I think infusing liquors may be my new favorite hobby. It's also far less time consuming than most of my hobbies, which as the school year gets started is a plus.
If D actually drank I'd have the happiest boyfriend in Brooklyn. Since he doesn't, I'm sure I have some friends who'd like to reap the benefits of my new hobby. I'm thinking about making this cucumber-jalapeno tequila for my friend Becky as a birthday gift. I'm going to start making my own vanilla extract. It's going to be amazing.
I'm even thinking about getting fancy and storing my creations in pretty bottles. Brooklyn Flea has had some very cool looking bottles lately. I might swing by on Saturday and pick some up (OK, I will definitely be there on Saturday if for no other reason than to get my grilled cheese fix, but I might pick up a couple of bottles).
Both of the infusions I've made so far have been delicious. They key, it seems, is not to over-infuse the vodka. And to drink it very cold. I think many of us have gotten so used to sugary, artificial flavored liquors that infusions taste a little a little more like vodka and not so much like candy. If you have a sweeter taste, adding a tiny bit of agave nectar to your drink does the trick. It doesn't overwhelm the flavors of the infusion, but adds enough sweetness to take the edge off the drink. With this peach vodka, you could also use a bit of simple syrup left over from canning peaches. It will add a bit more peach flavor and a touch of sweetness.
I'm hoping to get one more herb-infused vodka in before summer is officially over. Maybe something to serve at my tomato canning party next weekend? What herb-infusion do you think would be good in Bloody Marys?
So far I've had this over ice with a bit of seltzer, but I bet it would make a fabulous spiked iced tea. If I come up with any drinks for this, like I did with the raspberry, I'll be sure to post them. School's starting up again, so I'm sure I'm going to need a Friday at 4pm something to ease my way into the weekend...
I'm submitting this post to Punk Domestics. Update: I'm featured on Punk Domestics!
Adapted from Ashley English's herb infused vodka primer on Design Sponge
about 4 c of vodka (I used LiV again)
2-3 sprigs fresh basil
1 nearly ripe peach, pitted and cut into quarters (you can peal it if you want to, but the peal gives it a nice rosy color)
Place peaches and basil in a sterilized quart mason jar.
Pour vodka over the peach and basil until you reach the neck of the jar. Cover with lid and tighten the screw band. Turn the jar a few times.
Store in a cool, dark place for 3-5 days, shaking or turning every day. Start tasting after three days and continue to infuse until you reach the desired flavor (I infused mine for 6).
Strain the vodka through a fine meshed strainer or cheesecloth. Wash out the jar and return the vodka to the jar (or funnel into a pretty bottle).
Store vodka in the freezer for up to two months.
Makes about 1 quart infused vodka