Entrepreneur. Cocktail and spirit champion. Old world wine provocateur.
This one is fun.
With some help from my good friends over at Ceremony Coffee in Annapolis, I got my hands on a Japanese coffee siphon. These siphons are pretty cool little contraptions. When brewing coffee, you put your water in the bottom chamber and your coffee grounds in the top chamber. The water is heated by a small bunson burner and once it reaches a certain temperature, it is sucked up into the top chamber where it mixes with the grounds. The turbulence of the liquid sloshing around extracts the flavor from the coffee. When it’s fully infused, you cut the heat and the liquid drops back into the bottom.
I decided that it would be a fun exercise to add some botanicals to the top chamber and to add some water and booze to the bottom chamber. As the liquid gets siphoned up into the top chamber, the turbulence acts as a rapid infuser, similar to simmering all of these ingredients together on the stove, infusing the liquid with intense flavors.
For our first cocktail, we went with gin, barenjager, and water in the bottom chamber. I figured that since gin is so full of botanicals as is, that a few more in the mix could only do it some good.
In the top chamber I added Earl Grey tea, orange peel, lemon peel, dried cranberries, mint, sage, and a little dash of our house winter bitters blend. After heating the siphon, the liquid looked like this.
As you can see, it picked up a lot of color. It also picked up a lot of flavor. There were subtle citrus notes, a nice hit of the hot tea, and a little bit of hot alcohol. Once its all said and done, you can pull off the top part and pour directly out of the bottom chamber. And you’re left with a delicious hot cocktail!
In case you have a Japanese siphon lying around and want to make this yourself, here’s what I did. The first four ingredients go in the bottom chamber:
0.25 oz Barenjager
1 Dash Winter Bitters (I use a house blend, a good substitute would be 1/2 Angostura, 1/2 Fee Brothers Old Fashioned)
5 oz water
The rest of the ingredients go in the top chamber:
1 large orange peel
1 lemon peel
1 bag of Earl Grey tea
2 stalks mint (leaves only)
2 stalks sage (leaves only)
1 handful (about 25) dried cranberries