- The Origin of Sacred Spirits
- Vacuum distillation
- Vacuum Distillation
- A Chill at the Still to Keep Flavors Fresh
- A Chill at the Still to Keep Flavors Fresh
The Origin of Sacred SpiritsIna team at Bacardi led by the food technologist Derek Greer filed a patent for a practical industrial method of cold distillation at subfreezing temperatures. Compared with traditional distillation, their method produces gin with an aroma much closer to that of the original infusion of juniper, coriander, citrus peels and other botanicals with which gins are flavored. This fall, Bacardi started selling an English gin called Oxley that is distilled at around 25 degrees Fahrenheit, and includes fresh citrus peels instead of the usual dried peels. Tasted alongside a half-dozen standard English gins, Oxley stood out with an impressively intense, bright, almost sharp aroma. In Lewisville, Tex. He started production and local distribution of DeLos vodka last summer. Experimentally minded chefs and bartenders are also discovering the potential of vacuum distillation using laboratory devices called rotary evaporators, which fit on a kitchen cart and handle a few quarts of liquid at a time. Joan Roca rocked the food world in when he served an oyster in a clear jelly flavored with an aroma that he had distilled from a handful of forest soil. We have now looked at the physical properties which chemists use to define the solid, liquid, and gas phases. In a solid, atoms, ions or molecules, are locked into an organized, long range lattice structure, unable to move beyond an average position due to intermolecular forces. In a liquid, this structure breaks down, molecules can slip past each other, but they are still held together by attractive forces. In a gas, these attractive forces are overcome, and the substance expands to fill space, each particle having gained mobility to break free of the others. Substances can transition from one phase into another. Solids melt into liquids, liquids boil into gases, and so chemists are also interested in these transitions between phases. We are all familiar with the macroscopic properties of these transitions. The following video shows solid sulfur melting. This option will not work correctly. Unfortunately, your browser does not support inline frames. This is a highly familiar process. The solid changes to conform to the container shape, and is able to flow. Heat from a flame is needed to bring about this transition. This macroscopic behavior demonstrates quite clearly that when energy is supplied by raising the temperaturea solid can melt into a liquid. On a microscopic level melting involves breaking the intermolecular interactions between molecules. This requires an increase in the kinetic energy of the molecules, and the necessary energy is supplied by the Bunsen burner. This process can also be accomplished by lowering the pressure considerably. Boiling is equally as familiar. Under the right temperature and pressure conditions, the liquid starts to bubble, and is converted to a gaseous form. The following video is a quick look at hexane boiling. Heat energy is absorbed when a liquid boils because molecules which are held together by mutual attraction in the liquid are jostled free of each other as the gas is formed. Such a separation requires energy. In general the energy needed differs from one liquid to another depending on the magnitude of the intermolecular forces. We can thus expect liquids with strong intermolecular forces to boil at higher temperatures. It should be noted as well, that because there is a distribution in the kinetic energies of molecules, a equilibrium between gas and liquid phase forms even when not at the boiling point, and this behavior is another aspect of phase transitions that chemists study. For phase transitions from solid to liquid, liquid to gas, or solid to gas, energy is required because they involve separation of particles which attract one another. Further, we can predict under which conditions of temperature and pressure such conditions will occur.
Sacred Spirits was founded in when Londoner and distiller Ian Hart decided to reframe the city connection with small batch gin distillation in a more positive light. This time the onus was on quality. Instead of using traditional pot distillation, Ian opted for vacuum distillation as a way to preserve the richness of flavour and aromas of his hand-picked botanicals. A new era of London gin production was beginning Ian Hart grew up in the same house in Highgate where Sacred Spirits was eventually born and where he and partner Hilary Whitney are distilling to this day. Naturally curious and fascinated with science and distillation from an early age, Ian would eventually gain a degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge. After briefly swapping alchemy for algorithms as a Wall Street trader, Ian was drawn back to chemistry through his love of wine. The Sacred Spirits distilleries are unique as they are designed by Ian to his exact specification. The handling of ingredients is equally important. These rich extracts are then distilled separately, allowing Ian to experiment with multiple combinations of flavours, before blending to make a Sacred Spirit. It also gave the brand its name. Shopping Basket Close cart. The Origin of Sacred Spirits How this small Highgate distillery took vacuum distillation to the world. During the 18th century there were over a thousand makeshift distilleries dotted around the city: London was the unofficial gin capital of the world. As its popularity grew so too did its unregulated production. The Ginesis Sacred Spirits was founded in when Londoner and distiller Ian Hart decided to reframe the city connection with small batch gin distillation in a more positive light. The Spirit of Innovation Ian Hart grew up in the same house in Highgate where Sacred Spirits was eventually born and where he and partner Hilary Whitney are distilling to this day. Handmade and handcrafted The Sacred Spirits distilleries are unique as they are designed by Ian to his exact specification.
