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alice_rice's Profile

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Homemade Pastis Recipe?

Thank you so much Alemelo. My recipe requires two bottles of 95 alcohol (750 ml each) and 20 lemon zests So I clearly am using more lemon than you, although my batch is larger. Thank you so much for sharing. I will try it the next time around.

Nov 12, 2014
alice_rice in Spirits

Homemade Pastis Recipe?

Since I live in Fort Worth, Texas, we don't have greenies. How do they help the flavor?

I am always searching for the optimal blend of lemon and sugar. I hate syrupy flavors, but obviously too little sugar doesn't work either. How many lemons do you use in relationship to the alcohol?

Nov 12, 2014
alice_rice in Spirits

Homemade Pastis Recipe?

What I did like was using fresh fennel in addition to the fennel seeds in the pastis batch. I love licorice flavoring, so it was really the volume of herbs I think that caused the taste issue. I was using 190-proof cut down to about 45 percent ABV, so I also let it steep quite a while, which only added to the excess strength. I am a better limoncello maker than a pastis maker.

Nov 12, 2014
alice_rice in Spirits

Homemade Pastis Recipe?

Hello Alemelo. No. Mine was not usable. I made pastis, except that I used wormwood in one batch, which was tastier than the batch I made without wormwood. However, I ended up not using either batch because I was not too sure about the amount of wormwood or the amount of star anise.

Someone did tell me, however, that dried spices have concentrated flavors. My conclusion was that I used too much spice, which is counterintuitive to what home infusers tend to think. You know. More is better. So if I do this experiment again, I plan to really cut down on spice quantities.

Also, please note that excess star anise can have a negative health effect. That is, it comes with medical warnings. Please note this statement from WebMD.

"Star anise used as medicine is Chinese star anise. Don’t confuse it with Japanese star anise, which is poisonous and should not be taken. Some Chinese star anise tea products have been contaminated with Japanese star anise. You cannot tell the difference between them just by looking. Unless safety can be assured by chemical analysis, star anise tea should not be used."

Another side effect can be that "Some ingredients can cause skin problems including swelling, scaling, and blisters when applied to the skin."

I think I have good star anise. Certainly it came from a good source, but if they bought it in China, who knows? I would considerably reduce the amount of dried herbs if you feel you might have been too free with them in the previous batch.

Nov 12, 2014
alice_rice in Spirits

St. Germain Elderflower Liquer

Okay, this is my favorite liqueur you are discussing. I'm not from New York, although I luv it. I'm from Texas. My favorite drink is a Paris Manhattan. Use a nice-sized martini glass and make it cold. Pick up 2 shots of bourbon. Maker's Mark, while it is not something I usually like in a bourbon, it is perfect for this drink. Two shots of Makers, 1 shot of St. Germain, 1/2 shot of sweet vermouth, 1/2 shot of dry vermouth, Angostura bitters. Shake it. Put it in a frosty martini glass. Add a cherry or two. Voila! Beautiful!

Apr 15, 2014
alice_rice in Spirits

Best ways to use St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur

Maybe the hint of elderflower would work for someone who prefers the citrus taste of Tangeray.

Apr 15, 2014
alice_rice in Spirits

Best ways to use St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur

Hendricks is a really nice gin straight up. Mostly I mix gin for its drieness and its clarity of taste. I like the citrus touch in Tangeray. The problem to me is that Hendricks is soft, almost too much like Bombay. I like them both, but I don't like to mix them.

Apr 15, 2014
alice_rice in Spirits

Best ways to use St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur

Sounds scrumptious. I just don't have the citron vodka. I just have plain Absolut.

Apr 15, 2014
alice_rice in Spirits

Best ways to use St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur

I don't get the chlorophyll, and I detect no scent whatsoever.

Apr 15, 2014
alice_rice in Spirits

Best ways to use St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur

I just had one (sort of because I use plain Absolut), but I really liked it. I usually l like gin, but I was out of it.

Apr 15, 2014
alice_rice in Spirits

different pastis brands?

