Molecular Mixology V: Kentucky Monk

As life has been crazy busy as of late, I’m going to phone this one in, and give you an article that I gave to Stan for his new Mixology Magazine, now that I know that it won’t be printed in English and thereby won’t affect his readership.

Warning: the following post is about beer syrup, which we’ve already covered ad nauseam. The cocktail, however, takes a “molecular mixology” tilt, as this is what was requested by Stan.

Here goes the article, as submitted, before editing:

There has been a trend, as of late, to use beer in cocktails. Whether it stems from a need for new ingredients, or the need to be creative, I know not, but I do know that it is a trend that has long been in the waiting. Wine has been used in mixed beverages for centuries know, and it seems almost absurd that beer hasn’t shown its face a little more often in America’s greatest contribution to the world, the cocktail.

The beer industry today is rife with tradition and innovation. From ancient Belgiums to fruity lambics to yesterday’s latest micro-brew, we have an infinite world of flavors at our disposal. It was high time that someone started accessing these interesting and varied beer characteristics.

I was recently approached to develop some beer cocktails, but instead of responding with the usual twists on the ale flip, or the shandy, I decided to go way off into left field, and experiment with beer liqueurs and syrups. I’ve never been a big fan of many of the liqueurs on the market as they mainly hit just one note of flavor and are providing little more than sweetness. Due to their simplicity and expense, I’ve always leaned toward making my own syrups and liqueurs, and while I’ve made liqueurs out of wine in the past, for some reason I’ve never looked to beer to offer me flavor. This was about to change.

Grabbing a farmhouse ale from the fridge I set about making my first beer syrup. After de-carbonating the beer, I placed it on the stove and heated it up, so that it would be able to accept the sugar that I was going to add. Sugar added, yeasty head removed and syrup cooled, I tasted my new product. Eureka! The final result was a honeyed, slightly yeasty beer candy.

Realizing the whiskey and beer come from the same family, I decided to make a cocktail with my new friend from Belgium and an old friend from Kentucky: Knob Creek bourbon. And in keeping with the beer theme, I wanted the finished product to look like it could be a glass of beer.

I present for you, the Kentucky Monk….

2 oz bourbon
½ oz Torani Amer
4 dashes coriander tincture

stir and strain into miniature beer glass
half fill remainder with beer syrup foam
fine grate orange zest on foam
top with beer syrup foam again
brûlée foam with Angostura flame
garnish with finely grated orange zest and amaro Nonino dust

Beer Syrup Foam
1 sheet bloomed gelatin
4 egg whites
4 oz hot water
6 oz beer syrup
2 oz lemon juice

place all in ISI canister, charge and chill

Beer Syrup
1 bottle of flavorful Belgium beer (I chose Saison Dupont Farmhouse Ale)
12 oz sugar

open beer and pour into a container
stir to release CO2 and leave for several hours
place beer in a large pot and heat.
Do not let the beer boil, as it gets messy
add sugar, stirring until it is completely dissolved
skim off head that forms
take off heat, and allow to cool somewhat
strain syrup, to remove any head that has developed

Amaro Nonino Dust
Place 5 oz amaro on a flat sterile metal surface (not too deep of a puddle)
Leave until dry (place on top of a warm area to expedite process)
Scrape off dried amaro and grind in a mortar and pestle

Angostura Flame
place a solution of 3:1 Angostura to Stroh 80 in a mister
pump and spray through a flame

Drink and picture by:
Jamie Boudreau


~ by Jamie Boudreau on October 2, 2007.

11 Responses to “Molecular Mixology V: Kentucky Monk”

  1. Very nice drink!

    However, I have one demur. You wrote:

    >>>open beer and pour into a container
    stir to release oxygen and leave for several hours<<<

    If we are doing Molecular Mixology, we supposed to be accurate… So in beer, there is no solved oxygen but carbon dioxide!

    I also do not like Stroh (if you grew up in Austria or another German speaking country, Stroh is equal with crap…

    And one more time: let me congratulate you to this beautiful pictures (I am so envious)!

  2. Opinionated:
    You are quite right, it should have read CO2 and has been changed.
    On another note, while I agree with you that Stroh is equal to crap, it works wonders as a fuel, which is its purpose in this case. Angostura by itself will flame, but it flames a whole lot better with Stroh added!

  3. Is it not possible to use an overproofed rum like lemon hart 74% abv? There are not really a lot of really high proof spirits out there (what a pitty – also to make your own liqueurs etc. high proof spirits are quite useful) – but Stroh with its added flavoring can never be my favorite…


    Dominik MJ

  4. It may, in your opinion, behoove to you to employ other “vessels” to your mean. Would it not be better to show your positive results than to lash out toward a creative mind looking to share?

  5. […] View the whole post at […]

  6. […] Source:  […]

  7. Curious as to what consistency your syrup came out to. I came across your blog, and used it to attempt some beer syrup [I want it very thick], but the resulting taste was un-palatable..
    BTW very cool blog!

  8. Marco Polo:
    The syrup should be fairly thick, especially if you follow the directions. I noticed that the one thing that I did not mention was the size of the bottle, which would be about 11oz (33cL). After boiling and skimming the final syrup should be around 2:1. Skimming is crucial!
    Thanks for reading!

  9. […] opaque liquid in a similar fashion to traditional stout ales.  I used Jamie Boudreau‘s Beer Syrup recipe to create both a syrup and a foam with the important addition of monoglyceride instead of gelatine. […]

  10. […] to a Go-Go is funk in a glass — we recently became intrigued with the concept of a beer simple syrup and felt compelled to try it out with some local brews from Chocolate City and DC Brau. We created […]

  11. […] to a Go-Go is funk in a glass — we happen to adore a beer simple syrup, particularly when made with some local brews from Chocolate City and DC Brau. We created a […]

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