What's an Overproof Spirit? (And How Do You Mix It?)Edit Post
Contributed by on Mar 20, 2016
One reader loves this post.
My theme this time is overproof. Or rather how you utilize overproofs. Do you sub them into your standards? Save them for accents in particular recipes? Pour them into ceramic volcanoes and set them on fire? Reserve them only for making liqueurs? Whatever it be I’m looking for your recipes that use overproofs as base or as modifier in a noticeable--WAIT-“What’s an overproof,” you ask?“Well, uh, yeah…”First let’s decide what is proof. It’s my party so I say 50% ABV is proof. Above that is overproof. You disagree? Host your own party! (No, really, host a MxMo it’ll be fun.) So BIB liquors are exempt this month but lots of bottles are fair game! Whether it boldly proclaims its strength on the label or nonchalantly lets you discover its strength for yourself, use that bottle that packs a punch in a drink this month.
So with that in mind, we reviewed our overproof options and set out to make a cocktail.
We were initially thinking of doing something with bourbon, and noodled around with what might be nice with that. A float maybe? But then we remembered the Amaretto Sour, and how we usually like stronger spirits in sours to counterbalance the substantial amounts of citrus and sugar needed to make that form of cocktail work, not to mention the muting effect of the egg white. So we decided to make a sour, but felt like we’ve made a fair number of those with whiskey. We couldn’t recall making any with rum though. Why not a tiki-ish rum sour instead? We scurried to the cabinet, retrieved the 151, and started testing and tasting, settling on strong vanilla and almond flavors to play off the sweet/funky rum. Lime seemed the best citrus counterpoint, and after trying a few bitters, the cherry added some complementary bitter fruit notes that really underscored the almond-cinnamon flavors of the orgeat.
With the base figured out, we added some egg white and gave it a hard dry shake and then a hard iced shake. Interestingly, the egg white did not foam as expected. Instead it thickened the drink as whole and gave it a light, creamy mouth feel. We’re not sure why that is, perhaps because of the fat in the orgeat and/or the amount of overproof rum? Seems worth further investigation we think. ;) In any case, we liked the result.
Out of Pocket
- 2 oz 151 rum
- 3/4 oz Liquor 43
- 1 oz lime juice
- 1/2 oz orgeat
- 1 barspoon simple syrup
- 3 dashes cherry bitters
- 1/2 egg white
Dry shake all ingredients. Add ice. Shake again. Strain into a glass.
- Nose: Vanilla, dulce de leche, oaky barrel notes, lime, cherry, cinnamon, almond, hint of rum funk.
- Palate: Sharp lime and rum funk to start. Creamy almond, cinnamon and vanilla on the mid-palate. Spicy cherry notes underpin the mid-palate and continue into the finish. Finish is quite dry and astringent with sweet oak barrel notes. Aftertaste is lime pith and cinnamon. Light, creamy body.
Thanks to Dagreb for hosting, and as always thanks to Fred for keeping the monthly party rolling. Looking forward to what everyone else puts together.