A Wonderful Spicing

Well, the Dramproject is now complete. It is absolutely gorgeous. It is everything I wanted and more. The sherry is spicy and peppery and kicks like a mule. It worked great in the twilight squall cocktail, and, more importantly, it is going wonderfully in soups and as part of my steak marinade (3 oz. Worchestershire sauce, 3 oz. soy sauce, .5 oz. sherry peppers for each steak, marinade for .5-3 hours). Basically, it is everything I could ask for and more. Whip yourself up a batch today!

Pictures to follow.

Take care now,
The Scribe


Jumping the Gun

Add cinnamon stick for more spice.

Add cinnamon stick for more spice.

So it turns out I jumped the gun just a bit with my Wine Blogging Wednesday post. Turns out last week wasn’t Wine Blogging Wednesday, but today is. So it goes. I took the opportunity to check up on this month’s Dramproject, my Scrivenal Sherry Peppers (#1). I found that they were coming along a bit quicker than I had anticipated (probably because of the ginger, and also I think I am using serrano peppers not jalapeƱos). Anyway, I tossed in the cinnamon stick and have generally moved up my schedule for the sherry peppers by about a week. Also, check back in a few hours for a review of Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot Barleywine.

See you soon,
The Scribe

Infusing…This Time With Wine

Welcome back to day two of the Wine Blogging Wednesday Fourth Anniversary Spectacular. Today we are covering sherry peppers. This is really only the first post on the project, as it will take about a month to infuse. Thus, this is my first Dramproject. That’s right every month or so I will be undertaking a month long project, and posting on it regularly. This month, it’s sherry peppers, and while it will likely often be an infusion, it may be brewing my own beer, or simply finding the perfect version of a given cocktail. So, without further ado I give you:
Everything needed for step one laid out and ready to go.

Everything needed for step one laid out and ready to go.

August Dramproject: Sherry Peppers

For those of you who are familiar with Bermuda, you are also familiar with that most wonderful of Bermudian condiments: Sherry peppers. Since I have been cooking regularly, I have found that I am almost unable to cook without my secret ingredient, the aforementioned sherry peppers. They are quite hard to come by in the States, and I didn’t get to Bermuda this year.

What to do? Well, I could just get off my lazy butt and, you know, make them. In addition, Outerbridges, the only company which makes sherry peppers commercially (as well as rum and sherry-rum peppers) gets quite the pretty penny for them: $7 for a five ounce bottle or $23 for a

fifth. On the other hand, I can make a batch of about half a liter of peppers for under ten bucks, and about ten minutes of my time. Moreover, I can then customize the sauce to my liking.

Sherry Peppers (Basic Recipe)

  • 2 c. – Sherry (Amontillado, preferably, just stay away from cream sherry)
  • 3-6 – Hot Peppers, quartered (Bird peppers or Scotch Bonnets would be traditional, but go with what you like.)

Allow to steep for at least two weeks, and up to a month, then strain and bottle.

There you go. Simple, easy, and while it takes a while, it barely takes any active time. However, I wanted to get a bit more flavour out of my sauce. If it was really that easy, the Outerbridges would be out of business. To get a bit more flavour out, I used a mix of peppers, and added a little more spice:

Scrivenal Spiced Sherry Peppers #1

  • 640 mL – Sherry (Taylor Gold)
  • 1 tsp – Ginger root, grated
  • 1 – Scotch bonnet pepper, quartered
  • 2 – Jalapeno peppers, quartered
  • 25 – Cloves, whole
  • 1 nut – Nutmeg, coarsely crushed
  • 1 stick – Cinnamon
  • 10 – Peppercorns, whole

Put ginger root, peppers, and sherry in airtight jar and allow to infuse for two weeks. Add cinnamon stick and peppercorns, and infuse for two more weeks. Add cloves and nutmeg and infuse for one to two days. Strain, season appropriately, and bottle.

All the ingredients in the jar and steeping.

All the ingredients in the jar and steeping.

That is the recipe I am following. Hopefully it will work out. I am hoping to get more complexity out of this batch, preferably something which I can also use as cocktail bitters.

This is the second of four posts I am presenting for Wine Blogging Wednesday. You can read the others from the original post, which you can find here.

This is the the first of several posts documenting my August Dramproject.

Well, that’s all I got. Enjoy,
The Scribe

Mixing It Up With Infussions

Hello boozahol lovers of all stripes. Today, I bring you my vision of the future, or at least one possible vision. I’m really of two minds about what I am about to post. On the one hand, it’s pretty cool, and really interesting in how it opens up the possibilities of future mixing. On the other, it takes much of the art out of mixing and especially distilling, which is something I’m against. (As you will find, I’m pretty old fashioned in my views, especially regarding art.)

Before I begin, I’d like to just take a moment to say I am back from Israel and New York, and am writing this from my new apartment. I should be unpacked in the fairly near (read: within a week), but the kitchen and spirits are already unpacked. I also got an interesting rum in Israel at Duty Free. It may not be too good, but we’ll see. But I digress.

My thought is this: Chefs can look in their pantry and take out any ingredient they like. Barkeeps, however, are restricted to a relatively meager stock of ingredients. The fact that we can do as much with our ingredients as we do is staggering. Our ingredients are also incredibly complex compared to, say, a piece of chicken, or even something like an onion or garlic. With the exception of vodka, even simple spirits, beers, wines, and cordials have immense complexity.

What if we could strip away some of that complexity, and, at the same time, open up what we can do with mixology? What I propose is increasing the use of tinctures. In effect, we would take an approach similar to that of exotic (tiki) drinks: Combine say, vanilla rum tincture with orange rum tincture, mango rum tincture, and toffee rum tincture, and you have the perfect rum for whatever application.

I don’t know. Especially as I put it out in this kind of detail, I feel really ambivalent about this idea. Perhaps you could use a little bit of one or two tinctures to bring out an element in one specific spirit? I don’t know. Let me know what you think!