Monday, October 1, 2012


From top left: Lemon balm, Basil Osmin, Purple Basil, Variegated Sage, Lettuce Leaf Basil, Chocolate Mint, Lemon Basil, Mint.
I've been making herb infusions of vodka for years, and yesterday afternoon, two friends joined me in making them out at the farmhouse. I'd assembled a large variety of fresh-picked herbs and we gathered together the spices we'd need. After an initial toast of two-year-old (and perfectly mellow and lovely) basil liqueur, we commenced to infusing. The infusions I made are shown below. Clockwise from upper left: Aquavit, Lemon-Coriander, Mint Bourbon, Purple Basil, Lemon Balm, Sage-Lemon. The Lemon-Coriander and Sage-Lemon are going to be Snaps, delicious Scandinavian concoctions meant to be slammed quickly. You get a warm feeling in your chest followed by the lingering flavor of the herbs. The Aquavit will be aged for a few weeks before I filter it and begin slowly drinking it. Again, it's meant to be more of a shot than a sipper, but the times I've made it before I've enjoyed sipping it and savoring the mixture of spices (caraway, cumin, star anise, cinnamon, dill, coriander among others). The Lemon Balm infusion is bound to be turned into a liqueur with the addition of a simple syrup and a few more months' aging. I'm going to leave the Purple Basil as an infusion, removing the leaves once they've imparted their color and flavor to the vodka. It'll be wonderful as a martini or with soda water... And the mint bourbon will be for the holidays, We had herbs leftover (those that I didn't send home with my friends, I chopped up and froze in a little water to be used this winter) and more ideas than we had vodka for. We used a couple of great books as recipes and advice: Kitchen of Light by Andreas Viestad and Infused by Leigh Beisch. Making these concoctions was a wonderful way to spend a beautiful autumn day with friends at the farm...
The infusions infusing.

1 comment:

  1. Those look beautiful! I hope I get to taste some!