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Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

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I've made many attempts at the Pearl Diver family of drinks and never been pleased with the results. It's the honey-butter mix that has me stymied; I can't get it to work right no matter what method I use. Whether I beat everything together cold or warm everything separately and then mix them, regardless of how smooth and creamy it looks when it goes into the blender, the finished drink sucks. I either end up with a straw clogged with clots of solidified butterfat or with everything stuck to the edges of the glass. Desperate for a smooth Pearl Diver-type drink, I was forced to turn to the dark art of......SCIENCE!

Rather than trying to cream butter and honey together, I used an emulsifier to create a stable butter syrup that won't separate in a cold or hot drink and can be made well in advance and held. The method is basically identical to the syrup made here:

https://www.cocktailchemistrylab.com/home/emulsions

But with the addition of cinnamon and vanilla to bring it in line with the taste of spices #2 and #4.

Here's the recipe:

200 grams water
200 grams sugar
150 grams melted butter
3 grams Ticaloid 210 S
15 allspice berries
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Crush allspice berries and cinnamon stick and add to dry saucepan. Toast spices over low heat until fragrant, then add water and simmer, covered, to infuse water with spices, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Strain spiced water into mixing container and add Ticaloid. Blend thoroughly with immersion blender to hydrate. Slowly drizzle in melted butter while pulsing blender to emulsify. Add sugar and vanilla and blend until smooth. Transfer to a clean bottle with a slug of everclear for preservation. Do not refrigerate, it will get so thick as to be unpourable.

New-Fangled Pearl Diver:

1 1/2 oz Jamaican rum (Xaymaca)
3/4 oz Demerara rum (Skipper)
3/4 oz Gold Puerto Rican rum (Bacardi 8 Year)
3/4 oz orange juice
3/4 oz lime juice
3/4 oz butter syrup
1/2 oz honey mix
1 barspoon falernum
1 hearty dash Angostura bitters
1 hearty dash orange bitters

Pulse blend with 3/4 cup crushed ice and pour into appropriate glass. Garnish with something tropical.

I've made this a few times now, and it's very forgiving. Hasn't come out gritty once yet. I may finally have to buy some of those new Pearl Diver glasses now that this is on the menu.

R

I've thought about giving this a go a few times, the problem is always the Ticaloid 210 S. The only place I know of to get it is

https://www.modernistpantry.com/210-s.html

And they sell it a pound at a time. $60 for a pound of something that you'll realistically never even use 100 grams of is annoying. Having to come up with someplace to store the pound is even more annoying.

I've found that melting the butter mix in the microwave for 5-10 seconds and then doing a 10 second dry blend in the drink mixer before adding ice makes it work well enough where you don't get any clumping in the drink itself. You still get some stuff sticking to the glass but not in the drink.

But some day I should get some ticaloid and give this a go.

On 2019-01-28 11:48, rangda wrote:
I've thought about giving this a go a few times, the problem is always the Ticaloid 210 S. The only place I know of to get it is

https://www.modernistpantry.com/210-s.html

And they sell it a pound at a time. $60 for a pound of something that you'll realistically never even use 100 grams of is annoying. Having to come up with someplace to store the pound is even more annoying.

I've found that melting the butter mix in the microwave for 5-10 seconds and then doing a 10 second dry blend in the drink mixer before adding ice makes it work well enough where you don't get any clumping in the drink itself. You still get some stuff sticking to the glass but not in the drink.

But some day I should get some ticaloid and give this a go.

I got my Ticaloid from a friend of mine who works in the food additives industry. The company that makes it will send out samples to "qualified industry professionals" and he just put his company's info down and picked it up at the office.

https://web2.ticgums.com/sample-dl?hsCtaTracking=bdf63388-8c9e-4770-b9d3-385089336d4b%7C65db6cab-4ff3-4228-a192-6d62a7dc6d8d

If you can concoct the details of a fake company and get a PO box or some other non residential address you might be able to get them to send you a little half pound sample jar.

Is gomme powder an alternative to Ticaloid? Gomme is easier to get, and relatively inexpensive.

On 2019-01-28 13:11, AceExplorer wrote:
Is gomme powder an alternative to Ticaloid? Gomme is easier to get, and relatively inexpensive.

What kind of gum is it? The ticaloid label lists gum acacia followed by xanthan gum.

On 2019-01-28 13:11, AceExplorer wrote:
Is gomme powder an alternative to Ticaloid? Gomme is easier to get, and relatively inexpensive.

Reading a bit about Ticaloid, it looks like gum arabic would probably be a decent substitute.
One person on r/cocktails said Ticaloid can basically be mimicked by an arabic/xanthan mixture 9:1 ea.

On 2019-01-28 13:37, Sandbartender wrote:

On 2019-01-28 13:11, AceExplorer wrote:
Is gomme powder an alternative to Ticaloid? Gomme is easier to get, and relatively inexpensive.

Reading a bit about Ticaloid, it looks like gum arabic would probably be a decent substitute.
One person on r/cocktails said Ticaloid can basically be mimicked by an arabic/xanthan mixture 9:1 ea.

Both of those seem to be pretty cheap on amazon. I'd say its worth a try.

Very Cool! Need to try that out!

