Aug 042010

This summer Shaker One has been experimenting with vodka infusions at home.   Every summer I make a ginger infused vodka for my ginger lemonade martinis, but this year I decided to branch out and try other ingredients.  I started with some familiar friends from my kitchen:

-cinnamon, blueberries, roasted cherries, pineapple and of course ginger.

But I wanted to try something different.  Our experiments with both the chai tea and Earl Grey tea infused vodkas were such a success, I looked towards other flavors like spices.  Right now I have pink peppercorns marinating, and saffron……..I have plans to go get some cardamon as well.    A trip to Penzys should keep me very busy for the rest of the summer.

Of course this means I shall have to find/create recipes to showcase all these fine new friends.  But I think I am up to the challenge.

Just a note on infusions:   Some ingredients, like fruits, can infuse just about indefinitely without over-flavoring the vodka.  however, beware of leaving things like cinnamon in for too long.  A few weeks and you have the perfect cinnamon vodka…..any longer and it becomes overpowering.  Tea infusions only need to steep a few hours….any more than that and you get a marked bitterness.  I recommend that you gently shake the infusion every few days and taste about once a week.   Once you reach the desired level of flavor go ahead and remove the solids.  Even better, strain the liquid through coffee filters to remove any cloudiness.  You can now keep the resulting infused vodka indefinitely.  Which generally equates to a few weeks at the Balcony Bar.

Now go infuse something!


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