Oh, how I love the Fall season! Now is the time to step away from the lemons and limes of summer and head into the cozy cocktails and flavors of autumn with these spirit infusions.
I’ve decided to start this Fall season with a series of infusions that will have you enjoying the season’s best flavors: warm vanilla, inviting pumpkin and even savory smoky bacon. If you like the creativity of cooking and combining flavors–and, like me, you mix a few cocktails now and again – then infusions are a great place to play around and have fun personalizing your home bar. So for the next few days we’re introducing a series of fall-inspired spirit infusions (and a few cocktails too!) for you to kick off the season.
Spirit infusions are very simple. You soak ingredients in a base alcohol until you like the taste. Sounds fun and easy, right? Infusions require a waiting time to properly yield the best results and most robust flavors. Get these infusions started now and your patience will pay off in a few weeks.
FRENCH VANILLA VODKA
This infusion is oh-so simple and yields a delicious product. If you’re planning ahead, this is a fantastic DIY holiday or hostess gift. Simply place in smaller decorative bottles and voila!
Sharp paring knife
2 whole vanilla beans (go for quality beans)
HOW TO MAKE IT ::
Using paring knife, slice vanilla beans down the middle of the pod with the tip of the knife. Place beans into vodka bottle and seal.
Let stand for a minimum of 5 days, up to 2 weeks.
The longer the infusion time, the more robust the vanilla flavor. You will notice the vodka will turn a nice warm brown shade within an hour and after 2 weeks that color will darken over time.
Store in a cool, dark place during the infusion process and be sure to shake your bottle every few days to help distribute the flavor. At the end of 2 weeks, remove the vanilla beans and discard.
The key to all infusions will be to choose a decent quality brand for your base spirit. There’s no need to break the bank for a premium variety, but avoid the cheapest ones because no amount of spice will take away the harshness of cheap alcohol. So get in your kitchen and have fun adding a twist to fall’s scrumptious flavors.