For those who don't know, when it comes to my gift-giving history, I tend to make/bake/craft things. I have a lot of fun brainstorming what I think the gift recipient would like. I'm also particularly lazy when it comes to shopping in stores. Even more so...I can't stand other shoppers. Reaching around me, bumping my ankles with their carts, walking slower than a zombie in the center of the aisle, and all-around getting up in my personal space. It seems like the older I get, the less patience I have for other shoppers.
My lovely friend Yesenia had a birthday recently, and I decided to make her some jars of flavor infused vodka. She's a lush, so I knew she'd like them (or pretend she did and drink em anyway...)! I found a ton of recipes online for all different kinds of flavor infusions, but ultimately decided on a habanero-serrano pepper vodka, and a watermelon-rosemary vodka.
The "recipes" are really simple.
For the pepper vodka, slice in half 3 - 4 habeneros and 2 serranos..seeds and all, add to an air-tight jar and fill with a good quality vodka, let sit for 6 days in a cool, dark place (I used the fridge).
For the watermelon-rosemary, add 3 cups (more or less, depending on the size of your jar) cubed watermelon, fill with vodka, let sit 4 days in a cool, dark place, then add 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, and let sit another 2 days in a cool, dark place.
The longer you let them "soak", the stronger the flavor. But don't leave the rosemary in any longer than 2 days or it'll get a weird flavor. Also, make sure to agitate the jars every so often.
After the 6 days, strain the liquid in a cheese cloth or coffee filter. And ta-da! Vodka...with flavor!
Way more watermelon than I needed. No complaints!
Cubed! Oh darn...what ever will I do with this entire other half of watermelon? Nom nom nom
I only needed 4 habaneros, but they only had this monster size container of them at the food store. The rest are sitting in my fridge now, intimidating me. Should I try my hand at a hot sauce next??
I made little labels for the jars, when they were all finished. I really like that they took on a tint of the food each was infused with. I wasn't really expecting that with the pepper vodka. Also, notice how much less the watermelon is. There was so much more watermelon needed to infuse with, because of the mellow flavor, that it took up more room in the jar, which in turn meant less vodka. oh well...
And now for a fun side story a.k.a Adventures in Shopping & Why I Don't Leave The Apartment: So I'm in Michael's browsing the jar/glass section for these Ball jars (they're actually Kerr...but that's alright, I'll get over it. same difference). A little girl, maybe 7 or so, runs up to me, covered in body paint and glitter. I'm going to guess she was supposed to be a tiger or Lady Gaga...it was hard to tell, or keep a straight face. She asked me if I was making sand art (there were sand art bottles on the shelf above the Kerr jars) and she "loves to make sand art, and she has all kinds of bottles in her room and her mommy took her to the boardwalk to make sand art once, and her favorite color is purple and....". I hadn't really prepared for any kind of conversation about my vodka, especially with a little kid, and answered "uh...no...I'm actually making...um...infused...vodka?". Was I supposed to lie to her?? I had no idea what to say and my mind went blank. Did she know what vodka was? Did she know what infused meant?! She gave me a blank stare, paused for a moment, then proceeded to go on about sand art for another five minutes. Where were this child's parents? What would they think if a stranger was teaching their precious daughter about the finer points of infusing vodka?? Eventually I told her I had to go, and slinked off to the register, swearing off public shopping appearances for a while.