Tuesday, September 22, 2009

September 12, 2009 Tester Feedback

Contestants for the 9/12 Test Plates
Pictured: Margarita, Tequila Sunrise, Key Lime Pie & Washington Apple

My oh my . . . tester feedback is piling up!  The September 12, 2009 batch of plates contained five flavors, four brand new recipes and a revamped Tequila Sunrise (using juice from concentrate rather than fresh squeezed).  Here's what our testers thought:
  • Margarita - For this shot, we modified a classic margarita recipe and used 100% agave white tequila with a large crystal sugar garnish to allow for a true to life mouth feel of a margarita (i.e. the salty glass rim).  While testers agreed that a few crystals of salt could be accomodated with no ill effects, most felt that a full on salt garnish would be too literal a translation and bring the drink to the knife edge of well, a. . .  savory aspic.  Although all our testers liked this shot, some felt the gelatin medium certainly increased the intensity of the tequila flavor.  One tester surmised, ". . . perhaps use a touch less [tequila], or increase the cointreau, lime and simple syrup," which we have duly noted.   
  • Key Lime Martini - This shot was a fairly literal interpretation of the key lime martini.  We suspected that the amount of alcohol (significant) in this shot might result in something close to the 'lemon drop incident" of earlier this month (as referenced in previous posts, although we owe this unfortunate series of events its own headline in blogland - if nothing else a cautionary tale for jelly shooters everywhere).  As such, we used Roses lime juice instead of fresh, and added a heathy dose of simple syrup to the mix.  While most testers thought this shot was good, they also found it to be on the tart side and indicated it would "benefit from a little sweetness".    

    Key Lime Martini Jelly Shots
    • Key Lime Pie Martini - It had a lime layer, it had a pie layer, and we also sent along a graham cracker crumb garnish for dipping (the crumbs provided a lovely soft, sweet counterpoint to the shots lime and cream layers).  It was "Yum!", "Yum!" and "Yummy!" across the board - this shot was universally loved by the testing panel, and we must admit it is at the head of the class for us as well.  
    • Washington Apple - A brilliant and tasty suggestion from a tester.  We couldn't stop ourselves - photos of this adorable and delicious shot were already posted, several days ago (well ahead of this writing). The Washington Apple shot deemed a success by the majority of our tasting panel, apart a few testers who did not care for the slight whiskey finish at the end of the shot.  However, the dissenting testers were upfront about their lack of appreciation for that caramel colored spirit in general.  Whiskey drinkers, on the other hand, rejoiced! Declared the shot was "perfect", and "better than candy". You know who you are!
    • Tequila Sunrise II - While we are always advocates for using freshest and best ingredients, this shot was just as delightful, but not identical, using juice from concentrate.   The concentrate version was slightly more acidic than the fresh squeezed, and the tequila taste was also slightly stronger as a result, as pointed out by a tester.  However, these imperfections are easily rectified with certain adjustments for type of juice, desired octane level and sweetness. 
    A million thanks to our astute and generous testing panel for sacrificing their delicate palates in the name of jelly shot science!  More to come!
    Cheers, JSTK