With all our recent talk about Infusions, it was only a matter of time – this week, we will try Nitro Infusion and see how it compares to the traditional infusion methods for vodka (starting & finishing) and simple syrup.
This is a new culinary technique which was only pioneered 4 years ago by David Arnold, Director of Technology for the French Culinary Institute, who is also the same person who brought us the technique for clarifying lime juice.
What You’ll Learn:
- How does this new rapid infusion technique compare to the traditional, tried-and-true techniques?
- Benefits and draw backs of Nitro Infusion.
- How is it different from traditional infusion techniques.
- Which techniques had the best results!
How to do Nitro Infusion:
We’ll start with the simple syrup.
- The first step is to place mint in the ISI (brand name) canister (affiliate link) which is already filled with simple syrup. We are using the same quantity of mint we used in the traditional infusion technique here from a few weeks ago.
- Then lock the top and shake it. Screw in the nitro charger and you’ll hear it charge up. Make sure it’s secure and shake some more.
- Take the first charger out then charge it once again.
- Let it sit for a minute then take out the last charge.
- Carefully evacuate the air (into a container or rag as it will spray) then open up the canister.
- You can see it foaming up and you can hear it “boil.” fine-strain the mixture into a container and the rapid infusion is complete!
To infuse vodka with lemon, follow the same steps.
The first thing you can immediately see is that the nitro-infused syrups are much clearer than both traditional methods of infusion.
Nitro Infused Mint vs. Conventionally Infused Mint:
The traditional infusion has a bright, spearmint gum flavor whereas the nitro infused one has a lot of floral quality and is much lighter in flavor. There’s no punch really, and no aroma. I will say the lighter color is a plus.
Nitro Infused Lemon vs. Conventionally Infused Lemon:
The traditionally infused lemon has a good lemon flavor and you taste the balance between the alcohol and the lemon itself. Again, the color is much lighter, and I didn’t see the same oils in the infused vodka like you would with the traditional infusion. It’s a lot hotter – the lemon doesn’t come through, and is more bitter. The lemon flavor isn’t strong enough to really balance the alcohol, so the resulting infusion tastes very hot!
Nitro infusion is a cool, in-a-hurry technique, but there are drastic taste differences between rapidly infused & traditionally infused liquors & simple syrups. In the future there are a lot of other variables that we can consider like more time, more substance or a higher grade of alcohol. I look forward to trying these out!
In the meantime, I’d say our results are pretty clear – Nitro infusion is a lot of fun and it’s something new. But for quality results, the traditional method is definitely the way to go.
What do you think?
Have you tried it out? Did you experience similar results? What other factors can we consider to improve the quality of the rapid infusion? Definitely let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page!