Posts Tagged infusion

Sparkling Blueberry Lavender Lemonade Cocktail (with DIY Blueberry Vodka)

Last week, I bought a rather large flat of local blueberries. Since then, I’ve been happily immersed in the wonderful world of blueberries. I canned blueberry plum butter. I froze a few bags of blueberries. I’ve been eating handfuls of blueberries with Greek yogurt and honey.

And, I made a few jars of blueberry vodka. Just because it seemed like a good thing to do.

Let me tell you, it was a great thing to do. Fruit vodkas are ridiculously easy to make and they don’t taste half bad, either. (No, really: Just soak some fruit in some vodka for a few days. Strain out fruit. Simple as that.)

This blueberry vodka is great with soda water or tonic, and is a great base for summer fruit, citrus, or herb cocktails. Give it a try!

Sparkling Bluberry Lavender Lemonade

Sparkling Blueberry Lavender Lemonade Cocktail (with DIY Blueberry Vodka)

Ingredients

  • For the lavender simple syrup:
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 Tablespoons dried culinary lavender
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • For the blueberry vodka:
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 3-4 cups vodka
  • For the cocktail:
  • 1.5 ounces blueberry vodka
  • 2 teaspoons lavender simple syrup
  • The juice of 1 lemon
  • Sparkling water, to taste
  • Blueberries, for garnish
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. To make the lavender simple syrup: Combine water, sugar, and lavender flowers in a small pot. Heat over high heat until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat and stir, and let the syrup simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Strain out the lavender and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The simple syrup will keep for one week.
  2. To make the blueberry vodka: Place blueberries and vodka in a large jar or airtight container. Store at room temperature away from sunlight. Shake the jar a few times a day, and allow the vodka to infuse for at least 3 days. When the vodka has a distinct blueberry taste (and color), strain out the blueberries. Store the vodka in a sealed bottle or jar at room temperature.
  3. To make the cocktail: In a large glass (or cocktail shaker), mix together the simple syrup, blueberry vodka, and lemon juice. Taste, and adjust levels if needed. Fill a cocktail glass with ice and pour mixture over ice. Top with a splash of sparkling water and garnish with fresh blueberries. Enjoy responsibly!
  4. Makes one cocktail.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin

http://rosemarried.com/2013/08/12/sparkling-blueberry-lavender-lemonade-cocktail-with-diy-blueberry-vodka/

Kaffir Lime Infused Gin & Tonic

When it comes to cocktails, I’m a gin & tonic kind of gal. The G&T has been my standard drink order for years, and I never seem to tire of it. The gin & tonic is, in my opinion, the perfect cocktail. (And then there was that one time I made gin & tonic Jell-o shots…)

And for the longest time, I didn’t think there was any way to improve upon the gin and tonic. It is the perfect cocktail, after all. And then I added a handful of Kaffir lime leaves to a cheap bottle of gin, and I fell in love with a whole new kind of gin and tonic.

There’s no need to complicate matters by writing a real recipe for this cocktail. All you need is a few Kaffir lime leaves (which you can find in Asian supermarkets or New Seasons Markets in Portland) and a cheap(ish) bottle of gin. I placed a handful (5 or 6) lime leaves into a mason jar and poured the gin over the leaves, and let sit in a cool, dark place for a few days. Once the gin has a slight green hue and smells of Kaffir lime (4 or 5 days), then you know it’s ready.

When it comes time to consume the infused gin, simply mix it with your favorite tonic water and garnish the beverage with a lime wedge. (I’m personally a fan of Fentiman’s or Q Tonic Water.)

It’s really as simple as that.

Crema di Limoncello

I went to the grocery store over the weekend, and while I was there my husband texted and asked me to pick up a can of red hair spray for his Halloween Costume (he dressed up as Ron Weasley). I went to the Halloween section, which just days before had been full of costumes, candy, and Halloween decor. But now, just 3 days before Halloween, the section was reduced to a measly and picked over half-aisle. I wandered down the aisles to see if there were any other Halloween supplies, but only found aisle after aisle of Christmas merchandise. It was red and green as far as the eye could see.

