One of the ideas that really intrigued me was demonstrated by the bartender of the Butcher and the Rye. He presented an Old Fashioned made with a Pumpkin Ale Syrup, made with reduced Pumpkin Ale. The flavor of the beer carried into the drink, bringing a spicy profile which complemented the whiskey.
Making the Vanilla Porter SyrupAfter doing some research, I decided to give it a try myself. I started with a Breckenridge Vanilla Porter as that seemed to be the most complementary flavor based on what I had on hand.
|My chosen sacrifice|
The whole process took approximately 35 minutes. Essentially, I reduced the beer by 2/3 and then added an equal weight of sugar.
First, I poured the beer into a sauce pan and warmed it under medium-high heat:
At this point, you really should get a good idea of how deep the beer is in the pan. This will make it a heck of a lot easier to know when you've reduced it by the right amount.
Keep a close eye on it and stir frequently. At one point, it tried to foam up and over the pan and only a quick pull off the heat prevented a disaster:
Shortly after the near-disaster, the beer slowed it's overflow, reached a boil and I reduced the heat to keep it simmering but not boiling. At this point, I put on the timer for 30 minutes and checked back in every few minutes for a level check and stir.
30 minutes later, I placed a tempered glass measuring cup on my food scale and zero'd it out. Next, I poured the beer into a measuring cup and luckily found it was exactly 2/3 reduced! I carefully added sugar until I'd doubled the weight of the mixture (7.2 oz in total) and stirred until the sugar was fully incorporated.
The final product is a sweet, complex syrup with a distinctly beer aroma and flavor. Very tasty!
Making the Old Fashioned
The Old Fashioned is a pretty simple drink, mine called for:
- 2 Sugar Cubes
- Tiny Bit of Water
- 2 Shakes of Angostura Bitters
- 1 tsp Vanilla Porter Syrup
- 1.5 oz Bulleit Whiskey
- Ice Cube (or Penguin in my case)
- Orange Peel
I start by combining the water, sugar cubes and bitters and muddle everything together.
Next, add the ice and whiskey and finally twist the peel to express the oils and garnish the drink.
This Old Fashioned was delicious, with enough sweetness and complex flavors to balance the whiskey. The first aroma is of orange then a mixture of sweetness and vanilla with the spice of the whiskey. Highly recommended!