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Gum Syrup is an underrated bar essential. Here's why you need this cocktail necessity.

by Anthony Rossetti

 You know, there's a really important catagory in crafting a good cocktail that is often outshined. 

Many cocktails call for simple syrup, a combination of sugar and water, which adds sweetness to the drink. Gomme syrup is a drink sweetener that was commonly used instead of simple syrup in many classic cocktail recipes. While some people may refer to simple syrup as gum syrup, true gum syrup contains an emulsifier known as gum arabic, a natural gum made from the sap of two types of the acacia tree.

The taste of gomme (the French word for gum) syrup is neutral, just like regular simple syrup, but it does take a little longer to make. The advantage of gomme syrup is that it adds a silky texture to your cocktails and softens the alcohol's flavor. This is especially true in alcohol-dominant cocktails. This is also the reason why it works so well in classics like the fancy whiskey and the brandy daisy. It can be used in coffee as well, and is a popular option at cafe's all over Europe and in parts of Asia, including Japan. Use gomme syrup in any cocktail that calls for simple syrup; some adjustments may be needed, but you can generally begin your cocktail with an equal amount or slightly less.

In addition to the texture Gum syrup presents, gum arabic also prevents the syrup from crystallizing - a helpful method of storing. Gomme syrup will keep in the refrigerator for about five months. You can extend the shelf life to about six months by adding 1 tablespoon of vodka before storing it. Now, here's a fun twist on a classic (said every mixologist ever 🤣) :


What you’ll need: (10oz Batch when finished) 

• 150 G Brown Sugar (I use Raw Turbinado)

• 1.5 Cup Water

• Spices (Coriander, Vanilla, Anise, Cassia)

Hibiscus Flowers

• Gum Powder

 

Now even though you’re starting off with a 1:1 ratio, you’re going to be reducing it so much it still ends up being about a 1.5:1 ration in terms of sugar:water.

You’ll want to start with your “simple syrup” as a base, and then once boiling, reduce to medium heat and add spices and botanicals to your mix and simmer for about 10 mins. 

Now here’s the tricky part, you want to remove your spices and botanicals before you add your final ingredient, but you don’t want to remove it from the heat yet. (I'd recommend using a skimmer or a mesh strainer to scoop the spices out) 

next add a bar spoon (2/3 tsp) of your gum powder. and reduce your mix further until you get that good Chinese food sauce texture going. You want that shit to look like you’re chefing up some Kung Pao Chicken up in this kitchen, yo. 

 

 

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