On 2019-01-28 13:37, Sandbartender wrote:
Reading a bit about Ticaloid, it looks like gum arabic would probably be a decent substitute.
One person on r/cocktails said Ticaloid can basically be mimicked by an arabic/xanthan mixture 9:1 ea.

The tiki gods are smiling! How many of us here ran straight to the web to place orders and then plan some serious “lab” time?

Fun stuff!

R
rangda posted on Mon, Feb 4, 2019 3:40 PM

Just made this recipe using 9:1 arabic:xanthan gums instead of the ticaloid. Too early to tell yet but so far it's holding up as a syrup. It was nice to be able to actually pour the stuff into a bottle. Some comments on the flavor:

The recipe didn't call for it, but I used unsalted butter. I have high blood pressure so the less salt the better.

The vanilla syrup I used (Nielsen-Massey), wasn't very potent at all, so I preemptively doubled it. That was a bit too much vanilla, maybe 1.5x would have been better.

I used one stick of ceylon cinnamon, but the butter really mellows the cinnamon, it could use a bit more.

I definitely miss the honey flavor, I think I'd try using 150g of honey instead of 200g of sugar. I lost a fair bit of water simmering the spices (it was around 125g after straining) and added a bit back to get me in the ballpark of 200g. I think using honey and just not bothering to put a bit of water back into the recipe would be better. I have some good butterbean honey laying around, I may make another batch with that.

EDIT: Here is a picture of a Pearl Diver made with the syrup. As you can see from the drink mixer tin the gums prevent the butter from clotting. As far as taste goes the vanilla is fine in the drink, if anything it could use more spice flavor. The honey is definitely missed.

[ Edited by: rangda 2019-02-04 16:56 ]

On 2019-02-04 15:40, rangda wrote:

I definitely miss the honey flavor, I think I'd try using 150g of honey instead of 200g of sugar. I lost a fair bit of water simmering the spices (it was around 125g after straining) and added a bit back to get me in the ballpark of 200g. I think using honey and just not bothering to put a bit of water back into the recipe would be better. I have some good butterbean honey laying around, I may make another batch with that.

[ Edited by: rangda 2019-02-04 16:56 ]

I think using honey is the way forward too. I was reluctant to deviate too far from the base recipe on my first try because honey is slightly acidic and I wasn't sure how that would affect the syrup in the long run, which may be silly given that it holds up in a drink made with lime juice. When I run out of my first batch I'm going to try it out with honey.

R

Made a new batch. Color is awful thanks to the (very yummy) palmetto honey I used (which is almost chocolate brown in color), but the taste is amazing. Here is the recipe I used:

  • 3 oz honey (by weight) (bee folks palmetto)
  • 3 oz unsalted butter (by weight)
  • 4.5 tsp cinnamon syrup (BG Reynolds)
  • ~2.25 tsp vanilla syrup (BG Reynolds)
  • ~2.25 tsp allspice dram (St. Elizabeth)
  • 2 grams 9:1 gum arabic:xanthan gum mixture. (Just add 9 parts arabic and 1 part xanthan of whatever measure to a container and shake and then use 2 grams of it.)
  • 1 oz everclear

Chunk butter, over medium-low heat combine honey and butter until liquefied (make sure it doesn't boil). Add spices, stir to combine, taste and adjust as necessary. Remove from heat, let cool slightly, add everclear and gum mixture and use an immersion blender to combine. Let cool and bottle.

Careful observers will notice that this is just the normal butter mix recipe from Beachbum Berry except I used 1.5x of all the spices. I've found that whenever I make this stuff it tastes great by itself but the spices always get lost in the pearl diver. I wanted something with more spice flavor in an attempt to make them come through a bit in the drink, so I ended up upping the quantities by 1.5x.

This will make about 8 oz of syrup which is perfect for a 250 ml bottle.

That dark color actually has me thinking: what if we browned the butter a little bit before making the syrup? Introduce some toasty aromas to the party. There's no reason it wouldn't still emulsify is there?

So I decided to get weird with this second batch. Rather than going the spice tea route again, I decided to toast the butter a little bit, then cook the spices in the hot fat to "bloom" and hopefully bump the flavor up.

After busting up my spices (doubled up on cinnamon since the sticks I had this time were a little scrawny) I melted the butter in a saucepan and cooked it until it was starting to get that nutty smell. Not full on browning, just cooking it a little more than just melting.

Once it was ready I tossed in the spices and let them cook until very fragrant, probably no more than a minute. Once it cooled a bit I strained the spices and emulsified it with some ticaloid hydrated with plain water, then in went the honey and vanilla paste.

The syrup definitely benefits from the honey, and the spices are a little more in your face from having been essentially fried rather than just boiled. Using 150 grams of honey rather than 200 grams of sugar also seems to have given it a slightly looser consistency, and it doesn't thicken up so much that it falls in ribbons on a cold day anymore.

On my last visit to the Tiki Ti I noticed that the Puka Punch is now being mixed according to a new recipe. There's no 151 float and the rum blend is gold PR rum, Mt Gay, and Myer's. More interestingly though, is that I heard Mike say that there's a "butter mix" in there. I did see two syrups go into it, one of which was the gold passionfruit (JE fassionola gold), so I guess we can assume that the butter mix is going where the straight honey mix used to? I need to buy that bottle of fassionola gold and start playing with it.

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