Hi, Friends of Cocktails. Today we’re looking at homemade cocktails on tap - and yes, that includes sour cocktails with a creamy head. We’ve done batched cocktails before, and we’ll do them again soon, but what if you could make sour cocktails that you don’t need to even shake, but still get that nice aeration and texture of a well shaken cocktail? We’ll test this out on the Whiskey Sour, the Daiquiri and the Aviation, but you could of course use it for any cocktail you’d like to have on tap, ready at a moment's notice.
I think batching cocktails in a bottle is a great, simple way to make your life easier when you have to make a lot of cocktails in a short period of time, but to take it even a step further, especially for sours, tap cocktails are the answer. To pull that off you’ll need Super Juice, which we’ve covered, and a keg. I’ll use the same 2 liter keg from the Sous Pression episode, but this time we’re also using a tap and some gas cartridges to push out our cocktails - nitrous oxide for the Daiquiri and the Aviation, and pure Nitrous for the Whiskey Sour, which we’ll actually make in a siphon.
If you put effort into making great batched cocktails using a tap system can make a lot of sense for a bar. You can batch them before a shift or during slow hours, and a bartender of any skill level can serve them, without worrying about pours of certain ingredients not being consistent because of a busy bar. We’ve used a similar keg system for an outside bar at the cocktail bar I worked at and they’re even suitable for non-alcoholic cocktails. So if you’re ready to make delicious cocktails that are incredibly easy to serve - it’s Cocktail Time!
One quick note before we start making the keg Daiquiri. While this is a 2 liter keg, the manufacturer suggests filling it with no more than 1,5 l of liquid, leaving enough space for the gas, making sure there’s no damage to your keg from the pressure. There will still be space for around 10 pre-diluted cocktails here, if you’ll make full-sized servings, but if you’d like to learn more about how to install a proper home or bar tap system I recommend you check out Dean Callan on The Bartenders Broadcast Network. Dean is a well-known bartender in the industry and really knows his stuff.
For the Daiquiri you’ll need light rum, lime super juice, simple syrup, a little saline solution, and water for the dilution. I’ll combine all ingredients, plus dilution, based on the measurements of a single serve. That’s easier to calculate with milliliters, and when we divide the full volume of the keg with the total volume of the cocktail we see that we can fit 9.21 Daiquiris into the keg.
● 553mL Light Rum
● 207mL Lime Super Juice
● 207mL Simple Syrup
● 18-19 drops 20% Saline Solution
● 532mL Water
● Nitrous oxide
Into a large container pour the ingredients, mix well and then pour it into our keg. Close the lid with a tap and add a nitrous oxide gas - remember to make sure the tap is closed before so. Now give it a little shake, which is also advised before serving the cocktail, and as far as prep work for the kegged Daiquiri is concerned, this is complete. Still, we of course don’t want room temperature cocktails so we’ll need to make sure this is properly chilled before serving. You can keep it in the fridge for a few hours but I’ll just place the whole keg into an ice bath.
Once sufficiently cold, grab a really well chilled coupe glass, place it under the tap and slowly pour your Daiquiri. Garnish it if you like, or keep it minimalistic as is. Simple and beautiful, let’s give it a try! It’s citrusy on the nose with a great balance of sour and sweet, but it’s the rum that’s the main player. This cocktail just reminds me of how ready I am for the summer, but next up is a cocktail that’s all about balance: the Aviation.
You really don’t want somebody free-pouring any of the ingredients in an Aviation, because it will quickly get too sweet, floral, tart or boozy. You’ll want to find the perfect balance of gin, maraschino liqueur, creme de violette and Lemon Super Juice. Saline is there to boost the flavors, as always. Same as before, base the total amounts of the ingredients on the volume of the keg divided by the amounts of a single serve, for the Aviation we’ll multiply the amounts by 10.75.
● 484mL Aviation American Gin
● 161mL Maraschino Liqueur
● 81mL Creme de Violette
● 242mL Lemon Super Juice
● 21 drops 20% Saline Solution
● 532mL Water
● Nitrous oxide
Same as last time, mix the ingredients, pour in the keg, seal carefully and disperse the nitrous oxide gas, then it’s the waiting game to chill the keg. Once that’s done, grab an ice cold nick & nora glass and pour yourself a serving of the Aviation. This is so fast we could call it the Concorde! It’s already beautiful thanks to the gentle hue from the creme de violette, but let’s add the finishing touch, an amarena cherry. and we can now enjoy the cocktail in the way Hugo Ensslin created it back in 1916.
It has a nice floral flavor with a hint of sweetness and a sour finish. Maraschino adds a subtle nutty undertone with the gin providing a wonderful botanical base to balance it all - delicious! Now onto the last cocktail of the day, and something that’s only possible thanks to two things: Super Syrup and nitrogen. The first one combines the sweetener and the foaming agent, thanks to methylcellulose, and the second one is the gas that’s used for nitro coffee. It will foam up our cocktail to give it a frothy head without turning everything into a foam, which would happen if we mixed super syrup and nitrous oxide.
This special cartridge means I’ll be using my iSi Nitro Siphon, which we’ll be able to fill up to the full 1 liter mark. Based on my calculations I can fit 6.14 of my single serve Whiskey Sours.
Tap Whiskey Sour
● 369mL Maker’s Mark Bourbon
● 138mL Super Syrup
● 138mL Lemon Super Juice
● 12 drops 20% Saline Solution
● 355mL Water
You know the drill, combine your ingredients and this time pour them into the iSi Siphon. Now add the cartridge, give it a good shake, then add another cartridge. This will give us a really nice frothy head once we pour the cocktail, so all there’s left is to chill the drink, and once it’s cold enough and it’s time to serve the cocktail, grab a low tumbler glass, fill it with ice and chill it before slowly pouring a serving of the whiskey sour. Couldn’t be simpler.
You could serve the other two cocktails in tumbler glasses over ice as well if you don’t have space in the freezer for stemmed glasses. For garnish you can go with a lemon peel, but lemon super juice gives it a nice citrusy aroma already so another cocktail cherry it is. It’s as creamy and delicious as if it just came from the shaker. A true whiskey sour in every sense. The frothy head has a bit bigger bubbles, but they settle into a beautiful foam. I’m super happy with the result.
I’m sure there’s at least one cocktail you’d love to have on tap for fast & easy Cocktail Time at home. Let me know which one that is in the comments of the episode on YouTube, and next week we’ll look at how, and more importantly, why, you could make the keg last you for way more than 10 cocktails. In the meantime, check out how to use the keg for Sous Pression. Cheers, friends of Cocktails.