Infused liquor is such a wonderful thing, summer or winter. You can drink it straight – to taste the flavours you steep in, or use it in cocktails. It’s summer here so when NYCase sent me through some new recipes for infusions to try, I couldn’t wait to get started. I tried a version of her cucumber gin first, because it’s so hot right now and we always love a Pimm’s cup or a Cucumber gimlet.
Here’s the ratio for steeping fruits, herbs or spices:
1 litre of liquor will need about 1 cup of cut fruit, 1/2 a cup of fresh chopped herbs, and about 3 tablespoons of dried spices.
Choose your liquor of choice. Most common is vodka but it might also be nice to try a spiced rum. If you are nervous about using a nice bottle of liquor start with something cheaper until you have perfected your technique.
Make a sample of what you are trying to achieve in a small cup. Add cut fruits or spices to a shot of liquor and leave covered for about half an hour. Once you try it you can adjust the ingredients or amounts as desired. Remember the flavours will be stronger after a couple days.
Wash and cut fruit or herbs. Chunks of fruit will do fine. Berries can either be whole or cut to release flavour. Tear herbs, cut vanilla bean lengthwise and most other spices can be used whole. Fresh ingredients yield the best results. Add to an air tight jar (mason jars work well) and fill it with liquor.
Leave in a room temperature, dark place for up to a week (under the sink works well). Intense flavours such as peppercorn and lemons should only need about 2-3 days to steep. More delicate flavours like watermelon, berries and ginger might need up to a week. Don’t be afraid to taste test. Shake the jar at least once a day if you get the chance.
Strain the fruit, herbs or spices from the liquor through cheese cloth or a coffee filter. And voila! Drink and be merry
Some recipes to try include:
- Watermelon and mint vodka
- Lemongrass and cucumber gin
- Pear and ginger bourbon
- Rosemary vodka
- Garlic and basil vodka (perfect for a bloody mary)
- Cranberry and cinnamon rum
- Clove and orange peel rum
- Vanilla bean and blueberry vodka
Use your creativity and personal tastes to create a unique base for cocktails or simply a special treat after a long night in the kitchen.
Our batch was cucumber, basil and lemon steeped gin. It is so delicious we used it up in cocktails so as not to drink it so fast straight. We made cocktails with the infused liquor and soda water, as well as a couple fresh basil leaves, cucumber and lemon slices.
Now under the sink is pomegranate and rose petal vodka – we’ll let you know how it goes!
Song for this recipe:
Grizzly Bear have a new album coming out in September I believe. The single just released is pretty good – Sleeping Ute. I hope they mean ute in the proper sense. Like going for a spin in my ute this avo. Personally I like Grizzly Bear a lot. This song is probably their most well known, but their earlier album is also a great listen. I guess they’re alternative music, if you have to categorize – experimental American band, I play the album Veckatimest quite loudly and no one ever complains so it must be good.