Most bartenders, either amateur or professional, have reached for simple syrup to sweeten drinks. The sugar-water concoction can brighten cocktails and blend into beverages with ease, yet Gomme -- French for gum -- is a similar syrupy replacement that has been used since the 1800s. If you're looking to create smooth and creamy cocktails, Gomme syrup might be the ingredient you've been missing.
When experimenting with your at-home bar, knowing the different kinds of syrups available to you can help you balance and build drink recipes you feel proud to serve. Like typical simple syrup, Gomme provides a pleasantly sweet taste to recipes. Yet while simple syrup is made strictly of sugar and water, Gomme syrup has gum arabic added to the mixture. Also commonly called gum syrup in bartending circles, original batches of Gomme contained almonds.
Though Gomme has changed over the years -- and many bartenders have grown to favor cheaper simple syrups -- Gomme's impact is noticeable when it comes to the texture of finished drinks. With Gomme, cocktails take on a silky mouthfeel and the punch of heartier booze is softened.
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Gomme syrup is commonly found in brandy-based and bourbon-based drinks and is also used in more potent recipes and in coffee throughout Europe and Asia throughout Europe and Asia. When replacing simple syrup with Gomme, you can count on a close to a one-to-one ratio, but add conservatively and adjust to suit the preferences of your palate.
You can make your own gomme syrup at home with water, food-grade gum arabic, and sugar (white sugar or demerara can be used), but you'll need patience. From the time you boil water, mix ingredients, and cook over low heat to dissolve the sugar, the concoction can take several hours to make. Eventually, a thick syrup is strained and can be kept cool in an airtight container for use for up to six months. If you're hoping to have Gomme on hand for an even longer duration, splash a tablespoon of vodka into your mixture.
Some bartenders choose to infuse Gomme with herbs or spices, yet it can take several days for the syrup to take on the flavors of the added ingredients. Additionally, the kind of gum used in your Gomme can impact the color of the finished syrup, and gum arabic can be a pricey ingredient to purchase. Start your syrupy experimentations in smaller batches before diving into larger projects to preserve both your pocketbook and palate.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.