Yes, and fun that you responded after so long a time. I will now go look for this Henri Bardouin for my dinner party on Saturday. I made some pastis, but I had an accident. My first batch was too strong in terms of spices, and the second batch was actually an absinthe liqueur, because it contained actual wormwood, mugwort, and star anise. While the absinthe one is pleasant to taste, I'm afraid to serve it because of the wormwood. What do you think about serving it?

Feb 05, 2014
alice_rice in Spirits

Making Limoncello at Home

Actually, I misstated. I should have said that the result is about 44 to 45 percent ABV. Thanks. You made me look at the charts again.

Sep 15, 2013
alice_rice in Spirits

Bottling homemade liqueur? How & With what?

Buy a good corker (floor model). I purchased one in the $60 range from Midwestern Brewer's Supply on-line. It is spring-loaded and does various bottle sizes easily. They also sell a nice selection of clear and frosted bottles.

Sep 02, 2013
alice_rice in Spirits

Homemade pastis

It infused from July 25th until August 16th, when I filtered it, added the water and sugar, and put it back into the dark. Yes, I always take notes on the whole process by batch, including processes, methodologies, water, sugar, filtering, etc.

Aug 20, 2013
alice_rice in Spirits

Homemade pastis

Really it does not taste particularly bitter at this point, but that may change. I used the method of putting a little into a half shot, tasting it, adding sugar until I liked the taste, and then extrapolating my sugar from that. Besides using dried spices, I used one fresh fennel bulb. How long before I should take it out and bottle it?

Aug 19, 2013
alice_rice in Spirits

Homemade pastis

The batch is one liter of alcohol (190), and 1.1 liter of water. I just put in the sugar, which I determined by taste. Will it continue to get more bitter as it ages, even though I have removed the spices?

Aug 18, 2013
alice_rice in Spirits

Homemade pastis

I have two batches of pastis in process. One batch contains mugwort and wormwood in addition to a batch of traditional pastis spices and fresh fennel. The wormwood is a very small amount in my infusion, and I'm going to water it down by a bit more than half because I want it to be around 45 percent ABV.

I used only about 15 grams of wormwood, which is a tablespoon according to the converters. Has anyone tried this particular experiment? I'd like some feedback while the batch is still in hiding in preparation for processing (and before I drink it!). Thanks.

Aug 16, 2013
alice_rice in Spirits

Homemade Pastis Recipe?

I have some wormwood purchased from a reputable homebrewing house. Can you tell me what effect it will have on a pastis recipe?

Jul 24, 2013
alice_rice in Spirits

What to serve with Salmon? [Moved from General Chowhounding Topics]

I like orzo too, with some herbs, including sage.

Sep 24, 2012
alice_rice in Home Cooking

Limoncello questions...

I have heard that orangecello is more difficult than limoncello, and the sugar ratio would definitely be different. For the sugar component, however, you will want to be sure to make enough simple syrup and cool it sufficiently ahead so you can alter the sugar amounts if you want. How many bottles does your recipe yield?

Aug 23, 2012
alice_rice in Spirits

Limoncello questions...

I don't like the taste of Vodka, so I am using the Everclear. My next batches will be made with 151 rather than 190-proof, however.

Aug 20, 2012
alice_rice in Spirits

Limoncello questions...

Hi Jibe. Alas, I fear that I will never know the answer to the question, "What is the perfect amount of sugar?" Unfortunately, lemons vary in size and type. Apparently choosing the lemon is the most significant question in determining how much sweetness is appropriate. My last two batches surprised me. I purchased one batch of Meyer lemons for Batch 3 and one batch of regular lemons for Batch 4. When I purchased the lemons, both types were larger than the previous ones, and I could not find the same size anywhere. So I bought them and used them anyway. I doubled both batches. On the first double batch, I reduced the ratio of sugar by 1/2 cup. On the second batch I reduced the ratio of sugar by 3/4 cup. The first double batch was made with the Meyer lemons, and it seems to be the less tasty of the two batches to me. It has a whang I don't like as well, although it mixes fine. It has less sugar, but I have surmised that the Meyer lemons are too tart for me, and I probably won't use them again. On the other hand, the second batch, the one with the regular lemons same size as the Meyer ones I bought, I find quite tasty even though it has less sugar than the first double batch. I'm going to keep my sugar ratio about the same as in the fourth batch (the second double batch with 3/4 cup less sugar) but continue to use regular lemons or organic ones of the same size if I can find them.

