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Gomme (Gum) Syrup

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Gomme Syrup

Gomme Syrup

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Gum (or gomme) syrup is a drink sweetener that was commonly used instead of simple syrup in many classic cocktails. While some people refer to simple syrup as gum syrup, but true gum syrup contains an emulsifier known as gum arabic (sometimes using the French word gomme), which is hard to rare but can be found at natural food sources such as Frontier Coop.

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

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Gum Arabic (food-grade)
  • 2 oz water
  • ----
  • 8 oz sugar
  • 4 oz water

Preparation:

  1. Dissolve gum Arabic in an equal amount of water that is near boiling, stirring constantly until completely dissolved.
  2. Allow this mixture to cool.
  3. Make "rich" simple syrup by dissolving 2 parts sugar in 1 part water by boiling and stirring constantly until sugar is completely dissolved.
  4. Add the dissolved gum and boil for 2 minutes, again stirring continually.
  5. 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.

You can also find bottled gum syrup from a few specialty producers such as Small Hand Foods, who also make pineapple and raspberry gum syrups.

Read more about gomme syrup:

Cocktails with gum syrup:

  1. About.com
  2. Food
  3. Cocktails
  4. Mixology- Tips & Tricks
  5. Make Your Own Mixers
  6. Definition of and Recipe for Gomme Syrup for Cocktails

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