Thursday, March 22, 2007

Results of chocolate and coconut vodkas

Two of our most long-awaited vodka infusion experiments are finally complete! Our coconut vodka took over a month to infuse; the chocolate took less than a week once started, but we spent at least as long as the coconut just deliberating over how we ought to do it. Nevertheless, both infusions were quite successful.

We debuted the chocolate vodka for its first tasting on Saturday night, at our Saint Patrick's Day party. The pieces of chocolate had not fully dissolved, but their appearance had changed little over the last couple of days; we believe that the vodka had reached a critical point of saturation, and that the chocolate was unlikely to dissolve entirely. The edges and vertices of the pieces had separated, and though the Lindt logos had dissolved away, a few pieces still had lines on them from the design imprinting.

As I lined up three sample shots, I licked some chocolate vodka from my fingers. Yummy!

The Mad Scienticians and visitor Matt tasted the vodka, and all approved, though the bitterness of the 85% cocoa hits pretty hard. It's tasty, but I believe it should be mixed with something sweet.

"Pretty decent," Wayland said. "It's got a strong chocolate taste, but it fades quickly, leaving vodka."

Since we were already slightly drunk from the green punch when we took this sample, we tasted it again on Tuesday. We happily confirmed the conclusions we reached on Saturday. We then bottled the vodka and I tasted a piece of the chocolate. It tasted much like it did before it soaked in vodka for a week; tasty, but slightly bitter and not very sweet. There was little absorption; only the slick taste of vodka on the surface.

Much like our caramel vodka, the chocolate vodka is a suspension, not a true infusion. Given time, a small layer of chocolate sediment settles to the bottom of the bottle, though the effect is not as extreme as with the caramel. The vodka will have to be shaken before each use.

Tuesday night also saw the end of the coconut vodka infusion, which ran for a record-shattering 35 days. Last week, when we sampled it for the second time, we considered bottling it then; though the taste was still primarily vodka, the coconut had finally made a significant appearance. We ultimately decided to give it just a little longer, and now we're glad we did.

The vodka kick is still there, but it's diminished a great deal since last week. I had thought about adding a second spoonful of sugar after the last tasting, but it turns out we didn't need it; the first spoonful set the coconut in further with time.

Yes, Wayland, for the thirtieth freaking time, we see your shot glass. It's clever.

"The vodka's pretty smooth," Wayland said. "It's neutral when you drink it, but leaves the taste of coconut behind."

As one might expect, the coconut didn't add much color to the vodka, other than a slightly foggy appearance.


Morgana said...

I still say the coconut vodka is flawed and needs to be redone with toasted coconut.

Brendan said...

Perhaps so. We'll give it a try at some point.

Heather said...

If you're doing toasted coconut, you might want to try doing some nuts or seeds - like almond, hazelnut, or sesame.