Since this is my first post, I thought I’d start out with an infusion. When you bust out home-made infusions at parties or while hosting guests, it never ceases to amaze people. The oohs and aahs you get are great for the ego. Little do most people know, making the infusion is incredibly easy. The real art lies in coming up with interesting and delicious ingredient combinations. It takes a little experimenting, but it’s pretty tough to come up with something that doesn’t taste good, as long as you start with a liquor you already like to drink.
In my household, we are a bourbon family. We’ve also made a series of delicious, candy-infused vodka, but bourbon is our go-to for cocktails. My recent favorite is Samuel Grant. Why? Because it’s always on sale for cheap at the Safeway across the street. I recently found out that this is because it’s the house brand. Safeway makes its own booze, who knew?
The infusion I made is based on a recipe I found on Culinary Anthropologist, but I used less vanilla, and grapefruit zest instead of lemon and orange, mostly because I had some lovely organic grapefruits from Rainbow Grocery. Grapefruit is also my latest obsession as a cocktail ingredient. Put freshly squeezed grapefruit in any drink, and I defy you not to love it.
I started by putting the bourbon in a large bowl, in order to catch all the oils of grapefruity goodness that splatter with zesting. This proved a bit difficult later on for pouring, so next time I’d go with a wide-mouthed jar or pitcher instead. I cut open a fresh vanilla bean with a knife to expose the seeds, and zested two grapefruits with a vegetable peeler, over the bowl.
Now you might be asking yourself, “Where in the heck do you get whole vanilla beans?” At least that’s what I was asking myself when I first found this recipe. The answer is Xanath , on Valencia St, which also makes dynamite ice cream…though nothing vegan as of yet. If you aren’t lucky enough to live in San Francisco like me, they also operate Saffron, which will ship them to you anywhere in the US.
After everything was in the bowl, I proceeded to pour it all into a mason jar. Mason jars are perfect for infusions, though the process of pouring, as aforementioned, was a bit messy, even with a funnel. Turns out, bowls are not so good for pouring liquid in an organized fashion. Live and learn. Life is all about experimentation! Make sure all the leftover bits of zest make it into the jar.
Once everything was in the jar, I added just a touch of honey, to take away some of the bitterness, in case I wasn’t as careful with the zesting as I should have been, and because of this math equation: bourbon+honey=deliciousness. Math doesn’t lie people. Once it’s in the jar, you just store it in a dark-ish place, like a pantry, and shake it a couple of times a day for about a week. Mine will be ready on Sunday. The next post will feature whatever concoction I mix it up with. Happy infusing!