You know those moments when brilliant inspiration strikes and you are compelled to run with it. Let me introduce you to my newest hobby: fruit infused alcohol. A hobby? you ask. Yes, a hobby. We all need hobbies, right? It all started last summer when I had a small container of black raspberries at the end of the season. I’d already canned a lot of them and this wasn’t enough to do much with… EXCEPT put into a jar and pour vodka over. A month later, I strained out the berries and the resulting black raspberry vodka was excellent. So… this spring I was putting up strawberries. I’d made a bunch of jam, frozen some, and suddenly remembered the black raspberry vodka from last summer… I wonder…
And of course, if you ever wonder anything, you turn to the interwebs. Lo and behold, I can’t even say I read a full article or post, because one line stood out “You can basically infuse most berries or fruit in most kinds of (unflavored) alcohol…” I got no further as my mind exploded with the possibilities. The best part is, I don’t really drink much in the way of hard liquor. There are bottles in that cabinet that have been there for years and never get finished. But for some reason this whole idea of fruit infusing them has peaked my interest. MUST FRUIT INFUSE ALL THE ALCOHOL! I had bottles of vodka, rum, and gin. I CAN INFUSE THEM ALL.
I washed and cut up a bunch of strawberries and put a couple inches of cut up strawberries into each quart jar. Next I added the alcohol – a different kind in each jar: vodka, rum, and gin. (I also remembered to label which was which, amazingly enough). The interwebs indicated you could put them in the fridge or in a cabinet to give them time to infuse for an unspecified amount of time. “Try it at various stages” someone said. Although this sounds like a great suffering, I will do what I must.
A few days later I picked mulberries. I made cobbler and, as you may have guessed, more fruit infusion! Vodka and rum, one small jar of each. The grocery store had raspberries for $1 a pint, so I threw a few of those in jars with alcohol. And yesterday I picked black raspberries and started a few more jars (and have apparently used all of the unflavored alcohol in the house). I think I’m gonna need to go get more because clearly this fruit infusion thing is picking up speed at the Little House.
The strawberries have been infusing for about 10 days. The mulberries and raspberries just a week. Last night a couple of my friends came over and we made cocktails. It went something like this:
A shot (ish) of fruit infused vodka (we tried strawberry vodka and mulberry rum – separately)
Top the (small) glass off with 7-up (I suppose it was about 1 part alcohol to 2 parts ice and pop)
Garnish with lime
DELICIOUS!!! So fruity and refreshing. And the smells. Mmmmm. This is nothing like the smell of fake strawberry flavoring – the vodka seriously smelled like a strawberry field on a warm summer day. So my advice to you is to go pick some berries and try it. You won’t regret it. Or come over and hang out with me for cocktails. You can’t go wrong!
I should note that last time I strained the alcohol out of the berries after a month or so, and I’m planning to do that again. I’ll make a drunken cobbler with the berries (we can’t let those go to waste, right?) and then the alcohol lasts longer… or at least until you have some friends over and finish it off.
Welcome to the Great Fruit Infusion of 2015