The Mixology Talk Podcast, Episode Seventy Nine
Sparkling wine, a party for a hundred and disappointing herbal syrups – it’s another listener questions episode on the podcast!
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In today’s Episode…
We’re answering three more listener questions. If you have questions of your own, Click here to send them in!.
On to the Questions:
Rachael from Georgia: What’s the best kind of sparkling wine to use for a French 75 if you can’t afford champagne on a regular basis?
You definitely don’t need to use Champagne in sparkling cocktails – there are a lot of other sparkling wines that will work equally nicely and won’t break the bank. Consider white California wines made with “methode champenoise” – this basically means the wines are made in the same way as French Champagne, even though they are not grown in the Champagne region in France.
Other options include Prosecco (a favorite of mine) or other sparkling white wines like Crement. They are often not quite as sparkly as true Champagne, but the cocktail will still come out great.
By the way: here’s proof that carbonating wine is not such a great idea!
Joe from Ohio: Hey guys, when hosting a banquet style catered party at home, what’s the best way to stock the bar for around 100 people?
We get asked this question a lot! The fact of the matter is, it’s extremely expensive and wasteful to stock a bar for just one event. You’ll never please everyone, and chances are pretty good that you’ll end up with a bunch of partially used bottles.
Here are some other ideas:
- Do a Kir and Kir Royale bar where guests can serve themselves.
- Make several pre-made punch cocktails.
- Pre-batch drinks in drink dispensers
Matt from Washington DC: I’ve been mixing drinks at home for the past year and have gotten really into it! I’ve just started infusing my homemade syrups and am having some trouble when I use herbs like mint and rosemary. The herbs seem to lose a lot of their flavor in the syrup. Any tips?
Herbs are tough! This is definitely a problem that Chris struggled with – in fact it’s the topic of one of our earliest videos. The biggest challenge is that so much of the flavor from herbs comes from the aroma, which can be tricky to capture in syrup form.
If at all possible, I would say muddle your herbs instead of making a syrup with them. There’s no better way to capture the flavor, oils and aroma. If you must create a syrup, be careful not to use high heat or over-infuse, as you’ll risk pulling out the bitterness of the herbs – not good for the overall flavor. Check out this video for our experiment and recommendations for mint syrups.
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This helped my Rosemary Honey syrup retain the herb flavor. Start the heat on the skillet, once it’s hot throw the rosemary in for about 30 seconds to bring out some of that flavor. Set the rosemary aside, add sugar and water to the skillet (in my case I used honey and water). Once added, shut off the heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. The heat in the pan should be enough to dissolve the sugar. Once dissolved, let the rosemary sit as it cools for about 30 minutes. This brightened up the syrup quite a bit, but paired with a quick muddle it was definitely noticeable.