Flavour is of course one critical consideration but the process is another. There was seemingly endless experimentation with maceration versus percolation. Coffee presses and Kilner jars lined the shelves of our garage. We tried every means of filtration with muslin cloths, water filters and coffee filters used and discarded at an alarming rate. I got addicted to the science. What was the perfect level of alcoholic content to extract most flavour whilst avoiding the dreaded ‘ouzo’ effect, the milky emulsification that happens when diluting certain flavour compounds? How to balance bitterness with sweetness, clarity with colour? The options were boundless and for many months, we had as many failures as successes.
Jen and I tasted everything – the good, the bad, the delicious, the disgusting, the transparent tinctures, the milky messes, liquids so bitter they made our lips curl. But finally, a breakthrough was made in early 2017. A top-secret one of course. By the end of that year, Brimmers was on the market.
At the same time, I wrote the recipe book. What began as a short collection of recipes designed to give some inspiration to those who wanted to mix their drinks with Brimmers grew into something more entertaining to write (and hopefully to read). The tall tales, disputed histories and spurious claims hooked me into the world of cocktails. I hope it hooks you too.