Caramel for Color

Regarding using caramel for color, Wal writes ...
Caramel, a nice name for burnt sugar, is legally added to brandy, scotch whisky, rum but by law not to American whiskey.

How much is used? A site for Georgian brandies gives sugar contents ranging from 0.7%, 1%, 7%, and 12% i.e. from 1 tsp (6 grams) to 20 tsp (120 g). I would be inclined to start with 1 tsp/litre and add extra to taste or color.

The French and English caramel is from the Spanish 'caramelo' which is derived from medieval Latin. The 'mel' part refers to honey (cane honey). Several sites on the subject:
In a cooking site with a recipe for Trinidad Black Cake (Christmas Cake) there is a local method for caramelizing sugar - which is most probably the method used (or was used) for local dark rum:

Caramelizing Sugar
  • 3/4 lb sugar (350 g)
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
Put sugar in a heavy pot. Stir, letting sugar liquefy. Cook over a low heat until dark, stirring constantly, so the sugar does not burn. When almost burnt, remove from heat and stir in hot water gradually. Mix well, let cool.

Lynne cautions ..
In the interests of preserving the flesh of anyone who tries this, I feel compelled to add a safety note: be very careful when you add the water, as it can cause splatter. Molten sugar on human flesh is not a good feel. The longer the stirring spoon handle, the better/safer.

Homemade Caramel For homedistillers a recipe for caramel is to use 2 cups of sugar and 1 cup of water. 
See: http://www.jacquespepin.net/members/recipes/basicbrownsauce.html

I have also successfully browned granular sugar in a frying pan to flavor a vodka which gave it a brandy-like character.


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