Crafting Sakura Vodka and Syrup through Ultrasonic Infusion

Cherry blossoms, also known by the Japanese term Sakura, do not only look beautiful, they also used to give spirits a bittersweet flavour notes of almond and cherry. We introduce you to the technique of ultrasonic maceration and infusion, which allows you to craft Sakura vodka or Sakura gin. Learn how ultrasound waves release the full flavour profile of cherry blossom creating spirits with notes of floral-bitter cherry bouquet.

Cherry Blossom Flavours Released by Sonication

The aroma and flavours of cherry blossoms are used to flavour spirits such as vodka and gin as well as to prepare syrup.Cherry blossom, or “sakura” in Japanese, is widely used for culinary purposes in Japan; cherry blossoms round out various culinary delights, from teas to sweets as well as spirits and liqueurs. Distillers and spirit crafters infuse sake, vodka or gin with cherry blossom in order to create a flavour experience that combines floral elegance with nuanced bitterness.

Ultrasonic Cherry Blossom Extraction

Conventional infusion and maceration is a time-consuming process since the alcoholic liquid penetrates and dissolves the flavour compounds from the botanical material such as flowers very slowly. Sonication is used to intensify the infusion process applying high-frequency sound waves, so-called ultrasound, to transfer the delicate flavours from the cherry blossoms into the spirit efficiently. Sonication turns crafting Sakura vodka and gin into innovative mixology. Ultrasound waves are transmitted by the ultrasonic probe into the mix of alcohol and cherry blossom so that the flavour release from the cherry blossoms into the spirit is intensified.

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Cherry blossom extraction using the probe-type sonicator UP200Ht with S26d14. Ultrasonication is used to infuse vodka with cherry blossom flavours - crafting a delicate Sakura spirit.

Ultrasonic probe UP200Ht infusing an alcoholic berverage with cherry blossoms.

 

In this video clip, we introduce you into the art of ultrasonic cherry blossom infusion and extraction. Watch how the sonicator UP200Ht transfers the aroma and flavors from pink cherry blossoms into vodka. Ultrasonic infusion of spirits and liquors offers mixologists numerous possibilities to create spirits with nuanced exquisite flavor profile. The UP200Ht sonicator is a favorite of bartenders and mixologists around the world infusing spirits with botanicals, creating unique flavor profiles and blending cocktails.

Ultrasonic Cherry Blossom Infusion - Make Sakura Vodka with the Sonicator UP200Ht

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Ultrasonically Infused Sakura Vodka

Based on Japanese gin traditions, where cherry blossom serves as a botanical ingredient, the infusion process begins with cherry blossoms and high-quality spirits. The detailed recipe below guides you through the steps of ultrasonic Sakura Vodka preparation.
In the following recipe, we use the UP200Ht probe-type sonicator for the effective maceration and infusion of cherry blossoms extracting the bitter-sweet cherry and almond aroma of the pink petals.

Step-by Step Instructions for Crafting Cherry Blossom Spirit using a Sonicator

 
Ingredients:

  • 300ml vodka or gin
  • 1 cup fresh pink cherry blossoms

Equipment:

  • Sonicator UP200Ht equipped with sonotrode S26d14
  • 500ml glass beaker
  • Storage bottle

 

Step-by-Step Instructions for Ultrasonic Cherry Blossom Infusion

  1. Carefully remove the cherry blossom petals from the stalk and the calyx.
  2. Place the petals in a glass beaker.
  3. Add the chosen spirit, e.g. vodka or gin.
  4. Setup the sonicator UP200Ht to 100% amplitude and introduce the sonotrode into the beaker with the spirit and blossoms.
  5. Switch the sonicator ON and sonicate the mixture for approx. 20 seconds.
  6. Filter the sonicated spirit through filter paper or a cheese cloth to separate the blossoms from the liquor.
  7. Bottle the spirit for storage.

 

Note: Select the suitable cherry blossoms! Cherry blossoms are used to infuse beverages and foods, so it is essential to discern edible varieties from their non-edible counterparts. The small, white flowers of the cherry laurel shrub are not suitable for consumption as they lack in flavour. To obtain the desired flavour profile of Sakura, pick the blossoms of true cherry trees, which offer a palette of flavours and aromas of cherry and almond.
 

Step-by Step Instructions for Crafting Cherry Blossom Syrup using a Sonicator

Cherry blossoms are not only great to infuse spirits with bitter-sweet cherry note, but can be also flavour syrup with their cherry-almond aroma. Cherry blossom syrup is a great ingredient for cocktails and other beverages.
 
Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup cherry blossom petals
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 cup purified water
  • Storage bottle

 

Step-by-Step Instructions
Here, we show you how you can create a delicious cherry blossom-infused syrup using the UP200Ht probe-type sonicator following just a few simple steps of the recipe:

Preparation of Cherry Blossom Petals:
Remove the individual cherry blossoms from the stem, removing the petals from the calyx and discarding any green parts as they can impart a bitter flavour to the syrup.

