Edible cocktail paint – decoded by Julian De Feral

Edible cocktail paint by Julian De Feral

Julian De Feral - 20% human, 80% legend - a member of the Gorgeous Group (one of the most respected and longest-running food and beverage consultancies in the World). He’s created numerous bar concepts, cocktail, spirit and drinks programmes for almost one hundred bars on five continents, developing the global beverage and strategy programmes for over a few hundred more outlets as well as training hundreds of staff from basic to advanced levels. He’s worked in and helped to open multiple award-winning bars at the top of their game, from Milk & Honey to Hawksmoor, as well as consistently doing guest shifts at a wide range of bars as diverse as Callooh Callay to China Tang at the Dorchester.

I’ve seen that You’ve been experimenting with edible paint. What are your conclusions on the subject so far? Have You been using corn starch or something else to make it?

J:I had avoided making edible paint for years as I knew it would be tricky with all the variables so I only caved in recently in trying to make my own for the client on specific. Personally I went through kappa, agar agar and locust bean as thickening agents, eventually settled on pectin.I think the reason why people are reluctant to divulge recipes is because it very much depends on: -The base (ie what sort/brand of juice – if you are using a juice) you are using. Obviously sugar/acid/pectin levels widely differ from juice to juice – temperature management plays a big part* – what you’re putting it in (pure alcohol/carbonation/cocktail/ice/frozen or non frozen glass) alters the stability in various ways…. So many variables!For my purpose, I just wanted a tasty room temp paint that complimented my cocktail (basically a El Presidente with coconut chocolate and cherry, stirred and served up).After about 30+ versions this seemed to be the sweet spot.This is for a chilli cardamom pineapple red paint… it dissolves, but very slowly and the flavour compliments the cocktail. The brush stroke is still evident after 10 minutes sitting/drinking. 

Another known version of an edible paint You can get using Ultra-Tex 3. Start with 150g liquid (liqueur/syrup/cordial/juice) to 11g Ultra-Tex 3 increasing to 23g depending on liquid and texture required (recipe by Richards Woods)  .

"Edible cocktail paint by Julian De Feral"

140ml pineapple juice (we use Eager: 100% but lightly pasteurised)
10 drops Droplet chilli
10 drops Droplet cardamom 12g white sugar
1g ruby red gel colour Warm gently, very slowly adding
3.5-4g pectin stirring constantly and never letting temp go above 50C.
When fully dissolved pour into ice bath, cool to room temp. Many hours later it is still stable.

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