Today I would like to stand up for a sometimes tiresome topic: infusions. Anyone who is interested in cocktails will sooner or later come upon the topic of infusing. Some recipes may call for it, descriptions may deal with it or blog articles such as this one may raise the question: Is that really necessary? On the other hand, many people find the topic quite interesting and appealing when they visit a bar. That may mainly be due to the expectation of something different than you would make for yourself at home. But the whole thing isn’t that hard to do.
If you consider that hardly anyone has a problem with buying spirits to mix a certain recipe or several specific cocktails, it seems a little strange that you don’t want to invest the time for an infusion. It is not very hard to throw some fruits or herbs into a liquid and hardly anyone will first visit a retailer or supermarket in the evening when the desire for a certain drink arises. So normally you will do your shopping in advance and in the end the time needed for an infusion is not very different against this background. And there is a great reward waiting for you: uniquely tasting spirits which make completely new drinks possible!
Of course I am also not making infused spirits every day, but almost every time I chose to do an infusion two or more days in advance, it really paid off in the end. It’s often a bit tricky to calculate the quantities, especially for home use. But if you’re able to use the rule of three, it is also not an insurmountable obstacle. Convinced? If yes, I am happy, if no, then I will at least present you a drink, which is perhaps able to change your mind.
Raspcano is the name of the cocktail that is supposed to stand up for infusions today and it is truly an extraordinary drink that is nonetheless not really difficult to make (the name is a combination of the words raspberry and volcano – but I guess you have figured that out yourself). The basis is a classic gin infused with raspberries and a Habanero chilli. In terms of gin you can follow your personal taste, I have used a Cotswolds gin because I appreciate it as a classic representative of the genre. The exact instructions for the infusion can be found below. In the pictures you can see the Alkemista infusion vessel, a glass bottle with a Japanese teapot at the bottom. I backed and acquired it during a Kickstarter campaign. But it is also easy to do with a regular bottle and a filter cloth.
The Raspcano is basically a variation of the Gin Sour, but it has more to offer: fine raspberries, fiery-fruity sharpness from the Habanero (caution, who does not like hot food, will have a tough time with this drink!), sweetness, freshness and a great complexity caused by rhubarb bitters and a fine and fruity accompaniment of a Ruby Port float in the style of a New York Sour.
Hot, fruity, spicy, complex and refreshing. Simply a great drink – and it looks marvelous! I served it to several guests and they were all thrilled!
6 cl raspberry and Habanero infused dry gin (see below)
3 cl lemon juice
3 cl sugar syrup
1 Dash Fee Brothers Rhubarb Bitters (alternatively a dash of Angostura bitters)
3-4 bar spoons Ruby Port
Raspberry and Habanero infused dry gin: For each 350ml add 100g of fresh raspberries and a Habanero chili that you cut in halves. Let infuse for 48 hours. Then filter through a fine filter cloth until the visible fine particles have disappeared from the liquid.
Preparation: Shake all the ingredients except for the port wine on ice and pour into a glass filled with fresh ice cubes. Lastly float with the Ruby Port.
Buying sources: At specialized retailers or online