Sunday, April 1, 2012

Blueberry Basil Geltini for Grub Street

On a recent night on the town, I had the most delicious beverage at 28 Degrees- a blueberry basil martini. I went home with a mission to make a gelled version of this drink.

One of the greatest challenges when trying to gel a tasty beverage is getting the right flavor potency. Something that tastes great in liquid form can end up insipid when it's gelled. But just adding more of all flavors doens't always equal tasty in the end. Sweet disappears when chilled more quickly than sour, so you can easily end of up with a really tart gel.  

In this case, the basil turned out to be the hardest to perfect.  In the martini, the flavor was  present but not overwhelming. Even though I have a background in lab science, I  still rely on  measuring cups  and volume just doesn't cut it when you're working with herbs. It's all about mass.  Two people measuring out their own cup of basil leaves could vary by as much 30%.  To complicate the matter further, the essential oil in the basil varies on age and size of leaf.  True molecular gastronomers extract the essential oils from herbs be more in control of concentration.  After several tries in the gelaboratory I found the right concentration of sweet, tart, and basilosity (not a real word....yet). 

Here's the  Blueberry Basil Geltini with a milk gelatin on top and the Grub Street logo on top.  Thanks to Julie Sterling for the beautiful photograph from the Grub Street Party. 

Gelology's Blueberry Basil Geltini- Photo © Julie Sterling Williams

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