We love requests and questions. Coming up with new topics every day (we have now passed 600 days of daily updates without missing a singe one) can really stretch the brain and sometimes takes longer than actually writing the article. A question is a gift – saves some time and makes that days post a little more fun knowing we may be helping someone.
Stevie, from Garden Therapy sent us a request for info on infusing vodka with strawberries. We have not done this one before but the technique of infusing is pretty much the same for anything:
- Clean berries, your jar and anything to be used in the process.
- Remove the hulls (if you have a lot, consider dehydrating them for tea).
- Pack a mason jar (or other non-reactive container) with strawberries. It’s ok to be a little rough. Packing a jar tight may help reduce floating berries (though it’s not the end of the world if they do). Fill with vodka and screw lid on jar.
- Leave in a cool, dark place for a few days.
- strain all contents through a micro filter or several layers of cheesecloth. Press the fruit hard to remove as much liquid as you can. WHen straining, I pour all the fruit onto several layers of cheesecloth for a first filter before gathering up the cheesecloth into a ‘bag’ and twist the top to force out all liquid. Just keep twisting and lots of liquid will appear. You may need to retrain your liquid (if seeds have come out).
- Some people sweeten with simply syrup (water and sugar) at this stage – I highly advise NOT to. More liquid = more shelf space and once you’ve added simple syrup, you can’t remove it. You can always add it later.
- Store in a cool dry place.
A few thoughts on what we’d do for a bit of a twist:
- Create micro batches. The next time we make a jam we’re going to try to infuse a cup or less of vodka with that fruit. Small batches to experiment and see what we like – and what we adore.
- Consider complimentary infusions. Vanilla Vodka would be a great compliment here. Although many people would add the vanilla in the same jar, I`d do it separately so that you have options. I really want to have a `mad scientist party`where we have vials of all sorts of different infusions and create custom cocktails with a bit from this one and a bit from that… Mint in vodka could also work.
- Do not worry about using too many strawberries. If it`s too berry for you, you can always dilute an infusion with more vodka after all.
- Don`t leave the berries in for longer than 3 or 4 days. They will go brown and mushy.
- If you are hosting a cocktail party or dinner with your infusion, you could add fresh berries to the infusion 24 hours before your party. They can serve as a garnish and add some street cred to your beverages.
- Consider a progressive tasting of your booze – or pairings. Ice cream with unsweetened infusion and a sweet cocktail with simple syrup and your custom cocktail. Sweet dehydrated strawberries would be agreat contrast to chase a bitter shot of your vodka.
- Be creative when consuming. Balsamic vinegar goes with strawberries – a drop or two in your glass could take this somewhere different.
There`s some ideas – would love to hear any of yours and your successes or struggles.
This is part of our Preserving Summer series (click the link for access to all of the articles to date) that supports our recent article in Edible Toronto. We welcome any and all questions, comments and your ideas!