Friday, January 08, 2010

infused alcohol/coffee experiment

The coffee experiment continues. I've made 2 coffee liqueurs made by 2 different methods. The first method uses liquid coffee added to everclear to dilute to 80 proof then sweetened. The second steeped cracked, whole beans in everclear then diluted with water to 80 proof and sweetened. There is a profound difference in appearance and flavor between the 2 batches.
The first batch has a very rich flavor with little or no bitterness. The color is a deep brown and although it has a bite from it's high proof, it is smooth and flavorful. I can taste all the flavors in the coffee I intitally used.
The second batch is less successful. There is a coffee aroma, but the flavor is much more bitter than the first batch. The color is a pale straw brown that I can see through. When I diluted the infusion with water it became cloudy like cafe au lait, not a color that says rich coffee flavor to me. I sweetened both batches with Sweetzfree, a sucrolose sweetener and in the second batch the bitter flavor of the sucralose is highlighted my the bitterness of the coffee infusion. Lost in the second batch is all the smoky coffee aromas and the depth of flavor that coffee has. I have yet to try this batch in a drink, it's too early in the day for experimentation, but just from the smell I can tell that a White Russian made from it will be somewhat acrid in flavor. I'm going to let this batch age and retest but I really prefer the first technique's results.

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