Read before you make
IT’S TIME…TO RELEASE THE RECIPE!
A few months ago, we had to make some hard choices. August 8th was bearing down on us, we moved our liquids to 60mL bottles with a new label design, and we were in the middle of launching a new line - Ten Buck Juice. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to bring every flavor into the new lineup. These were very difficult choices to make, so we chose to make the decision the only fair way…by locking our staff in a conference room with a selection of sharp implements and having them duke it out, Thunderdome style. Two liquids enter, one liquid leaves. Once we finally got the stains out of the carpeting, I realized that instead of just discontinuing the liquids, we could release the recipes! So here is the first in an occasional series, and a chance to discuss how I developed some of our flavors.
Anyone that knows me in real life knows that I am a bit of a cereal fanatic. If I say I’m going to have a bowl of cereal, my wife often replies ‘…you mean a BOX of cereal?’. I will admit that there is quite a bit of truth there…so it was only natural that we had wanted to release a cereal flavor for the Charlie Noble line. Fruity cereal vapes had gotten a lot of attention in the months leading up to releasing the Admiral’s Reserve line, and in the spirit of full disclosure, I do not care for fruit-flavored cereal AT ALL. I’m a graham/chocolate/honey nut/peanut butter/rolled oat/marshmallow cereal kind of guy, so that’s what we were going to make for our cereal vape. I had been disappointed by the majority of peanut butter vapes on the market, so I said ‘hey, cereal is pretty tough to get right, so why don’t I just double down on the difficulty and make a peanut butter cereal flavor? Brilliant!’
TPA Peanut Butter - 8.50%
CAP Sugar Cookie - 5.50%
CAP Vanilla Custard V2 - 3.50%
TPA Malted Milk - 1.50%
FW Bavarian Cream - 0.50%
FW Cotton Candy OR Ethyl Maltol - 0.50%
Saline Solution - 1drop/10ml
Acetyl Pyrizine - 1drop/10ml
TPA Peanut Butter - you want peanut butter? Use this. The trick is to find the right background flavors to balance it out. Use too much, or don’t have a strong enough background to stand up against it, and it will just overpower everything, or develop a distinct burnt taste. Here we are going to use a bakery and a few creams to stand on the other side of the see-saw, and keep everything playing nicely together. The DX variant did not exist when we made this liquid, but it can be used with quite nice results.
CAP Sugar Cookie V2 - there are better choices to use for the bakery note in a cereal recipe now, and even some really nice cereal bases [I’m looking at you, CAP Cereal 27], but in 2014? Not so much. I needed a sweet, full bakery note that wouldn’t get totally lost behind peanut butter. This fit in quite nicely, and is a solid choice for any mix that needs some sugary roundness to fill in behind the accents.
CAP Vanilla Custard V2 – simple truth time, everyone…this is the standard for vanilla custards or creams. I know there are other custards and creams that work better for specific applications, but CAP VC V2 is a workhorse. You can use it to accent, you can use it to cover, you can use it to blend. I use it here to take the edge off of the peanut butter, turning it towards a creamy peanut butter flavor, and making sure that the burnt peanut flavor won’t rear its ugly head whilst I’m enjoying my vape. It also plays a part in the ‘milk in the bottom of the bowl’ portion of the liquid. We use DX, V2, & diketone-free formulas wherever possible in our production liquids, but if I’m mixing this up for myself…I may use some V1 instead. Maybe.
TPA Malted Milk – say what? Yeah, Malted Milk. See, I didn’t want fresh milk, I wanted that milk left over in the bowl after you just crushed most of the box. Malted Milk is a tricky flavor, and can get really weird, really quickly. I feel that you need to use it in conjunction with two other cream notes, and keep it under 3%. In this application, it’s playing off of the grain undertones in the peanut butter and the cookie, and the sweeter cream part is working with the custard to make that sweetened milk flavor that I was searching for, along with…
FW Bavarian Cream - strictly here to be a sweet dairy note. It’s the third part of the dairy trifecta, and is only here to fill out the missing portion of that milky note I needed. You can try subbing this out with different dairy flavors that you enjoy, just remember that it’s supposed to be in the background.
Cotton Candy/Ethyl Maltol – this is not here for sweetness! Please, can we all just take a minute and set down the EM and sucralose? If you need to add multiple percentages of a sweetener, then you need to revise that recipe. Ok, done preaching. EM is amazing when used for its real purpose – rounding off rough edges. It can make flavors layer together, or can make that one sharp accent drop down a notch or two. Half a percent is just about perfect for that purpose.
Saline Solution - yeah. Salt. Peanut butter is salty. Salt makes things taste more like…well, more like whatever they are. There’s a reason that salt is added into almost every recipe I can think of, both savory and sweet. Occasionally, when you’re working on a bakery recipe that is almost there, but is just missing that little bit of ‘pop’, saline may be that missing bit of sparkle. Sterile saline solution, get it at a drugstore, or make your own with some distilled water. Just a touch, though. We don’t want to actually taste salt, we want to use it to enhance and accent the flavors that are already there.
Acetyl Pyrizine – another accent molecule. Tread with caution, as a tiny bit too much will turn all of your hard work into corn chips. Use a drop or two in bakery or tobaccos that are missing that bready/grainy flavor. Seriously, though, a drop. It is here to bring out a touch more of the grain note I needed for a true to life cereal flavor.
Hopefully a few of you that have been letting us know how much you miss PB Cereal will now be able to satisfy that craving, and a few more of you will give mixing e-liquid a try. Drop some comments, discuss your thoughts, or just let us know what you think! Also, stay tuned, as we will continue to release recipes for discontinued liquids. As always, thank you all, and I can’t wait until next time.