It’s all a little bit ridiculous, isn’t it? Christmas seems to come earlier every year. I’m just not ready for it — for all the holiday crowds and obnoxious renditions of Jingle Bells playing on repeat in department stores (does a non-obnoxious version of Jingle Bells exist?).

And yet, here I am posting about Christmas on Halloween. I’m just as bad as the grocery store, apparently.

But, the actual recipe has nothing to do with Christmas. The recipe is for Crema Di Limoncello, which is a creamy lemon liqueur that can be enjoyed year-round. I made a batch of limoncello a couple of weeks ago, with the idea of getting a head start on my Christmas presents this year. You see, I make most of my Christmas gifts by hand and so I figured that if I got started on gifts in October, then I’d be less stressed in December.

This idea was good in theory, until my husband and I consumed all the limoncello (OK, we didn’t consume all of it…I did swap some of it at the last PDX Food Swap). Oops. This stuff is dangerously delicious. I suppose this is one gift I’ll have to wait and make in December, as it simply won’t last long at our house. It is too good!

That being said, maybe I shouldn’t recommend that you make limoncello for Christmas gifts. Maybe you should just make a batch and drink it with friends and loved ones. However, if you’re one of my friends or loved ones, you probably shouldn’t make any as I will most likely be giving you a bottle for Christmas. ;)

Anyway…Happy Halloween (and Happy Reformation Day)! I’m going to celebrate with a big bowl of pumpkin curry, and I might just drink the last few drops of limoncello that I have left. Be warm, safe, and happy tonight.

Crema di Limoncello
Adapted from Vanilla Garlic

(**Note the original recipe makes twice this amount. My recipe starts with a pint of Everclear, as opposed to a full 750ml bottle. In addition, the ratio of milk to alcohol is 2 to 1, and yet this limoncello still packs a punch. I was dubious about the 4 cups of milk to 2 cups of Everclear, but it works, trust me.)

Ingredients
5 lemons
2 cups Everclear (You could substitute another brand of vodka in this recipe, but Everclear has a higher alcohol content than other vodkas. If you use another vodka, reduce the amount of milk used)
4 cups of whole milk
1.5 cups of sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla (or half a a vanilla bean)
Cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer

Zest the lemons (using a grater, or by peeling strips off with a knife/peeler). Place Everclear and lemon zest into a jar and seal. Store in a cool, dry place for one week (or more. I let mine steep for two weeks). Strain using cheesecloth or strainer to remove zest.

In a small pot or saucepan, warm the milk over medium heat. Add in the sugar and the vanilla, and cook (stirring frequently) until the sugar has dissolved. Remove milk mixture from heat and allow to cool.

Once cool, mix milk and infused Everclear together in a large bowl or pitcher. Funnel into bottles, jars, or other tightly sealed containers. Store in the fridge or freezer. Serve chilled.

Note: Limoncello is usually served as an after dinner cocktail. I like to serve it in small glasses, poured straight out of the freezer. The colder the better!

Recipe Swap: Boozy Beet & Apple Popsicles

I’m a little late to the Recipe Swap party this month (due to my Foodbuzz 24×24 post that went up on Sunday).

But, better late than never, right?

These last few weeks have gone by in a blur. First off, I was sick for a week and a half and it was rotten. Second, I hosted a giant dinner party that required only a few hours of preparation (and by a few, I mean many, many hours). Not that I’m complaining. Trust me, it was all worth it! But, as you can tell, I’ve had a lot going on.

However, in midst of all of this I found the time to whip up a little something for this month’s Recipe Swap. I’ve been at this for awhile now, so I won’t explain the whole thing, but if you’d like a history of the swap, head over to Burwell General Store for more info and descriptions of all the lovely bloggers involved.

