Sunday, July 6, 2014

Raspberry Infusions (Vodka & Tequila)

Fresh raspberries added to jars of vodka and tequila
I bought some raspberry flavored vodka the other day, thinking it might be nice to make a fruity beverage or two.  I'll spare the specific brand name, but let's just say I was woefully disappointed.  I can't recall if my younger self actually thought this plonk was drinkable, or if perhaps they've altered the flavor (perhaps to keep costs down)?  In any case, I was reminded why it's so much better to flavor things myself.

I've seen a lot of different bloggers offer myriad methods for infusing liquors, but it's not rocket science - it's not even really a recipe.  It's more like a formula:
Infusion = Clean Jar + Liquor of choice + Flavor of Choice + Time

This raspberry infusion used 9 raspberries per one-quart jar, one filled with vodka and the other tequila.  I like to keep my infusions in the refrigerator, which is probably slower than infusing at room temperature but that way I can keep better track of how the infusion is progressing and remove the fruit when it's just right.  This raspberry infusion was kept in the fridge for two weeks in total; I'd gently shake the jars every couple of days (aka when I thought about it) to mix things up.

The infusions after a couple of weeks in the refrigerator
After infusing, the vodka and tequila take on a rosy glow, and the berries have faded a bit.  Strain the liquor using a fine mesh filter and discard the fruit.  Now you've got your own supply of home-infused vodka and tequila for use in summery drinks!  I like making a simple summer martini with raspberry vodka, a small splash of dry vermouth and Cointreau, and a lemon twist.  The raspberry tequila is excellent as a substitute in a margarita (swap the salt rim with sugar if you wish).

For more on infusions, check out my blueberry vodka infusion and martini from a few summers ago.

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