Friday, July 4, 2014

Where can a gal get extract of bourbon?

My friend Matt made me a drink a couple of weekends back: bourbon, ginger ale, lime juice, mint, a sugar cube and ice - you know, to cool it all off and make it perfect for sipping in the backyard.  Just typing the ingredient list sets my salivary glands headlong into a sweet drool.  I made the drink at home and miraculously managed to replicate its golden goodness.  Problem is, thanks to my purgatory in peri-menopause, bourbon (and all of its  alcoholic friends) gives me crazy-ass hot flashes and my hyper-sensitive hypoglycemia turns ginger ale and sugar cubes into glycemic spiking insurgents.  Although on the plus side, I can drink something made of lime juice, mint and ice.  File that away for later.

The sugar's not a problem - I can work around the sugar - club soda, ginger root and stevia can replace the ginger ale and sugar cube.  It's the bourbon.  I want the taste of bourbon without the alcohol.  Obviously I just have to figure out a way to make extract of Bourbon!  Come on Internet - don't let me down!

"How to make extract of bourbon?"

I don't want to make bourbon-flavoured vanilla extract - I want to make bourbon extract.

"bourbon extract"

I don't want to buy bourbon extract, but just for the sake of comparison... HOLY CRAP!!!  4 oz of bourbon extract is $8.25?!?

Wait a sec - to get extract, one usually uses alcohol as the liquid vehicle to concentrate the flavour.  How can I concentrate the flavour of bourbon without keeping the alcohol?!?

Do a reduction!!  Okay, no problem...  This sounds good...

"how to cook alcohol out of bourbon"

Take just a moment and let your gaze fall upon #3 in that instruction list... "Quickly touch the flame to the surface of the liquid and remove your hand from the pan."  Shall we place bets to see how long it takes Heather to light herself on fire attempting that manoeuvre?


Okay, wait - just wait!  Extract might actually work!  It offers a highly concentrated taste of whatever flavour you're jonesing for.  Which means you don't need the same amount to give the full flavour of the actual item.  So... 1 tsp of extract of bourbon for flavouring would be equivalent to... no freaking clue, because NO ONE IN CANADA USES EXTRACT OF FREAKING BOURBON!  But Canadians do use Rum extract - which if you're substituting for light rum is a 1:5 ratio - unless you're supposed to use dark rum, in which can you need two times as much rum extract to get the taste of dark rum - in which case you might as well buy the bourbon and deal with the night sweats.  I'm going to err on the less is more side and bet that 1 tsp of bourbon extract might equal 2 tbsp of actual bourbon - which is a full oz of bourbon!   And one tsp of bourbon extract would have only 16% of the alcohol found in actual bourbon - surely to God that couldn't be enough to give me hot flashes! 

Except that I'd have to special order the bourbon extract.  What can I substitute for bourbon right now??

SERIOUSLY??  We're back to vanilla extract?? 

I'm not saying it's even close to bourbon...
but it might just make do until I hit menopause.

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