Food, Books, and FoodBooks

Musings on food, books, and books about food, from a self-described "foodie" and aspiring librarian.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Cocktail Experiments, Takes 2 & 3

Last night I made two more attempts at replicating the strawberry balsamic basil cocktail (James joined me in taste-testing). Unfortunately, neither was quite right.

For attempt # 2, I essentially duplicated the recipe of attempt # 1, except that I doubled the amount of Basil Essence to 2 ounces and added a dash of balsamic vinegar. There wasn’t a noticeable difference from attempt 1 – the basil flavor was still nearly non-existent. For attempt # 3, James reduced the amount of strawberry puree to just 1 ounce and added a little more balsamic. This time, the drink was a little less sweet, and the balsamic stood out just a wee bit, but the basil flavor was still lacking.

I have high hopes for attempt # 4, which will use basil-infused vodka. On Sunday, I picked up what I needed to make my own basil-infused vodka. Cost Plus had one-quart mason jars for about $4.50 each, so I picked up a couple of those. My local Vons Market had the large bottle of Ketel One Vodka (1/2 gallon, I think) on sale for just slightly more than the regular price of a fifth, so I snapped it up. I already had a large bunch of basil at home.

Monday I started my basil vodka infusion. I filled one of the mason jars with freshly washed basil leaves, covered them with Ketel One Vodka, and sealed the top. According to my research, the vodka should be infused within 2 to 4 days, at which time it can be strained and poured into a bottle. So, I’ll taste it tonight (the 2-day mark) and see how it is doing. I am hoping that using a basil-infused vodka will give the Strawberry Balsamic Basil Cocktail the kick of basil that has been missing in my experiments to date.

While researching vodka infusion, I got inspired to try some other infusions as well. So, on Sunday, I also picked up a couple of baskets of blueberries. On Monday, those went into the second mason jar and were topped with the remaining Ketel One Vodka. That infusion should take slightly longer – my research said 4 to 6 days. My idea for that is a Blueberries and Cream Cocktail – blueberry vodka, a bit of vanilla syrup, and a bit of half and half, shaken with ice and poured into a chilled cocktail glass. The final touch will be a garnish of a cocktail pick on which will be several fresh blueberries.

Anyway, I’ll keep you up to date on my experiments, as they occur.

Recipe: Strawberry Balsamic Basil Cocktail, Take 2

3 oz Absolut Vodka
2 oz Finest Call Strawberry Puree
2 oz Stirrings Summer Basil Martini Cocktail Essence
1 dash balsamic vinegar
1 large fresh basil leaf

Place all ingredients except basil leaf into a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake until very cold. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with the basil leaf. Makes one large or two small cocktails.

Recipe: Strawberry Balsamic Basil Cocktail, Take 3

3 oz Absolut Vodka
1 oz Finest Call Strawberry Puree
2 oz Stirrings Summer Basil Martini Cocktail Essence
2 dashes balsamic vinegar
1 large fresh basil leaf

Place all ingredients except basil leaf into a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake until very cold. Stain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a basil leaf. Makes one large or two small cocktails.

2 Comments:

Blogger Mimi said...

What a fun idea!

7:50 PM  
Blogger Lynda said...

Definitely fun. I was amazed when I started to research infusions how many people are trying it. There is even a long thread on eGullet about it.

7:39 AM  

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