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I have a recipe that calls for mixing half a stick of butter into 1.5 liters of milk and 4 shots of vodka.

Unfortunately, these three things don't mix very well and as soon as I pour it out into a serving glass the solution separates.

I have read that soy lecithin can be used to homogenize milk and butter, but will it work with the vodka as well? If so, how much soy lecithin needs to be used. If the vodka cannot be incorporated, how much lecithin would I need to homogenize just the butter and the milk?

Thanks

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What order did you try? Generally, alcohol is fat-soluble, so you should be able to mix the butter and the vodka - unless the aqueos phase of the vodka separates first. If you use homogenizers like lecithine, start with a pinch, and add more if needed. –  rumtscho Nov 7 '11 at 20:36
    
Okay I'll try adding the vodka before hand. Will the lecithin help with homogenizing the aqueous phase of the vodka? How exactly should the preparation go? Put everything together and then add lecithin and mix until it homogenizes? Any particular brand of type of lecithin I should use for cooking? –  Tushar Garg Nov 8 '11 at 2:07
    
Can you give any information about the temperature? Is everything being heated? Or only the butter? Are things nicely mixed when you first put them together and they seperate afterwards (because that is what it seems to me)? –  Mien Nov 8 '11 at 18:54
    
The butter spends the most time on the stove, and its in a saucepan on low heat. The vodka and milk are added afterwards and cooked for a short time. The mixture separates fairly easily, even when it is still on the stove. –  Tushar Garg Nov 10 '11 at 5:33
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2 Answers

Homogenization has a fairly specific meaning in dairy. To keep the relatively large milk fat globules in cow's milk from coalescing, the milk is forced under some pressure through a very small aperture that atomizes the fat and keeps it in solution.

Although it seems like this might work with butter I doubt very much that this is a worthwhile solution (pun intended).

What you want, therefore, is to create an emulsion. Butter has some emulsifiers in it but I don't think it will be up to this task on its own.

The idea with any emulsion is to blend emulsifiers into the liquid and then slowly add the fat. The emulsifier will grab the particles of fat and keep them from coalescing and so keep them in solution. Look at mayonnaise recipes for examples of this technique though, of course, you don't want as much air worked into your dish.

I would mix a small amount of lecithin into the milk and whisk it quickly as you drizzle in the butter.

As for the vodka- I don't use alcohol and can't predict how it will behave. If your milk is cold then you shouldn't have a problem with curdling and should be able to mix the vodka directly in with the milk. I fear that if it went directly into the butter that there would be enough liquid to make the emulsification difficult.

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Probably not completely the same, but butter + milk sounds like an attempt to make a light cream. So, quickly doing some math, 4 tbsp butter, @ 80% fat out of 1.5L is around 3%. Add that to whole milk (3.25%), and you're around 6.25%. This may vary depending on what country you're in.

You can easily get to your desired 6.25% milkfat by mixing milk and cream—which is easy to do, they mix without difficulty. Half-and-half, Wikipedia informs me is fairly close at 10½–18%.

Not sure about the vodka (I'm guessing it'll mix, but I'm not sure), but that'll get you ⅔ of the way there.

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Thanks for your response. My recipe actually has to use butter, because the butter was specially flavored in an earlier process. Thanks anyway –  Tushar Garg Nov 8 '11 at 2:06
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