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Safety with sugar syrups and alcohol.


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Paranoid Android

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 11:21 AM

Hi All,

 

Please first of all excuse me if this is in the wrong place, it may not even be welcome on any part of the forum but I guess if you dont ask, you dont get. I am not as you will see a professional but it seems there are some clever people on here and I could do with some reassurance. I am not in any food trade but as my profile suggests a little paranoid. Please delete if this is not appropriate or move to a different forum if needed.

 

Here in the UK (for everyone outside) they have a TV show with a drinks/cocktail segment. I saw a cocktail that I wanted to make for Christmas. The Viceroy Old Fashioned - Here is the recipe:

http://www.channel4....rogrammes/su...

 

However on the actual show he explained how he makes it and its slightly more in-depth.

 

Basically he makes a syrup with Darjeeling Green tea, Bay Leaves, Dark brown Sugar and Orange Bitters. Pours it over some Woodford Reserve and lets it steep for 3 months.

I decided to have a go at the longer, aged version.

 

I made a 2:1 ratio syrup from slightly different ingredients as I felt I wanted more of a smoky darker taste:

 

Cold brewed Oolong Loose leaf Green Tea,
Unrefined Molasses Sugar
Fresh Bay Leaves

 

This made a very glossy thick syrup. I mixed (to taste) an amount of this to a bottle of Islay 10 year Single Malt and a dash of Angostura Bitters. It tastes delicious.

 

My issue (apologies for not being succinct but I didn't want to leave anything out) is that I went to try some yesterday which has been sitting for about a month now and it has a sediment which looks like mud in wine and some flecks of "stuff" in it.

 

Do you think this might be spoiled or dangerous to drink? I am not in anyway a professional but I always worry about botulism etc (dont laugh or judge me). My first thought was it might be the sugar crystallizing. But then I wondered if it might be bacteria or mold. One of my concerns since trying to diagnose on the net (thanks Google!!) is that I cold brewed the tea and it was whole loose leaf, could that of been a breeding ground? Anything would have been killed during the syrup boiling process surely?

 

Should I have kept it in the fridge because of the tea and sugar? I still have some of the syrup in the fridge and that looks fine. I just assumed alcohol wouldn't allow bacteria to form.

 

I am giving these as presents so I dont want to make anyone ill??

 

Any help would be most appreciated.

Regards

 



FurFarmandFork

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 10:49 PM

I saw this in some old rum once and had the same thought, I couldn't imagine it was microbial growth but fungi are also continually surprising as to where they can grow (albeit slowly).

 

If found a study covering fungal growth in spirits that showed glycol has a protective effect for molds.

 

sprits https://www.research...bf4ba6f89be.pdf

 

The "mud" seems more like degredation/settling of the organics in your tea, the "flecks" are more likely to be fungal growth that may still be eventually dead (as per the study above) but still forms a visible biofilm before going into a death phase.

 

Given the environment, generally no common pathogens should be there, the only risk would seemingly be mycotoxins.

 

 

Can't tell you whether you should gift it or not. I would probably drink it myself but maybe run it through a coffee filter to remove the "roughage".


Austin Bouck
Owner/Consultant at Fur, Farm, and Fork.
Consulting for companies needing effective, lean food safety systems and solutions.

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CarkQuinn

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Posted 11 March 2021 - 10:42 PM

No one will argue with the fact that self-prepared alcohol is safer than store-bought alcohol.



Scampi

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Posted 12 March 2021 - 01:09 PM

No one will argue with the fact that self-prepared alcohol is safer than store-bought alcohol.

 

 

Evidence for such a sweeping statement????


Please stop referring to me as Sir/sirs


CarkQuinn

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Posted 15 March 2021 - 06:16 PM

No one will argue with the fact that self-prepared alcohol is safer than store-bought alcohol. And if it has a pleasant aroma and color, then it is also pleasant to drink. With sugar syrup, almost all lovers of preparing alcoholic beverages and cocktails based on it at home are faced. Those who do not understand its preparation can say that it is all extremely simple. But in fact, everything is not as it seems at first glance. And if you prepare sugar syrup incorrectly, it will not ennoble the taste of the drink, but will spoil it completely. I'm a big fan of making cocktails by https://www.lolacovi...adise-cocktail/ and I managed to make the syrup the first time.



Scampi

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Posted 15 March 2021 - 06:19 PM

ohh you're talking about preparing your own syrups and making cocktails 

 

i thought you meant distilling your own alcohol at home (which is illegal and not recommended!)


Please stop referring to me as Sir/sirs





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