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Three Ways to Sous Vide in Your Home Bar

From infusions to syrups, cooking under vacuum can create inventive flavors while saving time mixing drinks.

Welcoming warmer weather is an ideal time to sharpen your at-home bartending skills, and with sous vide, you can create professional bartender-worthy mixed drinks with ease. Create alcoholic infusions and big batches of syrups with the low temperatures of sous vide and toast to the season, all season long. Here are three tips for using sous vide in your home cocktails.

Combining liquors with other flavors can transform a cocktail base. As we reported in Sous-Vide: “A traditional infusion technique takes three days; with sous vide, it’s completed in half the time from bath to shaker—and beverage makers can maximize the amount of flavor they want pulled out of the other ingredients and into the booze.” And, the alcohol can’t evaporate from the vacuum-sealed pouch. Beginner bartenders can start with 40-Love from Cincinnati’s Metropole, which infuses Pimm’s No. 1 with plums, orange peel, and fresh thyme, while intermediate mixologists can try Micah Melton’s Cream of the Crop, which infuses gin with rhubarb and fennel.

Simple syrup (sugar and water) is essential to a well-stocked bar. But sous vide can up the ante and create complex flavored syrups, like the spiced roasted banana syrup in A Sour in the Key of Raffi from Chicago’s The Aviary. Or for a breakfast-inspired beverage, try Double Chicken Please’s French Toast Flip featuring a sous vide syrup made from toast, maple syrup, and coconut water.

For professionals, the time saving of sous vide is a bartender’s best friend. For home chefs, the method creates pre-made cocktails for lazy summer afternoons. One batch of the syrup for A Sour in the Key of Raffi cooks up enough for 50 cocktails, the infused Pimm’s No. 1 for 40-Love is ready to pour about 32 cocktails, and the French Toast Flip syrup recipe serves 17.

Image from International Sous Vide Day 2020 celebration in Bangkok, Thailand.

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