Learn how to infuse! Infusions are a great way to personalize cocktails, use fresh ingredients, and create fantastic handmade gifts. Just follow this infographic!
Though it’s easy to experiment with different combinations of herbs, fruit, and alcohol, here are our directions on how to make a basil infused vodka. It’s perfect in a martini!
BASIL INFUSED VODKA
INGREDIENTS & SUPPLIES
– 1 cup lightly packed basil leaves, rinsed and towel dried
– 1/2 750ml bottle of Prairie vodka
– swing top bottles or mason jars (stop by Bottles for swing top bottles)
– mesh strainer
– cool, dark cupboard to store infusion
Wash basil leaves and lightly dry with a towel. Pour vodka into swing-top bottle or mason jar. Add basil leaves. Attach cover and shake. Place in cupboard. Let it sit a day, and after the first day of infusion, open up your infusion and pour yourself a sample. The longer you leave the basil in, the stronger the flavor will be. If you’re satisfied with the infusion on the second day, strain away! Strain once with mesh strainer, strain twice with mesh strainer, strain third time with cheesecloth.
Note: Extracting (straining) is the most laborious part about infusing. The herbs or berries do most of the work by imparting their delicious nature into the vodka. The key to straining is multiple passes and patience. Put an episode of the Barefoot Contessa on as you strain your infusions and start brainstorming your next dinner party!
Infusing is actually a process called osmosis (remember from middle school science class?). Placing an object in alcohol encourages the herb or fruit’s flavor and color to move outside of the fruit into the alcohol.
ADDITIONAL TIPS & TRICKS
Herb, Citrus & Fruit
– Wash fruit or herbs before infusing.
– Experiment and pair strong flavors with cooling flavors (e.g. jalapeño cucumber vodka) to create a well balanced infusion.
– Citrus piths will create a bitter infusion, make sure you only use the zest.
– For pulpy fruits, strain with a coffee filter after the mesh strainer and cheese cloth step.
– Use a mid-level spirit, one that you would make cocktails with and serve to friends.
– Forget about higher proof alcohol, 90 proof vodka (most spirits are 90 proof) infuse just as well as spirits with higher alcohol content.
Making the Infusion
– Keep your infusions away from sunlight and heat.
– Make sure the seal on your infusion jar is air tight (otherwise your infusion will ferment!).
– Make small experimental batches, infusing is a trial and error process.
– Label your infusions and extraction date, and mark it on the calendar.
HERBAL COCKTAIL RECIPE: Thai Basil Vodka Martini
– 2 oz Thai Bail Infused Vodka
– 1 oz Dry Vermouth
– Splash of lime juice
– Lime Wedge
Pour vodka, vermouth, lime juice over ice in a cocktail shaker, shake and strain into glass. Garnish with lime wedge.
Cheers & Happy Infusing!
– Joanna Laird