Do you know that habit of the universe where you learn about one new thing and then keep seeing it? That was me in regards to infused spirits or in this test case, just vodka (gin and brandy are often used too). I first came across infused spirits in The Herbal Kitchen, the same book where I found the cilantro pesto recipe. I was already scheming when I found this article, which presents some additional recipes and was of making infused spirits. In the end I combined the techniques and made up my own recipes based on what I had available.
When you plan these infused spirits consider what you plan to do with them, what drinks you want to make. I knew what I wanted to do with my “savory” infused vodka. It was a gift for the member of my family that enjoy Bloody Marys, something to give them an extra bit of flair. For the “Holiday Spice” infused vodka I had no idea what I wanted to do with it after it was completed and when through some trial and error. The final decision was: Holiday Spice Vodka, a splash of cranberry and club soda over ice. I’m getting ahead of myself though.
Savory Infused Vodka:
- Fresh Rosemary
- Fresh Thyme
- Whole Peppercorns
- Bay Leaves
Holiday Spice Infused Vodka:
- Fresh Cranberries
- Whole Cinnamon
- Whole Nutmeg
- Whole Allspice
- Whole Cloves
Directions and Notes:
- If using fresh herbs or fruit, make sure they are washed and dried completely.
- Fill jar with desired amount of herbs, spices, and/or fruit.
- Both fresh and dried fruit and herbs can be used.
- Whole spices best because they are easier to remove at the end.
- Cover with preferred spirit.
- Glass jars are best due to issues caused when spirits sit in plastic or metal containers too long – the flavors can change.
- Taste every 12 to 24 hours until flavor is at desired strength.
- There is a version where you leave the jars undisturbed for a set amount of time but for the first few times the taste test method allows you to see how the flavors change a mature over time. Too much time infused might make the results bitter.
- Store in a dark place.
- Once the flavors have reached the desired point strain spirits from herbs, spices, and/or fruit. Don’t squeeze the excess liquid from the infused fruit and herbs, this will make the end result cloudy.
- Store is a clean jar and enjoy in mixed drinks.
This is a fun way to add new flavors into cooking and bring a new spice to typical mixed drinks. I have a couple of sun idea for this summer, so stick around for additional recipes! Have you ever made infused spirits? If yes, what is your favorite recipe? Let me know in the comments! Have a good weekend!