Finding enough organic lemons can be difficult, so I just scrub the regular ones really well. Again, the two batches of lemons were the same size, but the batch of regular lemons was better than the batch of Meyer lemons, even though the regular lemons had less sugar than the Meyer lemons had. I had expected them to be better than the regular lemons because I had hear that so often on line. My next move will be to use Everclear 151 rather than 190 to see if I can keep it tasty, but not so bright in flavor.

Aug 19, 2012
alice_rice in Spirits

Making Limoncello at Home

It is not a legal restriction. I'm just not sure our stores have it.

Will shop to find.

Jun 24, 2012
alice_rice in Spirits

Making Limoncello at Home

Actually I'd love to try it. Don't know if it is available in Texas though, and we have very stiff import laws, so I'd have to be able to find it in the stores here. I'll have to look around, probably at the larger liquor stores. Will let you know what I find.

Thanks for the input.

Jun 24, 2012
alice_rice in Spirits

Making Limoncello at Home

I've never heard of that, but I suppose it would work. Do you also put water in it or not? There is a 151-proof everclear, which I probably will try for my next batch, depending on how these two come out at my Limoncello harvest party.

Jun 24, 2012
alice_rice in Spirits

Making Limoncello at Home

As for soap, probably you would be better off to buy one of those fruit cleaners. Don't know them by name, but since I rinse mine very, very thoroughly, I am embarrassed a bit to admit, I use dish soap! Someone on this board will probably slime me for that, but I figure we use it on our dishes. Just be sure it's gone before you peel.

Jun 23, 2012
alice_rice in Spirits

different pastis brands?

I have read that some of the herbs that may be included are things like orris root (from the roots of an iris type), cardamom, and cinnamon, along with many other things. I suppose any number of Mediterranean spices could be considered.

Jun 22, 2012
alice_rice in Spirits

Making Limoncello at Home

Several people have shared some general recipes on the Web. They are all a bit different and none of them written in stone. The fun of it is that it is nothing like cake baking, which is a downright rigid formulation with no accounting for tastes. Otherwise the cake might fall. Limoncello on the other hand is much more forgiving. I am a bit concerned about the recipe at the top of the page, however.

The mixologist is trading the 2 bottles of Everclear or vodka for 1 bottle of Everclear 190 proof and using 4-4.5 cups of water. I would advise, but I don't know the size of the Everclear bottle in question. If the person is using 750 ML, a 1:1 ratio in cups would be another 750 ML, or 3.17 cups of water. The suggestion to add more water than that is okay I suppose, but you don't want to water down too much. The reason mentioned for increasing the amount of water, however, was to reduce sweetness. If I want to reduce sweetness, I reduce the sugar rather than increasing the water.

Again batch size is everything. So if we are talking about a little bottle of Everclear I would obviously use half the sugar I would use for a big, 750 ML bottle. This is the ratio that matters for sweetness. How much sugar for how much liquid? I like the notion of keeping the amount of water to about a 1 to 1 ratio and altering sugar to taste. Most all of the initial recipes I saw or tried looked too sweet for me, so I started reducing it a bit at the outset, first by about 1/2 cup in the first batch and then by about 1/4th cup in future batches. Limoncello is supposed to be sweet, but not syrupy in my books. That is all a matter of taste of course.

Jun 22, 2012
alice_rice in Spirits

Making Limoncello at Home

Actually all lemons need scrubbing, but the organic ones less so than the ones that are not, because the nonorganic ones can come with wax on them to preserve them. Those really have to be scrubbed well. Don't tear the skin as you scrub though. I actually use a plastic scrubber, which is flat with little knobs on it. Be sure to rinse them well also because you don't want any soapy flavors near your infusion :))

Jun 22, 2012
alice_rice in Spirits

Making Limoncello at Home

Well, I've seen and used quite a few kinds. I've drunk the homemade stuff and the bought stuff, and I know there is much variation.

Jun 21, 2012
alice_rice in Spirits