Make it clear!

WHAT IS CLARIFICATION?

Simply put clarification is the process of removing unwanted particles from liquids to achieve a pure, clean taste and feel. Specifically, alcoholic beverages are treated via clarification to not only remove artifacts of the fermentation process but also to remove unwanted colors and materials during cocktail preparation. With mass-produced products clarifying occurs in several advanced ways. However, if you want to tackle clarifying at home there are several methods you can use to produce clear drinks. Some of these are a lot simpler than others but all have their purpose, and each achieves a different level of clarity and texture to the final product. 

clarification

 Clarifying with Gelatin or Agar-Agar 


You can clarify your drink by combining either substance to form a solid gel that can then be filtered. Each has their own benefits and drawbacks, but both perform reliably well in most cases. A concern for some may be that gelatin is typically derived from animals whereas agar-agar is a seaweed derivative and therefore suitable for vegan diets. When combined with hot water, both mix well with free particles and then bind to create a solid structure. Allow the mixture sit long enough for the clarifying agents to take effect. Around ten minutes. After cooling the gel can then be broken or frozen to produce crystal clear clarified drinks.

The freezing method is ideal if you have the time to allow your cocktail to sit overnight in the freezer while the gel sets. Due to the lower freeze temperature of alcohol, this is suggested for lower ABV liquids. once the liquid has set you can take it out of the freezer and let it thaw over a paper filter, producing a smooth colorless cocktail. Alternately you can mix Agar-Agar into a liquid, let it set and the whisk to disturb the particles. All you have to do then is pour the clear liquid over a filter to harvest the results.


The Easiest Method

Clarified drinks are clear and maintain a smooth texture with a pleasant taste. The flavors meld, creating a more refined drink. to clarify your own drinks, simply step down from the coarsest filter, such as muslin or similar and work towards the finer options such as coffee filters. Stepping down makes it easier to catch all the largest particles first. This method will produce a close approximation. However, it may not remove all of the colors and there will be significant fluid loss due to continuous filtering. But there are better ways to make clear drinks.


Clarified Drinks with Protein

Using proteins to clarify drinks is a centuries-old practice but the same methods can be used to achieve the same results. Trapping unwanted particles to create a cleaner, smoother cocktail is a matter of knowing which proteins to use. Common proteins include egg whites, milk and gelatin but in the 1800s the popular answer was milk. Because it was available and because preservation was very important. Using acidic components like citrus was a way of preserving liquids when refrigerating wasn't far from an option, yet. The milk was intended to also ease the harsh effects of acidic drinks on the stomach. Unfortunately, milk in acidic drinks curdles and clumps together. Not very appetizing. However, this did make the process of straining unwanted particles easier, creating delicious, clarified clear drinks. Later this same process was reproduced using egg whites with animal stock to create consomme an important ingredient in many recipes.

Back then, this process created what was known as 'milk punch' and although innovative, it has grown a lot since then, incorporating science, technology and plenty of trial and error to create a reliably clarified, delicious, crystal clear drink on demand. With a little patience and a solid understanding of how each process works you can begin creating your own clarified cocktails immediately and producing exceptional results with little to no practice. So, with that in mind, let's take a look at the process creating your own 'milk punch' at home. 

clarified

THE OPINION OF MISEL POSAVAC, BEVERAGE INNOVATION MANAGER: 

If you ask me what is my favorite way to have my drinks, it would be silky and crystal, crystal clear. To get crystal clear drink does not require magic, but rather a little science and milk! Even Benjamin Franklin used to clarify punches, he knew what was up. They had used it for preserving drinks, especially when citrus were missing during cold months. Clarified punches can be prebatched and kept for months after undergoing the process. Clarified cocktails beyond being clear have a lovely mouthfeel as a result, all the flavors have married into one unifying sip. Because of its curious process, clarified cocktails have seen a booming resurgence among mixologisys and cocktails enthusiast crowd.

Misel's special tip: if you are doing milk clarification use 1 part of milk and 4 part of the cocktail mix.

 

CLARIFIED DRINKS RECIPES

  

cherry milk punch

CHERRY MILK PUNCH

Ingredients for 1L to prebatch

  • 227 ml Whole milk

  • 455 ml Earl Grey tea
  • 145 ml Mezcal
  • 145 ml Bold London Spirit
  • 100 ml MONIN Morello Cherry syrup
  • 80 ml fresh lemon juice

Preparation

  • Mix all ingredients together except the milk
  • Heat milk to 48°C
  • Pour mixture into a separate jar with the heather
  • Leave the batch in the fridge for at least 6 hours to curdle
  • When punch has seperated, strain mixture through coffee filter and bottle punch in clean glass bottle
  • Store in the fridge up to 1 month
chocolate milk punch

CHOCOLATE MILK PUNCH SOUR

Tools: 2 mixing glass, funnel, coffee filter
Glassware: rocks glass

Ingredients for 1 glass

  • 60 ml Bourbon
  • 20 ml MONIN White Chocolate syrup
  • 20 ml lemon juice
  • 30 ml milk
  • Garnish: dry bergamot or kefir lime leaf or coffee bean

Preparation 

  • In a mixing glass, add the cold milk. Slowly pour in the cocktail into the milk. Stir. Let set for a few minutes to let the milk do its thing (a.k.a. curdle) do not stir.
  • Put a coffee filter in a funnel over the new mixing glass. Slowly strain into the coffee filter. It will take a bit to fully strain. Strain again for the better result.
  • Here it is! You have it a clear milk punch that will last for months in the fridge!
  • To serve: Pour into a glass with a large cube, preferably clear ice to show off all your hard work clarifying.
  • Tip: you can add on top of the drink 6cl of cold brew coffee