There are so many great ways to preserve the harvest: can jars of jam or pickles, dehydrate/dry herbs and tomatoes, or my personal favorite - infuse spirits!
By adding fruit, veggies, herbs or flowers into different spirits, you can create flavorful additions to cocktails or make homemade extracts.
Some flavor compounds are alcohol soluble, meaning the essence of the ingredients can be liberated from the addition of alcohol. Use this science to make affordable and creative extracts for cooking, baking or drinking!
1. Choose an ingredient you want to preserve.
2. Choose a spirit that works well with that ingredient. Vodka, because it is flavorless, is a great base for extract. Gin, tequila, mezcal, brandy, and whiskey will add their own complexities to your concoction.
3. Expose the alcohol to the essential oils beneath the surface of the ingredient's skin by slicing, tearing or muddling.
4. Combine ingredients together in a jar and store in a cool dark place, or the refrigerator for a week.
5. Taste the infusion after a week and choose to either strain and store or continue to infuse for another week. Be sure to squeeze the liquid out of your item when you strain, to get as much flavor as possible. Will keep for months in a cool, dark place or the refrigerator.
1 pint Vodka
1/2 cup mint leaves, torn
1 pint Silver Tequila
1-2 jalapeños *thinly sliced, amount based on your love of spicy
1 pint Mezcal
1/4 cup blueberries *muddle in the jar first to expose the juices, then pour mezcal over the berries
1 pint Gin
1 cucumber *sliced 1/4" thick
1 pint Vodka
5 green onion stems or scallions *thinly sliced
Great for martinis or secret ingredient to vodka sauce
Holy Basil Rum
1 pint Clear Rum
1/4 cup holy basil leaves and flowers *strip from the stem and bruise with your fingers
Holy basil has an aromatic pineapple flavor. Use this in a punch or daiquiri!