Thursday, August 15, 2013

Infusions: Buddha Hand Citron and Grapefruit Rosemary Vodkas

This post has been a long time coming. Months and month ago I got this great idea. I was going to make all this infused alcohol for my friends and family for Christmas. Well I did a bit of the research and bought some nice bottles with stoppers and little book of infusion ideas. And then nothing.... I stored the bottles in the back of our spare bedrooms and for months they were covered over in gifts, then blankets and wedding accessories and then finally one day I saw it in the store. Christmas had come and gone but citrus fruit season was finally here and the Fairway near my work had one of the most interesting looking fruits I has ever seen...A Buddha Hand Citron

The book actually had a recipe for a vodka using this exotic citrus fruit but to be honest you don't really need much of a recipe as much as flavor pairing skills. One of my favorite "cookbooks"  The Flavor Bible is actually not really a cookbook at all but its a great one for making infusions. This book just lists different ingredients that compliment each other and that is the secret to a well balanced drink. The method of infusing vodkas is usually quite simple just add a flavorful item and let it sit for a bit. Its very important to carefully strain the vodka after flavoring as any debris left in the flavored vodka can go bad and really ruin your creation. For strong flavors - like hot peppers - use less time but for subtle flavors like fruits you can give it a bit longer.

For the Buddha Hand Citron I washed then cut up the fruit I left most of the white pith because its not very bitter in this fruit its actually the part you eat. Then I added it to a large clean airtight jar and added 1 L of vodka. As far as the quality of vodka, I usually try to find something moderately priced and fairly clean - Svedka is usually my go to since it is five times distilled and has a very low taste profile. Each one of my jars took just about a full 1.75L bottle.

My next flavor combo was grapefruit and rosemary. This is a little strange to some people but I had fallen in love with a cocktail (similar to this) featuring the duo and was confident that it was going to be good..... and it was! Because the grapefruit pith can be a bit stronger I took care to only use the skin and as little white as possible - I used the skin of three grapefruits. The rosemary I was able to use whole and put in three as well. I have also been experimenting with some other flavor so more options and some cocktails will be coming up soon....