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Adventures in Beverage Making

The finished syrups

I get asked from time to time how I manage to keep on top of writing five blogs as a hobby.  The answer is that I write about the things that are interesting me at the moment.  I also try to work topics that I encounter or discuss with friends into blog posts.  While I probably write about particular people or incidents less than most servers who blog, there is usually a trigger behind most of my posts during the week.  This particular series was inspired slightly differently.

Today is my girlfriend’s birthday.  Well today is actually a few days before, but when this gets posted it will be.  Happy Birthday Ali!  Deciding what to get her was incredibly difficult.  I had an idea, but I didn’t love it.  I had a few more ideas as time was running out, but none of them seemed quite right either.  I finally thought of the things she really enjoys.  She has lots of sweatpants already.  I refuse to buy a box set of “The Fresh Prince of Bel Aire.”  There is one thing that she is absolutely hooked on at the moment though: bubble tea.

So I decided to get her set up to make bubble tea.  Not just the tapioca pearls (Boba), but also a few things to kick it up a notch.  I located an Asian market that carried boba and set out to find some sauces.  World Market had Torani syrups, but they were primarily coffee flavors and I was afraid they would be too sweet.  They did however have a great sale on vinegar and oil cruets.  This made me start thinking about making my own syrups.  I determined a method that would make them stable at room temperature and started collecting components.

So over the next few days, Foodie Knowledge is not just going to be talking about food, we are going to be making food.  I never wanted this to become a cooking blog because there are already so many people covering that topic.  In this case, these are each ideas that are very timely and have high commercial value.  These two posts will cover topics that are on the cutting edge of modern cocktails.

Here is what you will find in the next few posts.

Bubble Tea:  I have become a huge fan of bubble tea in recent weeks.  I don’t drink and am constantly looking for new non-alcoholic drink ideas.  This post will discuss what makes it “bubble tea” and how to find Boba in stores.  I will also demonstrate how to cook the boba and properly make a bubble tea.  Cocktails using tapioca pearls are also common in bartending competitions and are increasingly used in hand crafted cocktails.  This may inspire some ideas amongst bartenders.

Flavored Syrups:  I will show you a method to create delicate yet sweet flavored syrups.  The method I am using contains no artificial flavorings.  It is also remarkably shelf stable and will last for months without refrigeration.  This is a great alternative to far more expensive pre-made syrups.  It also gives you greater flexibility over the flavor and sweetness.  This syrup could be used for anything from cocktails to non-alcoholic drinks to Italian sodas.  These all offer the opportunity for outstanding profit margins and tasty alternatives to what is offered by your competitors.

I am looking forward to writing about this adventure and hope you enjoy reading about it.  This is a new direction for this blog, but one that is relevant to many different crowds.  I would love to see these types of drinks on more restaurant menus.  If nothing else, it may lead to some creative experiments of your own.  That is a large part of what being a foodie should be about.

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About David Hayden

David Hayden is the creator of The Hospitality Formula Network, a series of websites dedicated to all aspects of the restaurant industry. He is also the author of the book Tips2: Tips For Improving Your Tips and Building Your Brand With Facebook.

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