(Clip from justcocktails.org )
I think nitrous oxide was used for a while primarily in making foams and such during the height of the molecular mixology thing, so of course I jumped on the bandwagon. As fun as foams are, there’s a characteristic that is dismissed. The aeration available and flavor intensity from using nitrous. Dave Arnold touches on this with his quick nitrous bitters. I’ve been experimenting with mostly coffee infusions
I’ve become fond of this device called Soda Sparkle. Great for making those nitrous infusions. Awful at foams. Also this is specifically designed for carbonating cocktails so technically it’s not built for high nitrous pressures, luckily the soda sparkle is designed with an automatic pressure release.
The recipe is pretty straight forward.
2 oz. Vodka (I’m using belvedere here)
1/2 oz. Simple syrup (1:1 by weight)
1 oz. Nitro Espresso.
The labor intensive aspect is making the cold brew.
The recipe I have is for a large batch approximately 33 oz. so scale down if less is needed.
Start with 50 grams of your favorite espresso. Fine grind it freshly and place it in a non reactive container, hermetic large jars work great. Immediately after add 825 grams of cold distilled water. Stir, enclose and shake. Let it sit for 1 hour in a refrigerator. While that is brewing we need to make loose hot coffee. Weight out another 50 grams freshly ground espresso and add 700 grams hot water (around 200 degrees) stir, loosely cover with a towel and let that sit out for an hour. The next step is to strain. If you have a bunch of coffee filters great. If not dish towels work well. I straight the coffee three times. Don’t press any of the coffee just let gravity do most of the work for you. Your yield will be significantly shorter but that’s okay because the next step is to combine the cold brew with the loose hot brew. The reason I do this is to extract oils and CO2 from the hot method and bitterness to add to the subtle flavored of the cold brew. Now we place the blend into a bottle or jar and let it chill over night. Whatever solids that weren’t trapped in the filtering will rest to the bottom.
Now the nitrous part. Fill your vessel to just below the fill line. I recommend using an ISI Whipper because of its ability to withstand high pressure and it’s reliability. Charge the espresso. Shake for a minute and let rest for a minute. Slowly vent the gas. Charge again and shake and let rest once more. Slowly and carefully vent. We don’t want to loose too much gas. Now place is your favorite self sealing bottle and keep cold. This will last a week depending on how often you open the bottle. A fair warning: nitrous does bring out a lot of flavors and notes of vanilla and spice you may not have noticed previously but it also ups the caffeine levels a lot. If you’re sensitive to caffeine I would be careful with how much is consumed. Two ounces feels like a triple espresso.