The advantage to using gomme syrup is that, especially in heavy-alcohol cocktails such as many of the classics, it adds a silky texture and softens the alcohol's flavor. It also prevents the syrup from crystallizing.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
- 2 oz Gum Arabic (food-grade)
- 2 oz water
- 8 oz sugar
- 4 oz water
- Dissolve gum Arabic in an equal amount of water that is near boiling, stirring constantly until completely dissolved.
- Allow this mixture to cool.
- Make "rich" simple syrup by dissolving 2 parts sugar in 1 part water by boiling and stirring constantly until sugar is completely dissolved.
- Add the dissolved gum and boil for 2 minutes, again stirring continually.
- Allow to cool, then bottle.
Because gum arabic can be inconsistent, is expensive and your own tastes may lean toward a more or less sugary syrup, I suggest experimenting with small batches (such as the measurements indicated above) of gum syrup and trying it out in a few classic cocktails like a Sazerac or Old-fashioned. Once you find your ideal syrup you can make larger batches like the 1871 recipe found in David Wondrich's Imbibe!, which uses a full pound of gum. It is also interesting to note that Jerry Thomas' recipe for "gum syrup" includes no gum, but is similar to what is commonly called "bar" simple syrup (1:1) and makes 2 gallons at a time, which for the average bar would last a very long time.
Read more about gomme syrup:
- The Wonders of Gum Syrup - from Bunnyhugs.org
- The Great Gomme Adventure - from CocktailChronicles.com
Cocktails with gum syrup: