Monday, June 4, 2012

For the Lush in Your Life

I am a self-proclaimed alcohol enthusiast.

I realize how terrible that sounds - and I will be the first to admit that I have a habit of overindulging. But, in this case I mean it in the more classy, grown-up sense of the word. Even in college, I generally preferred the more flavorful and/or interesting drinks to a standard Bud Latte or worse, white zinfandel (we DID, however have white zin Mondays - but it was a special occasion, so it was "okay"). I would almost always opt for a drink that  you could actually taste the alcohol in, rather than using mixers that masked it; but sadly, in college that meant diet cranberry juice instead of diet coke (like I said, classy?).

Fast forward a few years, and I am that girl ordering a drink off the cocktail menu that makes half of the table gag as I'm ordering it. Give me strong, give me spicy, do NOT give me something sugary. I can't tell you how many poorly-made margaritas have given me heartburn in the last 5 years (fresh squeezed lime, tequila, and a drop of orange liqueur ONLY, people). I will only order a drink with rum in it if I'm physically in the Caribbean. I actually prefer my vodka to be topped with soda and a lime over tonic, coke, etc - and not because I'm sacrificing to cut calories (what's the point if you can't taste it?).

Oh, and I LOVE gin. Yeah, I'm one of THOSE weirdos. Also, if there is any sort of jalapeno/habanero/spicy-ish drink on the menu, you bet your ass I'm ordering it.

So I'm not your average female cocktail consumer. A lot of times, nothing on a cocktail menu will do the trick - and I can easily get bored with the standard bottle stuff (except Hendrick's - I know you will never fail me, my one true love...). And so, I decided to start infusing my own liquors.

First up: Cucumber basil vodka.
I totally eyeballed all of this - there's no real science to the measurements that I could find online, so I kinda just went for it.
Literally one of the easiest things I have ever done.
Mmm. (PS - apologies for the horrible focus issues - I managed to break the autofocus on my lens like a real winner, and of course have zero money to replace it. Apparently my eye sight is off too since I'm clearly incapable of focusing manually; I promise I wasn't drunk already while taking these!) 

Finished pre-product.

Once the ingredients (chopped up basil leaves and seeded, chopped cucumber) were in, I let this concoction sit in the refrigerator for approximately 3 days before taking it out to test the infusion. I decided it wasn't refreshing enough for my tastes and popped it back in for another day - and the result was perfection, so I strained out the veggies and served up my first glass: on ice with a splash of soda, nothing else (seriously, amazing).

There's something about cucumbers that's just so thirst quenching, even in vodka, and with the temps heating up, it was just what I wanted. The basil is a less-present flavor, but the hint of it makes the flavor a bit more interesting than a standard cucumber vodka (which, in itself, is tough to find at liquor stores - and EXPENSIVE).

Next up: jalapeno cilantro tequila. My mom's margs (and subsequently, my go-to) are incredible, but I need a little excitement. Nothing like a hot pepper to put a kick in your mouth.

Have any of you tried this yet? What would you infuse?


  1. Replies
    1. SO good - I highly recommend! So far it's been a blast to just experiment with flavors and come up with crazy combinations - and then getting to drink them, of course :)


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