Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Infusions to make the heart glow

Left to right:

Sumac vodka
Apricot bourbon
Black currant gin
Red currant gin

In general, this year, I have used much less sugar in the infusions. Very little, in fact, and none in the red currant. I am still wild about the black currant's complex flavor. The sumac is astringent, and excellent for cocktail-mixing.

A rough recipe for sumac vodka is as follows - it depends on how much you're making:

Enough fresh, ripe (bright red/orange) sumac to fill a jar
Enough vodka to cover

Use smooth sumac (Rhus glabra) if you can as you'll have no hairs to strain out, after. With scissors cut the smaller branchlets from the thick green parts. Remove as much green as you can - these turn the vodka bitter. Pack a clean jar to the top with sumac, and cover with vodka (I like the Polish-made Wodka, or Stoli). Leave for two weeks and strain. You can leave it longer but it will become more tannic.

The Frenchman, who dislikes bourbon, likes the apricot bourbon best, then the austere red currant gin.

But they're all pretty good.

I think I'll play with apples and quinces when fall really hits its stride.

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