This month, CM from Burwell General Store choose a doozy of a recipe for us to re-interpret: Ozarkian Taffy Apples. I’m not a huge sweets fan, so it took me awhile to get excited about the recipe. My initial thought was to transform it into a savory recipe…something along the lines of a pork skewer with an apple glaze. But, after my Cheese, Wine, and Swine dinner party, I was just a little bit porked out. I was in the mood for something light and refreshing. So, I turned to the sun for inspiration.

Why? Because the sun is finally shining in Portland. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Portland is magical, magical place when the sun shines. I promise, it is like no other place on earth. Sadly, the sun doesn’t show her face much from November to March. But, all of the sudden is back, giving us glimpses of her radiant face and promising all the beauty that summer brings. I’ve allowed myself to begin dreaming of ice cream, backyard BBQs, heirloom tomatoes, and all that the summer has to offer. I can’t wait!

It is precisely this type of summery daydreaming that led me to my great recipe swap idea: apple popsicles! Refreshing, delicious, and vaguely reminiscent of the original candy-apple-on-a-stick recipe. Since I couldn’t be content to make a regular old apple popsicle, I decided to take them up a notch and attempt a boozy apple popsicle.

The internet let me know that boozy popsicles were within the realm of possibility (as I was dubious about alcohol and freezing), and so the matter was settled. I would use apple juice as the base for the popsicle along with beet vodka (which was leftover from the 24×24 party). I also threw in a little ginger simple syrup for kicks. This whole thing was one big experiment, and I’m pleased to report that it all worked out marvelously. The trick to boozy popsicles is simple: you just can’t use much alcohol. The ratio should be roughly 3 parts juice to 1 part alcohol.

For those who are wary of alcohol in their popsicles, I will mention that the alcohol taste is hardly noticeable (which makes sense as there isn’t a lot of alcohol in the recipe). And, of course, it would be very easy to substitute beet juice for the beet vodka in order to make non-alcoholic popsicles.

I am including beet apple popsicle recipe, as well as instructions for making beet infused vodka and ginger simple syrup. I do hope you enjoy (and that summery days are in store for us soon)!

Beet, Ginger & Apple (Boozy) Popsicles:
(Note: I didn’t have much freezer space so I didn’t make very many popsicles! This recipe could easily be doubled, tripled, etc, to make more!)

1.5 cups organic unsweetened apple juice
1.5 Tablespoons ginger simple syrup (recipe below)
3 Tablespoons beet (or other) vodka
Dixie cups (I used teeny tiny little 3 oz cups) or popsicle molds

Combine all 3 ingredients together in a small pitcher (or something you can easily pour from). Pour into popsicle molds or small dixie cups. Using cardboard or tape, affix a popsicle stick to hang in the center of the cup, so that it is partially submerged in the liquid and not touching the bottom of the cup. I found that cardboard works best (but tape will work just fine.)

Note: Please feel free to adjust this recipe to your liking! Next time, I think I might grate a little fresh ginger or orange peel into the mix. I started simple as I wanted to see how well they turned out. I was very pleased and I will be making many more popsicles in the near future. :)

Beet Infused Vodka:
1 bottle mid-quality vodka (nothing too nice): Monopolowa, Stoli, Svedka, etc.
3-4 raw beets, peeled & cubed.

In a large jar, combine beet cubes & vodka. Allow to soak for 3-4 days in a cool room, away from sunlight. When ready, strain out the beets and discard (unless you have an idea as to how to use vodka soaked beets. I couldn’t think of anything to do with them!). Store away from sunlight. Vodka will be ready to use and will keep for months. (I store mine in the freezer to keep cold).
Note: I’ll post the recipe for The Babuska cocktail later this week, so you have another way to use your beet vodka!

Ginger simple syrup:
1 small knob of ginger, peeled & cut into small cubes
1 cup raw sugar
1 cup water

Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan. Heat over med-low heat and bring to a gentle boil (or until sugar dissolves). Add in cubed ginger and stir to combine. Allow mixture to simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, until the syrup has a fragrant ginger smell/taste. Strain out ginger bits and allow syrup to cool. Store in a sealed container. Will keep for up to a week.