Whenever friends come to visit us, we like to surprise them with something made by us. It can be a new recipe, a flower arrangement or an unlikely plant to grow in Portugal that we were able to grow in our farm. We have this tendency to invent new things and our new craze is to try different drinks!
So after our adventure with the diospdkas, we now turn to infusions.
Making infusions of fruit and herbs in spirits is simple and easy, and it gives a special twist to cocktails that are done at home, without having to become bartender of the year! This is a good idea for those who enjoy a “drinks” or when you have guests.
We tried three different combinations
– Vodka with Pomegranate
– Gin with cardamom
– Rum with mandarin and ginger
Here are some tips
Citrus, ginger and fresh herbs are quite quick infusions to make, as a a rule they take 1-3 days to be ready. Fruits such as strawberries, pomegranates and blackberries need more time to so they can take from 3 to 6 days to be on point, but infusions of dried spices such as “cardamom” or pepper, are the ones that need the most time, these may take 8 to 14 days until they are ready.
As it was the first time we decided to start with a little amount, after all time has tought us that it is better to think small when experimenting. And by the way always opt to use good distilled alcohol whether rum, vodka, gin or aguardente.
The measures are more or less these:
1 measure of spirits to 1 measure of fruit (excluding citrus)
2 measures of spirits for 1 measure of citrus or ginger or fresh herbs or peppers
3 measures of spirits for 1 measure of dry spices
The citrus fruit needs be cut fine or just use the skin taking care to remove the white part that can give a slightly bitter flavor. Herbs should be used whole, fruits with thick skins (pineapple, pomegranate, mango, …) need to be peeled, deseeded and cut coarsely. It is not necessary to peel fruits with thin skin but you need to take the seeds and cut as well.
In the case of ginger you should remove the skin and cut very thinly. If using vanilla pod you must to cut the pod in half, with chilli peppers you as have to take seeds out and with spices they have to be crushed with a knife or a mortar.
Put the infusion (destillates+fruits/spices/..)in a jar or bottle, stir and leave it to infuse away from direct light and cold. You have to shake it every day, during the time it is infusing. After the correct amount of time has passed, taste it!, if you like, strain it very well (must get rid of all solid bits) and store in a bottle. And then just let imagination roll and make some drinks!