COLD has been a hot subject in the drinks world for some time now, mainly in its incarnation as ice. By distilling without applying heat, gin makers are creating livelier spirits, and bartenders and chefs are extracting flavor essences with great purity. The same creative bartending that wins awards in London could land a New Yorker in court on a charge of moonshining. Distillation concentrates the alcohol and aromas in a liquid by evaporating and then collecting these volatile components, while leaving behind nonvolatile qualities, like bitterness, sourness and astringency. Traditional distillation evaporates the volatiles at temperatures between and degrees Fahrenheit, so the liquids and any flavoring ingredients in them are cooked in the process. Cooking changes the quality of many aromas, especially more delicate citrus, flowery and fruity ones. Hence the appeal of vacuum distillation, in which a pump pulls air and vapors out of the distillation container, reducing air pressure and causing the volatiles to evaporate at a lower temperature. The higher the vacuum, the colder the temperature at which alcohol and aromatics can be distilled, and the less cooked the resulting flavors are. Vacuum distillation, also called cold distillation, has been used for years in the manufacture of better gins and shochus, but with relatively modest temperature reductions, to around degrees. Ina team at Bacardi led by the food technologist Derek Greer filed a patent for a practical industrial method of cold distillation at subfreezing temperatures. Compared with traditional distillation, their method produces gin with an aroma much closer to that of the original infusion of juniper, coriander, citrus peels and other botanicals with which gins are flavored. This fall, Bacardi started selling an English gin called Oxley that is distilled at around 25 degrees Fahrenheit, and includes fresh citrus peels instead of the usual dried peels. Tasted alongside a half-dozen standard English gins, Oxley stood out with an impressively intense, bright, almost sharp aroma. Hart separately distills each botanical ingredient infused in alcohol at between and degrees, and then blends these distillates to make the finished gin. In Lewisville, Tex. He started production and local distribution of DeLos vodka last summer. Experimentally minded chefs and bartenders are also discovering the potential of vacuum distillation using laboratory devices called rotary evaporators, which fit on a kitchen cart and handle a few quarts of liquid at a time. Joan Roca rocked the food world in when he served an oyster in a clear jelly flavored with an aroma that he had distilled from a handful of forest soil. Tony Conigliaro is a bartender who bought a rotary evaporator that same year. He also macerates spices and fruits in neutral alcohol to extract their flavor, and then removes the alcohol with the rotary evaporator to make low-alcohol bitters. At the Tippling Club in Singapore, the Australian bartender Matthew Bax uses the rotary evaporator to make a fresh concentrate of pineapple and cardamom, perfumes of local flowers and nuts, and bitters based on beet root. Any process that separates alcohol from a mixture of water and alcohol is strictly regulated by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau of the Treasury Department, which requires that it be carried out in a bonded, specially equipped facility with extensive record-keeping and reporting. Still, the leading expert on creative applications of cold distillation is David Arnold, the director of culinary technology at the French Culinary Institute in New York. Full disclosure: I teach with Mr. Arnold twice a year. He has published a detailed guide to the culinary uses of the rotary evaporator at cookingissues. His guide includes recipes for spirits flavored with chocolate all aroma, no bitterness or sugarhabaneros all aroma, no pungencyhorseradish aroma and pungency and a blend of fresh cilantro, basil, cucumber and roasted orange. Arnold thinks that distillation in a rotary evaporator to create and modify flavors should be legal. Vacuum distillation with alcohol is a valid cooking technique. But nobody in the industry here can do it and talk about it openly without big legal and financial risks. I distill with them as an educational tool, to show the great things that American chefs and bartenders could do with this technique if they had the chance. Will they ever get the chance?
A Chill at the Still to Keep Flavors Fresh
To share or not to share? That is the question. We distil using a Buchi rotary evaporator in a method called vacuum distillation. The main reason for using this method was so that is was possible to distil one of our core ingredients: yoghurt. Yoghurt cannot be distilled using the traditional copper still method, as the temperatures are just too hot — the yoghurt would curdle and no one wants that! Vacuum distillation allows us to distil at much lower temperatures, keeping the yoghurt safe and its taste intact. For example, sea-level atmospheric pressure is mbar. The pressure we distill at reaches as low as 45 mbar, meaning that substances can be distilled at very low boiling point temperatures. Our flavours remain as intense as ever and shine through in Crazy Gin. We vacuum distill the yoghurt, black cumin, turmeric, black pepper, pomegranate, coriander and juniper using the rotary evaporator. The gin is then fat washed with ghee, and you can read more about how this works here: link. Once this is complete, we blend them together to create our final product. One of the most exciting things about the use of a rotary evaporator is that almost anything can be put through them. For us here at the Crazy Gin distillery, turning our hand to gin was a world away from anything we were used to. Neither of us came from a scientific background, and the equipment took a lot of practice to master! In Marchwe were invited by Buchi to Cambridge, to demonstrate how we use the equipment to make our gin to a bunch of chemists. This was alien to them, as they had been using the same equipment in a completely different way. However, after explaining the process and providing some delicious gin cocktails they had a better understanding of what we do. It was a great pleasure to share our story with them all! Cart 0.