For starters, determine what type of alcohol you want to flavor and with what. Vodka is deemed the best for this as it has no natural odor or flavor. With appletinis having exploded onto the millennial trend table I figured I would try it first with a personal fave, Granny Smith, or green apples.
For the first step all you need besides the vodka and two, fresh apples is an air-tight Mason jar. That's the kind that your grandma used when she made her home-made jelly. It must be air tight or else this whole exercise is futile.
Cut the apples into bite-sized pieces and for God's sake don't cut yourself! If you're clumsy get someone else to do the chopping for you. I will NOT be held responsible if you lose some digits.
Place the apple chunks into the mason jar and add vodka, like so...
Again, if you're clumsy this is another point when you should ask for help pouring. We may not cry over spilled milk but you should burn in Hell if you waste high-end vodka. Yes, I consider Stolichnaya to be high-end. Stolies is my favorite vodka and in case you're wondering why use good hooch for infusion, the better the booze the better the end product will taste. Period, stop.
Seal the concoction in the mason jar and I cannot stress enough the importance of an air-tight seal. Slightly shake the jar to ensure the seal. If some liquid bleeds out, change the jar immediately.
Here's where the patience comes into play. Let the jar sit at room temperature for three (3) to five (5) days and keep it away from direct sunlight. Twice a day shake the jar slightly to stir up the contents. Stagnancy will lead to poor infusion and weak flavor.
Spend the next few days finding a store that sells cheesecloth because you need it to strain the medley of booze and fruit.
In all candor I bought cheesecloth at a Food4Less so you should be able to find it at any unsuspecting grocery store. You'll also need a spaghetti strainer, a funnel and a large pitcher. The cocktail mixing glass is optional but way cool. No household is complete without a mixer.
Line your strainer with the cheesecloth and poor the contents in. Let it sit and drain all liquid through the cloth. Don't waste a drop. During this time your instincts to eat some of the apple may kick in. Do not succumb to this temptation! The chunks won't be mushy but they will taste horrible.
At this point you'll notice the formerly clear vodka has obtained a greenish hue. This is normal. It only means that infusion has occurred, which was the whole point of this.
Using the funnel pour your newborn apple vodka into the original bottle. Unless you plan to drink it all in one night, you f*cking lush.
If you don't own a mixing glass, I suggest at this point putting the bottle in the fridge for this will taste better chilled, in my opinion. But if you do own a mixer...
...pour some ice in that bad boy, add your juice and shake it, baby. Strain it, sans the ice into a chilled, standard Cocktail glass. Or you can be like me and add a drop of dry Vermouth to make it an apple-flavored popular twist to the classic Martini.
You can infuse almost any combination of fruit, herb or spice into any alcohol. Some popular combinations are gin with cucumber, or bourbon with mint. Personally, my next experiment will be red apples and cinnamon with vodka. I'm told when mixed with hot water it makes one heck of a Hot Toddy.
Do you have any Adventures in Infusion you'd like to share? Engage us in discussion at The Mike Tursi Facebook Page.
|Guardian of the Universe Gamera says, "I made up a drink. Add Tabasco to Cinnamon Schnapps. I call it Atomic Fire Breath. I named it after my atomic fire breath.|