Friday, April 25, 2008
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Chop up some fruit. Put it in a bottle of cheap wine. Come back in a day. Add a little something sweet, preferably honey or molasses. Not too much sweet, just a touch. Melt it in the microwave first so it'll mix better with the cold sangria.
Use bruised or overripe fruit. Farmers' markets are good for both. Take the skin off of fruit where you wouldn't eat it (mango, citrus) but leave it on fruits where you would (pear, apple)
In decreasing order of quantity:
White: 3 kinds of pear, mango, a nectarine, a tangerine, strawberries, 2 key limes
Red: plums, nectarines, blackberries, a red pear, strawberries, a key lime
Get mulling spices. Place in vodka. Come back in a week. Leave in the sun for a couple of hours if you want to speed it up a bit.
This jar doesn't have all the ingredients I actually wanted.
An ideal set of spices:
Dried orange peel, cloves, whole cardamom, ginger, whole vanilla bean, star anise, cinnamon stick.
Of those, this jar only has cloves, orange peel, and cardamom. I will discuss how I made dried orange peel momentarily. The photo also doesn't represent the final color: it turned a deep brown after about a day or so.
The end result, when mixed with cola, is not unlike Captain Morgans Spice Rum, only more intense. I'm sure with the full host of spices it would have been better.
Fruit infused vodkas
Alton Brown's technique for making beef jerky (basically: putting beef between two air conditioning filters and sticking it on a box fan for 24 hours) works just as well for making dried fruit.
Chop up some fruit, stick it between air conditioning filters, yadda yadda, add to vodka, come back in a few days. It's best to use mason jars or, as I did here, old peanut butter/jelly jars. Also, if you're going to be drying peels (which when infused release the essential oils within), it's best to use organic fruit as you won't be getting a bottle full of pesticide when you're done.
I made three kinds:
dried orange peel and fresh key lime (right)
dried plum and dried strawberry (left)
dried pear (not pictured, but the dregs were added to the dried strawberry/plum, hence why it's a tad cloudy and lost a little of the beautiful red hue it had acquired)
All are good with Sprite, especially the strawberry/plum.
So there you have it.
at 11:55 AM