What should I infuse next?
- grrlscout May 14, 2007 09:00 AM
As you may have seen in another thread, I recently made some limoncello. I thought that was so fun (I'm easily entertained), and I enjoyed the results so much, I've decided to take on another project.
I am interested in making an infused vodka (though I'm not *entirely* opposed to gin or rum). I've made a pepper vodka before, and that was nice. But I'm thinking of something more exotic this time.
I am intrigued by these three flavors: ginger, lemongrass, and kaffir lime. My initial thought was to do one with all three. Then I thought that the ginger would overpower the other two. So I should save the ginger for another project.
Now I am inclined to try lemongrass or kaffir lime, or both, and perhaps use the remaining flavor/s in a simple syrup.
What are your thoughts on which flavors would be best as an infusion or syrup? Should I make a "one note" or a "two note"? Have you tried any of these flavored infusions?
Thanks in advance!
Ginger by itself is not bad at all. A few years ago, some friends and I used to frequent the "Russian Vodka Room" in NYC, whihc made its own infusions. No idea if it still does. We sampled a number of the different infusions and ginger was generally our favorite. The other flavors inccluded a couple fruits with overpowering berries, cilantro and horseradish. Ginger was not too sweet like the fruit, and not too harsh like horseradish. Don't be afraid to ginger alone.
OMG, I totally forgot I have a ginger vodka in the fridge until I read this. It's a little late now to be imbibing, but I'll remember to post back. I play to make the ginger cosmo from the CHOW recipes page.
From past experience though, ginger vodka is fantastic. Especially in anything that calls for ginger ale, since most ginger ale doesn't have enough real ginger kick.
I am all for ginger vodka, but kick it up a notch with a candied ginger vodka. There is a spiciness to it but a sweetness as well that equals each other wonderfully. I used to mix that vodka (leave the candied ginger in the vodka for a week before serving, it stays preserved in there for a LONG time though as long as it is a moderately cool environment) with a splash of fresh made lemon juice, splash of simple syrup, and then topped with seltzer water...YUMMM!!!
I realize this is a simple basic infusion but when I worked at a beach club I couldn't make enough of this favorite. Honeydew Melon Vodka. When serving it straight up add a fresh sweet melon ball as a garnish, the macerated ones are bitter. And when served on the rocks with a splash of cranberry you'll swear it's watermelon.
I make my own liqueurs which begins with infusing vodka with a flavour and then sugar is added and brandy to fortify it. I think the ginger-kaffir lime-lemongrass conmbo sounds like a hit. A few years ago I made a spiced plum liqueur with obviously, plums and ginger, cinnamon and all spice berries. It was good. The flavours were subtle. My most successful effort to date has been with aprocots, although I am partial to the one I made with the skins of mandarine oranges. The raspberry was very good too.
My cousin just made an infused vodka with salted plums. I really like salted plums, so this vodka was really good to me. I know there are different versions of salted plums, and my cousin used the one found in asian markets. It's color is pinkish/peachy. Anyway, he filled 1/4 of the bottle with the salted plums and added some sugar (don't know how much) and let it sit for one week. If you like ginger, lemongrass and kaffir lime, I think you'd like this. For the drink he made, he just mixed the vodka with club soda and squeezed some lemon in it. If you try it, let me know if you like it!
I've infused vodka with Kaffir lime leaves and lemon grass and it's great. Saw the idea in a drinks column in the NYT a few years ago. Use the infused vodka in a drink with fresh lemon juice and simple syrup ( roughly twice as much vodka as lemon juice and syrup) - serve in sugar rimmed martini glasses. Absolutely great!
I went nuts with infusions last year. I did Blueberry, Cranberry, Pear, Vanilla, Coffee, Habanero, and Pineapple. The pineapple was the only one I did more than once. I just quit doing it for some reason, but the thought of ginger has me thinking it's time to do some more.
Well, here's my update.
My 3 bottles of homemade limoncello are almost gone. It was such a hit, I'm doing it again. However this time, I'm going to spruce it up with a vanilla bean, and maybe a tiny bit of ginger. I'll probably start on that in a couple weeks -- once I'm back from vacation, and I get my empties back.
Therefore, my infusion project is back-burnered for now. I'm leaning toward vodka with kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass. I'm a little leery of doing more than two flavors in one.