Oh, hello there. I haven’t blogged in quite a while, mostly because I’ve been out of town a lot, busy at work, and thus not keeping enough food in my house. It’s gotten to the point where I’ve been making the same three pasta dishes over and over (penne with either carbonara sauce and peas, amatriciana sauce, or chard, raisins, and ricotta cheese). I was boring myself. But now that it’s summer (what happened to May?!), I’m excited again to cook and bake things with all the nice fruits and vegetables in the farmer’s market.
Between reading this article on digestifs on Chow.com and getting a giant bottle of homemade cherry cordial for Christmas, I’ve been wanting to infuse my own alcohol. On Tuesday, I decided I was going to just do it. So I spent the next two days running around after work in search of Mason jars and buying an embarrassing amount of vodka from the corner liquor store. For the record, it’s surprisingly difficult to find larger glass canning jars. If you live in the District, you’ll need to go to either The Container Store in Tenleytown or True Value Hardware at 17th an P.
Once you have your equipment, it’s pretty easy. I stuck with gin and vodka, as they have pretty neutral flavor profiles. You will want to use something with a high alcohol content, as it will draw the flavor out of your fruit/vegetable/herb faster. Beyond that, you just put it in the jar with the alcohol and let it hang out until the flavor is the desired strength. Some recipes also call for the addition of simple syrup, but otherwise there’s not much else to it. Currently in the works are cucumber, blackberry, and ginger gins and lemon, orange, grapefruit, Asian pear, basil, rosemary, and Darjeeling tea vodkas. I also made a small bottle of Sunshine bitters. I also whipped up some ginger and lime simple syrups, along with homemade grenadine.
Right now I’m still waiting for most of my flavors to finish infusing. If they don’t taste terrible, I will post the recipes, along with any original cocktail creations. I’m generally planning to keep it fairly simple — cucumber gin and tonics, lemon basil vodka gimlets. However, I am getting pretty excited at the prospect of an alcoholic Arnold Palmer with tea vodka and lemonade. I’m also contemplating the future: Green tea vodka, soda, and lemongrass simple syrup? Coffee vodka with vanilla bean syrup? Well, maybe I’m getting ahead of myself here… I had no idea it would be this fun. So many possibilities… in the meantime, I need to clean my apartment so I can start inviting people over for drinks.