Inspired by Paul Clarke’s post on Tequila, por Mi Amante, I was intrigued at doing an “infusion” of some fresh raspberries and some seriously overabundant Cruzan left at the house after the latest party. I love my Cruzan, don’t get me wrong, but it’s an inexpensive and decent rum good for using in experimentation. I typically use it as the rum in my speed rail, whenever a Puerto Rican or Virgin Islands Rum is called for.
Anyhoo, Craig had brought over 6 small baskets off just off the vine raspberries for a particularly lazy sunday of making syrups, and playing with flavors. So lazy was this sunday, that by the time we were done with the day, 4 of those baskets were still left over. So, with a few gallons of rum in the other room, and Tequila por Mi Amante still in my brain, I decided to make use of the goods at hand, and a bit of patience, to make a nice Raspberry Rum infusion. No fancy name here, just what it is.
I washed the raspberries and split the 4 baskets between two one-quart mason jars. Then, taking out my handly muddler, I crushed up the raspberries a bit, so as to release as much juice as possible, leaving a few berries intact. I filled one jar with Cruzan dark, one with Cruzan light, and sat them in my fridge, and waited. I’m pretty sure it didn’t need to stay in the fridge, seeing as how much alcohol is surrounding the juice and berry flesh, but given the space, it was better safe than sorry.
So, three weeks passed, and out came the metal strainer and cheese cloth. I tend to do my straining in two steps, first with the metal strainer, then the cheesecloth. I have learned, through much trial and error, that when I’m trying to get that last 5 mL of booze out of the solids, not to use the container I have put the successfully extracted goods in. I tend to squeeze the solids ’til they’re bone dry, and split quite a bit of cheesecloth doing so.
On tasting, I noticed that the raspberry flavor was so strong, that the use of light or dark rums was almost negligible. Besides, I couldn’t be into Tiki Drinks if I didn’t do a little rum swapping, eh? So, the two became one in an old bottle of Cockspur.
The smell is STRONG, the bite of the raspberry really gets a lift from the rum, giving it a lot of punch. The raspberry flavor is as gentle as any raspberry, but the flavor is pure and true. Not sweet like raspberry flavoring, but it certainly identifies itself as raspberry. That reminds me, I do believe Cruzan makes a raspberry rum. I will have to do a comparison.
Of course, what good infusion doesn’t deserve its own drink? When I think cocktail, I tend to move towards Daiquiri. Rum always seems to go so well with a bit of lime and sugar. The raspberry is equally suited by the lime and sugar, emphasizing its sour and sweet points. I also used a rinse of Fee Bros. Orange Bitters, as I’ve got plenty lying about, and wanted to give the drink a subtle touch of mystery, and the bitters are a nice way to put a new flavor in the balance between sour and sweet.
Oh, and the Gomme #1 is an experiment I’m still working with. I’m using a mixture of sugars to make the simple syrup a bit more complex. More on that sometime later.
- 2 oz. Raspberry Infused Rum
- .5 oz. Gomme #1
- .25 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
- Rinse Fee Bros. Orange Bitters
Shake with Crushed Ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass that has been rinsed with Orange Bitters. Garnish with a raspberry at the bottom of the glass (sub maraschino cherry if necessary).
Nothing much to it, just serve and enjoy.
I’ve also been doing a bit of research in my copy of Famous New Orleans Drinks and how to Mix ‘em, and there are quite a few drinks involving Raspberry syrup. I am going to have to have a raspberry round-up sometime soon.