Boyd & Blair Professional Proof 151 was developed to be the ideal base for crafting house made liqueurs, bitters, tinctures and infusions. I realized that there was a need in the market to have a spirit with an extremely clean base that would not impart any harshness to the final product; one that would infuse extremely quickly and be extremely clean.
I chose the proof of 151 since it is the highest proof permitted in most states. I wanted the most concentrated proof available. It was not designed or priced to be utilized in cocktails, but rather to be used as a base as I mentioned above.
Some general guidelines for using Professional Proof 151:
Remember that it is 1.89 times stronger than 80 proof Boyd & Blair, so it should be respected. If you are making a liqueur and want the final proof to be 80 proof you will need to dilute with syrup by 1.8 to reach 80 proof.
Example. I am making Lemoncello and my infusion is complete and I drain off the lemon peels from the 151. The final volume is 500ml at ~151 proof (some alcohol could evaporate over time depending open the container and seal.). To determine the final volume I will multiply 500ml times 1.8 and the result is 900ml. In other words, I subtract the ending volume from the beginning volume and the result equals the amount of simple syrup to add. In this example the amount to bring to proof is 400ml of syrup (or syrup and water mixture) to bring to 80 proof.
Caution – 151 is extremely flammable. Do not attempt to heat Professional Proof 151 on a gas stove top. The vapors can ignite. If you are of the mindset that an infusion is made best &/or faster at a higher temperature, heat the 151 in a microwave or use an electric hotplate. It is of my belief that the ideal temperature is 125F if you want to reduce the infusion time, but being safe and letting the infusion go for a few more days without heating will also produce a great outcome.
It is not recommended that Professional proof be diluted before infusing. The high proof makes infusing as efficient as possible and diluting should be completed after infusions for best results.
Before diluting to desired proof it is always best to test a small amount to confirm that the desired taste and flavor is what you want. Sometimes it is best to dilute partially with water and then to add the simple so the final product is not too sweet. You can always add, but you cannot subtract.
Understand timing with bitter infusions and bitter components. Bittering agents tend to infuse faster than non-bittering agents. If you are making something that contains a bittering agent, always infuse the bittering agent first and alone and taste test daily for the desired bitterness. For example when I make my own Absinthe I add the wormwood to the 151 alone for several days and then filter it out before adding the other ingredients. Otherwise the wormwood will overpower the absinthe.
During infusing shake the contents at least daily and taste daily to check flavors. Some infusions can infuse quickly and leave an off flavor if left too to infuse for too long, or become too powerful. Keep in mind that in most cases a lot of dilution will need to occur, so the flavor should be more intense when concentrated.