Cabbage, part 1:
More than just a play on words, our first (red) Kohla is already spicy-sweet and has a surprising flavor profile. In the production we have been inspired by the barista culture.
How do we get the best out of cabbage? We would like to use the juice as a base for our lemonade and then flavor it. Taste it should be fresh and not resemble overcooked cabbage. We achieve this without heating the juice by using a cold-brew brewer.
First we make red cabbage juice, for which the cabbage is grated and then spun through a fast-spinning centrifuge. Thus, we obtain a pure red cabbage juice. To make a spicy cabbage lemonade, we use typical red cabbage spices: cinnamon, anise, bay leaf, lemon zest, juniper and cloves.
To get the perfect extract, we help ourselves with a technique from coffee preparation. A cold brew machine is the perfect foundation for this. There are three levels, in the upper one we pour in the red cabbage juice, this drips through a small tap into the middle level, there are the spices in a glass cylinder.
At the bottom of the cylinder is a fine-mesh hair sieve made of stainless steel. In the lower level there is a glass jug, this is used to collect the liquid. On the small tap we are able to regulate the dripping speed. We set it so slowly that the spices first soak up the juice and then drip down again under their own pressure. This process takes two times 10 hours, so we achieve an optimal extraction of spices without having to heat them. This is a very gentle process, as only the natural aroma substances are dissolved.
We are really very surprised how strongly the juice has accepted the spices. A deep purple juice with an intense flavor. This juice we mix with a beet juice. This contains strong earthy notes that support the cabbage juice in its body. The color is light red to pink, already visually gives the juice a certain sweetness and seems almost beguiling. How colors influence our perception of food and drink is an exciting topic that is being studied scientifically by Charles Spence, for example, but the influence of colors is also important for designers.
That’s not a kohla yet but we could make that with some sugar and fizz and an adapted spice mix (e.g., kola nut, cinnamon, vanilla, clove, lemon, and lime) inspired by cola from our cabbage juice. Unfortunately, however, the idea for this came about while writing, a semantic recipe inspiration, so to speak – but we’ll get back to you on that idea!