Outside last night, my husband was showing me the zillions of raspberry shoots we have, wondering how to deal with them. Just then, the 22-year-old who moved in with us over winter stepped out.
“This area is all raspberries,” I showed him, circling it with my hand in the air.
His eyes lit up. “Raspberry vodka,” he said.
“Way ahead of you,” I told him. “I just did a raspberry infusion. You know what the side benefit is? Drunken berries.”
By this time, of course, both vodka and berries were several days gone.
It was the second of three infusions I’ve done in the last month. They’re stupid simple: pour vodka in a jar, add your flavorings and seal it tight. After about 24 hours, you’ve probably gotten all the good flavor you’re going to get.
The first was green tea. (Healthy vodka! LOL.)
It was … all right. I poured mine into apple juice, which was a similar color, and the juice’s sweetness helped offset the tea’s slight bitterness. Unlikely to make that one again.
Then … BERRIES. I have done this before, so I was confident of the result. The only difficulty I have found is in straining. The first strain is easy. After that, though, is a point where there clearly still is liquid to be had, but the faint pulp makes it hard to extract.
Solution? Next time I am going to extract as much as I can, then take my drunken berries in slight liquid, add sugar and cook them down – carefully, it is alcohol + heat – and make a drunken raspberry syrup. This makes me want to acquire vanilla ice cream immediately.
My third infusion was a lark, stemming from a visit to the local liquor store (Ideal Party Store, which I cannot recommend too highly; I favor the Salzburg location). Just before Easter they had Peeps on the counter, and considering that companies keep releasing vodkas with whipped cream and birthday cake and other sickeningly sweet flavorings, I said, “I’m surprised no one has come out with a Peep vodka.”
You know I had to do it.
Here is my relationship with Peeps: I am head over heels in love with the Peep Surgery page. I like to eat Peeps about once a year, especially savoring the sugar crust.
I knew from Peep Surgery’s detailed experiments that the Peep would not dissolve in vodka, but probably just offer its Peepy sugary outside, including the color. I chose a lovely purple, plunked a Peep into a spice jar and bathed it in Sobieski.
It immediately began bobbing. Attempts to hold it still with toothpicks and drinking straws were only partly successful, but as I was not aiming high here, that was acceptable.
When a couple of days had passed, I decanted the Peep. While its eyes remained intact, as expected, the rest of it was bloated and quite bubbly.
Ah, but the vodka? The true measure of the experiment?
Predictable and yet somehow sad: It tastes like vodka with sugar dumped into it. The color, however, is quite lovely.
What to do?
Mask it with lemonade and wait for the next inspiration to strike. Suggestions always welcome.