A few months ago I posted a recipe (a knock off really) of a cocktail I called “Shades of Things to Come”. The cocktail was based on Jaime Bourdreau’s “Nirvana” Cocktail found in his post about making an Amer Picon Clone. It was my impatient response to the fact that his cocktail sounded great, juxtaposed against my lack of Amer Picon (or Amer Boudreau). At the time, I was waiting for some orange tincture to mature so I couldn’t comment on the Amer.
Well I can now. But first, how did the Nirvana and “Shades” compare?
I tasted the “Nirvana” and my “Shades of Things to Come” side by side and while I really like them both and they are definitely vaguely related, the Nirvana is a drier, more subtle affair. The heavy orange in the Amer pushes back hard at the sweetness of the Maraschino and the spice of the B&B. The balance of the drink is just slighty tilted towards the bitter orange. Yum. Add it to my list of favorites.
The “Shades of Things to Come” is sweeter (which suits me). The Maraschino is obvious and the mouth feel is thicker (am I supposed to say chewier here? It seems right). The B&B is obvious too but not as much as the Maraschino. The heavy orange bitters load seems to keep the drink from being too cloying. It’s still one of my favorites. Don’t make me choose.
Now about that Amer…
I think I made a mistake in preparing my tincture but I also think filtering greatly reduced the problem. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
I pulled all the ingredients together just as the recipe called for. When I did my initial blend, I was disappointed. The concoction had a strong funky flavor I initially described to myself as mildew but after spending a little time with it, came to realise that it was an overly strong orange peel pith flavor. I also noticed that after the Amer had sat in bottles for 3 or 4 weeks, there was an odd white haze clinging to the sides of the bottle and more pronounced at the top of the fluid (seemed concentrated in the meniscus). I managed to capture and taste that white hazy stuff and it was oppressive with that mildew/pith flavor.
Fortunately, after running it through a fine filter media in my Buchner filter (not sure what size particle ‘fine’ is but that’s how the box was labeled) the haze seems to have been trapped by the filter media and the flavor/aroma of the Amer is hugely improved.
I don’t know for sure and would really appreciate it if anyone could shed some light but I think my mistake was that when I drained my orange tincture off of the peel, I wrapped the peel up in cheese cloth and squeezed the living crap out of that stuff. I suspect that the pith of the orange peel gave off more “stuff” than was ideal. Two thoughts occur to me as I type this… First, that that clingy white haze was also apparent and plentiful in my macerating jar (which is why I filtered the resulting tincture through a medium filter before blending it with the other ingredients). Second, shit. I forgot the second thought. I’ll update this post when I remember what it was…. Anyway, if anyone has thoughts on the source of that off flavor I’d be curious to hear about it.