Simple Recipes

/u/Apexified said he needed someone to write a ton about simple recipes for his FAQ Friday series. Or maybe he said he needed a simpleton to write about recipes? I don’t recall. If it was the latter, he’s probably asked the right person to do it. But in case it was the former, I’ll give it a shot.

“What’s your current favorite simple recipe” posts seem to occur at least quarterly without drawing ire from the “search before posting” police, because things change, new flavors come out, new recipes are created, and there’s enough interest in this topic to make it worth at least one thread per season. There are links below; check them out. I want to have conversation how special simple recipes can be, and how to go about developing them. I’ll tell you how and why I make and share them, you tell me how and why you create them or mix them.

First of all, what is a simple recipe? I define a simple recipe as a recipe with at least two, but not more than four, flavor concentrates in it. Their appeal includes not just only being quicker and easier to make, but also often having superior flavor. Just because a recipe looks simple, doesn’t mean it tastes simple.

For example: Coop’s Kiwi Bourbon.

And for the tobacco lovers: Cardinal

Two of my favorite recipes of all time. Three ingredients each and both loaded with complexity. One thing about simple recipes is that they’re trustworthy, in a sense. When it comes to trying others’ recipes, you can see a 10-ingredient recipe and it looks good on paper, but often tastes kind of muddy. If you see a three-ingredient recipe and you know you like two of the concentrates, you can usually trust that that third ingredient you’ve never tried before doesn’t ruin it, unless it just sounds absolutely terrible to you.

When it comes to developing them, find the best flavors that work together and balance them well. Do that, and often layering similar flavors becomes not only unnecessary, but frequently detrimental. I don’t know what /u/Coop34Bama Mixer[+15]‘s method is, it probably involves black magic, because that dude is a simple recipe warlock. As for my own method, this is a good lead-in to /u/ConcreteRiver[+30]‘s upcoming “Single Flavor Testing, Part 2.” You notice how Rick usually ends those wonderfully detailed and fun-to-read flavor notes with suggestions for use? Most of those are clearly very well-educated guesses, but they’re still just guesses. If you want to make great simple recipes, take it a step further. When you test your flavors, think about flavors you’ve tried in the past, and make your own suggestions. Then try your guesses and see how they work. Many won’t. But the more you practice making pairings and simple mixes out of flavors you’ve just tested at various concentrations to get a feel for how they work at different levels, the more often they’ll hit instead of missing. Not to sound too much like some kind of whackadoodle, but if you listen to your flavors, they’ll tell you what to do with them. They don’t usually ask to be one of a dozen flavors in a recipe. They want to stand out, they want to be heard, they just need the right one or two partners to do that. Sorry, I am off my meds.

This is kinda what I’ve been doing with these 1-2-3 recipes lately. And am just tickled to death to see others joining in the fun.

1-2-3 Recipes

1-2-3 Orange Ice Cream by heatho72

1-2-3 Ocean Water by ID10-T

FLV 1-2-3 by folkart

1-2-3 Caramel Coffee Candy by ID10-T

1-2-3 Lemon Drops by Deweysuds

1-2-3 Lemon Cheesecake With Gingersnap Crust by Bartas

1-2-3 Hydration Station by Bartas

1-2-3 Coco Pear Grahams by Ambedo

1 2 3 Jackfruit Limonade by DodgerFog33

1-2-3 Blue Pixie by cwill111

1-2-3 Lemon Drops by Deweysuds

1-2-3 Sex On The Beach by DigitalDrops

1-2-3 Tang Shake by ID10-T

1-2-3 Sparkling Mimosa by ID10-T

1-2-3 ID10-T by Deweysuds

1-2-3 Gummer by Deweysuds

1-2-3 Pistachio Lime by ID10-T

1-2-3 Cinapple Side Dish by ID10-T

1-2-3 Mustachio Pudding by Deweysuds

1-2-3 Van The Man by Deweysuds

1-2-3 Cranberry Sprite by ID10-T

I can’t speak for the others, but mine are sort of like flavor notes in the form of simple recipes. Mine aren’t the best recipes. In part because I’m not Coop34, but besides a lack of that level of talent, I’m not really working that hard on them. They’re going though one, maybe two revisions, not a dozen versions trying to get something right like recipes that don’t have 1-2-3 in front of them. But they’re meant to be at least decent recipes and especially to be inspirational and to serve as examples. Inspirational as in, “I tried (or saw) ID10-T’s 1-2-3 whatever and I knew I could to the same thing only better with just a little addition of this and a little less of that.” I live for that sort of thing. And as examples, it’s me saying, “I tried this flavor, he’s an example of how it can work.” But I also hope they’re at least interesting to vape for anyone who happens to give them a try. Simple recipes don’t necessarily taste simple. I think I said that already, but it bears repeating. Also, I do it for fun, and forcing myself to literally use 1% + 2% + 3% and make the best thing I can is challenging but not so challenging as to get frustrating, for me.

Another thing about these simpler recipes is that they can be incredible without as much revising. If you’ve used your knowledge of flavors that you gained from mixing lots of different things, mixing other peoples’ recipes, and most importantly sampling your flavors by themselves to find a great pairing or ménage à trois, or you’ve sold your soul for one, or you’ve just stumbled blindly into one as I’ve done a few times, it’s not that difficult to re-balance the mix with a little %s adjustment. When you taste a simple recipe and it it isn’t quite right, it’s not hard to figure out what’s off and how to fix it. If you’ve thrown in 10 different things and it ain’t right, figuring out how to fix the problem can be too daunting and time-consuming to the point it’s just no fun anymore.

Another way to make simple recipes is to consolidate ingredients. If you find yourself over-complicating your recipe in ways that aren’t really making much improvement in it, take a big step back and look at it again, with an eye toward using less ingredients. Find one perfect concentrate to do what you’re trying to get two or three imperfect flavors to do and just let it do that. Try different %s to do that. You can try consolidating others’ recipes. You see something interesting to you in what looks like an overly complicated recipe, think about how you might be able to keep the part that interests you but use one or two flavors to do the work of several.

AMA about simple recipes, share your favorites, share your thoughts.

As promised,

Simple Recipe Threads

Bonus: Rant about over complicated recipes <— Great stuff here.