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Jun 08, 2022 View:

need green color

I am developing a specialty spirit that I want to be green in color. I don't want to color it with certified colors, having to put "certified color added" on the label. I'd like to use a natural ingredient that also happens to color a clear spirit green.

What can I use to obtain a green color, but not affect the flavor? If that's not possible, what can I use to obtain the green color and how will that affect the flavor?

I am not making absinthe.


Reply:

Dave, no idea what would turn your potion into a green wonderland without affecting flavor. Some of the things us absinthe distillers use for coloring is Roman Wormwood, Lemon Thyme (I believe), Mint, and a few others that I'm not sure about.

The problem is you probably also want color stability, I suspect? As far as I know most herbs that turn a spirit green will degrade with time as well as add flavor.

I believe there was an article on here or a link to one that is on the subject of colorants in spirits. It was probably 6-8 months ago. Not sure. I thought I had saved a copy but apparently not.

Sorry I couldn't help more.


Reply:

I belive I saw organic food coloring. Wont that work?


Reply:

Dave,

I have had good luck with 'Nature's Flavors' natural food coloring. They make a green derived from honeydew melons that is very stable. You can add it as a flavoring in your formula submission and never mention it as a colorant, it's a flavoring agent that happens to turn your product green.

Jordan


Reply:

Dave didn't want it to flavor the product, does this actually flavor the product?


Reply:

There are lots of natural colorants that will turn your product some shade of green or greenish-yellow. All however will effect both flavor and aroma.

Then, as the previous poster mentioned, natural colors will oxidize over time as well.

One way to minimize oxidization is with Hyssop, which is a natural anti-oxidant ... but that will only get you so far. It's used in most Absinthes, Chartreuse and many other liquors/liqueurs. It will, however, have some effect on your flavor as well.

Other colorants that work well are peppermint (which will give a slight minty flavor as well), and lemon balm (which will give a lemony, minty flavor). Both are members of the mint family, and most other members of the mint family will work as well, Basil for example (In fact, while I've never used Basil I've got numerous references in old texts that lead me to believe it would be an outstanding colorant). I would recommend combining them with Hyssop as a stabilizer. The previous poster is correct in mentioning petit or roman wormwood as well, as that will also give you a nice (evil) green color initially, but it will lighten over time even with using Hyssop as a stabilizer.

Another method of color-stabilization that you should consider is dulcification (i.e. adding a little sugar). This increased the viscosity of the liquor and will both assist in color stabilization and in softening the mouth-feel of the product.

Lastly, if you're using natural herbal colors you will also need to consider the issue of sediment and what some absinthe distillers call "sea monkeys", as you will get herbal matter floating in your spirit that you'll need to remove. Direct filtration is one solution, but you'll lose flavor along with the solids. "Decantation filtration" is another method (i.e. let it sit, and decant the clear stuff off the top), but it's vary labor intensive and etc.

Anyway, my two cents ....


Reply:

Hey, Tirador, how's it going?

Dave, Tirador knows lots about this sort of thing and has helped me tremendously.


Reply:

Any botanical that's green from chlorophyll can be used to achieve a green color, and with surprising stability (at high proof and out of light). Which botanical you use depends on what you're making and what flavors you need it to work with.

There is no green non-certified color that's permissible in spirits, and any sort of coloring material is usually required to be listed on the label:

7. PRESENCE OF COLORING MATERIALS

· DISCLOSURE

The coloring material(s) may be specified on the label

Examples: “COLORED WITH CARAMEL”

“CERTIFIED COLOR ADDED”

“COLORED WITH GRAPESKIN EXTRACT”

“CARAMEL AND CERTIFIED COLOR ADDED”

“COLORED WITH CARAMEL, ANNATTO AND GRAPESKIN

EXTRACT”

OR

"ARTIFICIALLY COLORED" may be used to indicate the presence of any

one or a combination of coloring materials EXCEPT THAT FD&C Yellow

#5 requires specific disclosure. (See Item 9, “FD&C YELLOW #5

DISCLOSURE” of this chapter)

NOTE: Coloring material is NOT permissible in every class and/or type of

distilled spirits. Additionally, the coloring material caramel may be added to

certain types of distilled spirits without label disclosure.

All coloring materials approved for use in distilled spirits:

Certified Colors

FD&C Blue #1

FD&C Blue #2

FD&C Green #3

FD&C Red #3

FD&C Red #40

FD&C Yellow #5

FD&C Yellow #6

Non-certified Colors

Annatto Extract (yellow)

Beet Extract (magenta red)

Beta Carotene (yellow, orange, red)

Caramel (deep red through brown)

Carmine (scarlet)

Elderberry Extract (red brown to purple)

Grapeskin Extract (Enocianina) (magenta red through deep red)

Paprika (scarlet)

Saffron (yellow, orange)

Titanium Dioxide (white)

Turmeric (greenish yellow)


Reply:

Nice info here.

I will try the hyssop + other and see what I can come up with.

I have had good luck with 'Nature's Flavors' natural food coloring. They make a green derived from honeydew melons that is very stable. You can add it as a flavoring in your formula submission and never mention it as a colorant, it's a flavoring agent that happens to turn your product green.

Jordan


Reply:if you're using natural herbal colors you will also need to consider the issue of sediment and what some absinthe distillers call "sea monkeys"
Reply:

P.S. The Natural Honeydew Green Food Color is made from "edible flowers" and doesn't contain any melon. I think you might have a hard time using it for flavor in a formula.

Best stick with the hyssop.


Reply:

P.S. The Natural Honeydew Green Food Color is made from "edible flowers" and doesn't contain any melon. I think you might have a hard time using it for flavor in a formula.

Best stick with the hyssop.


Reply:

I know a producer of Brandy and Gin in Spain that uses a blue flower to get the blue hue in their Gin. Not sure if there is a green flower that can do the same thing. Just a thought.


Reply:

I infused a bottle of vodka with a few fresh spinich leafs for a St. Patrics party. The amount of 'green' relative to flavor is such that I couldn't taste the spinish. This lack of flavor would probably depend on the intensity of green that you are going forl; I was just going for a light translucent green to make my martini's look intreging and festive. (about 3x darker than cucumber juice)

GM


Reply:

GM,

Fun! Did you happen to save any? Did the color stay fast?