Okay, so this deviates somewhat from my "low carb, no gluten, all natural, all smug" lifestyle but a Diva has to live and there are some simple pleasures in life that can be an occasional treat. Well, that's my story and I am sticking to it.
I have started to explore the joys of vodka infusion. Make your own vodka flavours - how yummy!
Flavouring vodka is a near-ancient tradition. Two hundred years ago every nobleman or member of the gentry in Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe produced his own vodka, often infused with fruits, berries, grains, herbs and spices for flavour.
CHOOSE WHAT YOU INFUSE
You can steep raw ingredients in vokda long enough to allow the flavours to slowly penetrate and infuse the vodka. Whole fruit should be sliced or mashed to encourage the juices to escape and allow the vodka to macerate the fruit thoroughly. Virtually any fresh or dried fruit, berry, herb, spice or flavouring can be infused into vodka. You can use lemons, oranges, basil, apples, vanilla pods, hot chillis, lemongrass, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, dill, tarragon....I can go on if you want to but hope you have the idea by now.
MIX IT UP
Choose your flavourings, add to a bottle of vodka and keep the bottle in a dark, dry place at room temperature for as long as desired. Most fruits need several weeks or months for their flavour to be fully absorbed. Chillies, garlic and fresh spices may only need a couple of days.
You will need to strain any bits of fruit, leaf or sediment from your vodka by slowly decanting it through a coffie filter or piece of wet muslin or cheesecloth.
BOTTLE AND DRINK IT
Put it in a pretty bottle, decorate it and give it as a gift. Or do the decent thing, open it and drink it. After all, it's been a hard week and you deserve a treat.
I have been infusing vodka with vanilla pods and the smell from the bottle is gorgeous. Have not sampled it yet...a few more weeks..a few more weeks..
Updated: The vanilla vodka was lovely and I prefer it to the shop bought one. It had a smoother taste.
Have been infusing vodkas over the weekend...with limes and mint, turkish delight, cherries and at a friend's suggestion instead of Mars Bar vodka...After Eights vodka....stand by for the verdict once it is ready to drink!
Totally goes against your healthy eating ethics, but what the heck.... I got around to making Toffee Vodka which is simply melting about 150-200g sugar and then caramelising it until golden, not too much or it will be bitter. Take out some of the vodka to make room for the caramel, then carefully pour in. It will fizz and crackle quite alarmingly but don't worry, it soon quietens down. Shake from time to time until caramel is dissolved, then leave for about a week to allow it to mellow. Liquid creme brûlée! Delish!
Oooh! Sounds delicious! Spookily enough I was thinking about vodka infusions today...was thinking that if I made a cucumber infusion I'd have it all to myself as the husband doesn't like cucumber. hee hee!
After going gluten free, I found I could not tolerate sweet tastes and lost the desire for wine (my family cannot believe it!!). However, I found that I loved the taste of coconut water and tried it with potato vodka and a squeeze of lime, served on ice. It's just delicious .. if you like vodka, it is worth a try. Enjoy. And no sulfates (I think)
You have just described my current favourite drink!! Cheers!