Preparation of Syrup Mixture:
In a glass beaker, combine equal parts water and sugar. We use 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar.
Use your sonicator to dissolve the sugar. We use the UP200Ht equipped with the probe S26d14 at 100% amplitude setting. During sonication, constantly move the sonotrode through the solution until the sugar is completely dissolved. This creates a simple syrup base. If the syrup has heated up during sonication, let it cool down.

Ultrasonic Flavour Extraction:
UP200Ht sonicator for the effective maceration and infusion of cherry blossoms extracting the bitter-sweet cherry and almond aroma of the pink petals.Place the beaker with the syrup into an ice-water bath. We want to avoid a heat-up of the syrup during the ultrasonic cherry blossom infusion in order to prevent the degradation of heat-sensitive fragrant components.
Add the cherry blossom petals to the syrup.
For the ultrasonic cherry blossom-infusion, we start with a moderate amplitude setting of 70% and sonicate for a few minutes. Adjust as needed based on the desired intensity of flavour.
During sonication, monitor the mixture closely to ensure it does not overheat. You may need to periodically pause the sonication process to allow the mixture to cool slightly.
Strain:
Once the sonication is complete, remove the ultrasonic probe from the container and put the sonicator aside. Strain the syrup mixture through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove the solid cherry blossom particles, leaving behind a smooth cherry blossom-infused syrup.
Storage:
Transfer the strained syrup into clean, sterilized bottles or jars for storage. Store the cherry blossom-infused syrup in the refrigerator for up to several weeks.
How to enjoy:
Use the cherry blossom-infused syrup to sweeten beverages such as cocktails, teas and lemonades. You can also drizzle it over desserts like pancakes, waffles, or ice cream for a floral twist.
 

In this video, we introduce the ultrasonic preparation of flavored syrups. Learn how easily and rapidly the sonicator UP200Ht dissolves sugar crystals in water, creating a sweet syrup. After creating the basic syrup, we add fresh cherry blossoms and sonicate again to infuse the flavors from the pink petals into the syrup, resulting in a flavorful syrup with sweet floral notes.

Ultrasonic Preparation of Ultrasonically Infused Cherry Blossom Syrup - Sonicator UP200Ht

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In this short video clip, we demonstrate you the rapid ultrasonic infusion of liquor with lilac flowers. Ultrasonic infusion and extraction is used to transfer the wonderful flavor bouquets of flowers and blossoms into spirits, cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages. Watch how the UP200Ht sonicator releases the aroma and flavors of lilac into gin.

Lilac-Infused Gin for Exquisite Flavors using the Probe-Type Sonicator UP200Ht

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Cocktail Recipes featuring Sakura Vodka or Sakura Gin

The versatility of cherry blossom-infused spirits opens the door to numerous ways how to incorporate ultrasonic Sakura vodka or gin into cocktails. Mixologist combine the ultrasonically-infused cherry blossom spirits into delicious cocktails.

Ultrasonic Sakura Vodka Martini

  • 75ml Sake
  • 15ml Dry gin
  • 15ml Ultrasonic cherry blossom-infused vodka
  • 1 tsp Ultrasonic cherry blossom syrup

Cocktail glass containing ultrasonically infused Sakura vodka. Rim garnished with a fresh cherry blossom.Combine all ingredients into a mixing glass. Add ice and stir for 15 seconds until chilled. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with fresh cherry blossom.

Alternative: Use ultrasonic Sakura gin to create an even more pronounced Sakura note!

 
 
 

Hanami Whisky Sour

  • 35ml Whisky
  • 25ml Cherry blossom infused vodka
  • 20ml Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 15ml Ultrasonic cherry blossom syrup
  • 15ml Egg white

First, shake ingredients without ice. Then, shake with ice. Strain and pour over ice. Garnish with a fresh cherry blossom.

 

Sonicators for Spirit Infusions and Beverage Crafting

Whether you are a bartender or mixologist or manufacturer of spirits and alcoholic beverages in large volumes, Hielscher Ultrasonics has the ideal sonicator for your beverage-related application. Hielscher sonicators are successfully utilized to infuse alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages with exquisite flavours, to accelerate the ageing and oaking of spirits, as well as to formulate elaborated flavour concoctions.

The table below shows you the most popular sonicators used by bartenders, mixologist and commercial spirit manufacturers:

Batch Volume Flow Rate Recommended Devices
1 to 500mL 10 to 200mL/min UP100H
10 to 2000mL 20 to 400mL/min UP200Ht
20 to 4000mL 40 to 800mL/min UP400St
0.1 to 20L 0.2 to 4L/min UIP2000hdT
10 to 100L 2 to 10L/min UIP4000hdT
15 to 150L 3 to 15L/min UIP6000hdT

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Ultrasonic probe-type mixer UP200Ht for crafting uniquely flavored spirits such as cherry blossom gin (Sakura Gin)

Ultrasonic probe-type mixer UP200Ht for crafting uniquely flavored spirits such as cherry blossom gin (Sakura Gin)



Facts Worth Knowing


Literature / References


High performance ultrasonics! The Hielscher product range covers the full spectrum from the compact lab ultrasonicator over bench-top units to full-industrial ultrasonic systems.

Hielscher Ultrasonics manufactures high-performance ultrasonic homogenizers from lab to industrial size.


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