’s hard not to keep adding to the mix. As a quick update, the oak chip aging (mason jar on right) is working better than I could have ever imagined. We tasted a small sample this past Friday, only a handful of weeks after I set it up, and while the moonshine characteristics remain, they are clearly rounding out and being replaced by the smoky oakiness of the burnt chips. Just like a good bourbon! So like any good scientist would agree on, it’s time to get back into the lab and start playing with a few more variables. Time to dial-up the SA / V ratio and start tasting way more often. My bet is by Christmas, I’ll have something I’m really proud to share!
As for the Thanksgiving Dessert bourbon, I think a few more days will do the trick here. But I wanted to at least post the basic recipe today just in case anyone wanted to use their weekend to prep a batch of this for their own Thanksgiving. I used half a smallish pie pumpkin from the farmers market, peeled and chunked (probably two cups), along with two cinnamon sticks in this 32 oz of bourbon. I used some W.L. Weller because it’s a great base bourbon and anytime you are infusing ingredients, it tends to be a waste using really complex alcohols; those flavors tend to dissipate. For an even better version (which I plan on making this weekend), I’m thinking it might be good to sugar caramelize a bit of the pumpkin. My thinking is to sprinkle some fine sugar on the chunks and use the same creme brulee torch I used on the oak chips. This way, some of the natural sweetness of the pumpkin will come through making a potentially even better after dinner drink.
But regardless of what you have going on, enjoy the weekend and any additional Holiday prep you might be involved in. Don’t give in to the stress of the season. Sit back, enjoy it all, and when all else fails, fix yourself a stiff drink.