Howdy, folks. The grandma's gathered this past Saturday to enjoy a holiday-quantity of food and spirits. Our project this month was slightly different than the ones we've done in the past because we made some concoctions on our own and then got together to share them. Each of us made a flavored liquor that took a few weeks or so to infuse. After that, the only thing left to do was drink! So, we got some friends together and had a little celebration. Donovan made limoncello. Kathy is a superstar, so she made two! (Strawberry & Blackberry Liquor and Minneola Tangerine Liquor.) I made the Honey-Oat Infused Vodka for the second time because it sooo good. The liquors stay good in the freezer for up to three months, so do yourself a favor and don't make yourself drink it all.
We've listed all the recipes below and if you want to see some snapshots, checkout the photostream on flickr.
This recipe takes one week to make and makes about 2 quarts of limoncello. Plus, you get a lot of lemon juice as a bonus which can be used for sorbet or lemon curd or lemon meringue pie. [Recipe from the Martha Stewart website]
- 11 lemons
- 1 bottle 160-proof vodka, or grain alcohol
- 3 cups sugar
- 3 cups boiling-hot water
- Peel strips of zest from lemons using a vegetable peeler; reserve lemons for another use. Put zest and vodka in an airtight container; let stand at room temperature at least 2 days (or up to 1 week).
- Stir together sugar and the hot water until sugar is dissolved; let cool. Stir sugar mixture into vodka mixture; refrigerate in an airtight container 1 day.
- Before serving, pour through a large sieve into a decanter or serving vessel; discard zest. Limoncello can be stored in the freezer in an airtight container up to 3 months.
Oatmeal Honey Liquor
Like I said, it's the second time I've made it. This time, I used lowfat milk for the quaker shaker instead of half and half. I think this is my new favorite way to serve this — the half and half was too strong and diluted the flavor. But lowfat milk or soy milk work perfect. The recipe already here.
Strawberry & Blackberry Liquor
This recipe calls for two separate infusions lasting a week each. The reason for this is because the fleshy fruits being used only release so much flavor. Two infusion make for a rich flavor.
Place 1 pint strawberries (hulled and cut in half), 1 blackberries and 1 bottle 151 proof vodka (or similar) in a glass or plastic together with no metal parts. Let sit in dark, cool area for a week, shaking once a day. After a week, strain fruit from infused liquor, reserving liquor. Pour infused liquor back into container and place 1 _ strawberries (hulled and cut in half), 1 1/2 pint pack of blackberries and one vanilla bean (cut in half) with semi-infused liquor. Part two of sitting in the dark with daily shakings. After one week of the second infusion, strain fruit and reserve infused liquor.
Keep liquor covered while preparing simple syrup so it doesn't evaporate. To make simple syrup boil three cups of water in a medium saucepan. Stir in 2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar and 1 1/2 cups brown sugar. (You can replace the confectioners sugar with regular sugar, but it will take longer to dissolve). After sugar is completely dissolved, let syrup cool completely. When cooled, mix simple syrup with infused liquor. Let finished liquor chill in fridge for a few hours or up to a day before serving. Keep in fridge; this is one of the only liquors that froze when placed in the freezer. This liquor tastes like jam and goes really well with soda water.
Minneola Tangerine Liquor (regular tangerines or clementines will also work)
8 minneola tangerines (or similar)
1 bottle 151 vodka, or similar
3 cups sugar
3 cups hot water
Wash skins of tangerines well and peel rind with a peeler. Place peels in a glass or plastic container with no metal parts. Pour bottle of 151 vodka into container and store in a cool dark place for two weeks, shaking once a day. After two weeks, strain peels from liquor, reserving the infused liquor. Keep covered while working on simple syrup. To make simple syrup boil three cups of water with three cups of sugar. Heat over medium-high heat until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool. After syrup is cooled, mix syrup into infused liquor. Let finished liquor chill in fridge for a few hours or up to a day before serving. Liquor can be kept in freezer for up to three months.
We had a hankering that having some delicious food would be essential in getting us to the end of the tasting having sampled each liquor at least once — so we made sure to have a surplus of bites and treats close by.
Denise made a Rosemary Flatbread with Blue Cheese, Grapes, and Honey from Dana Treat as well as having a few other pizza inventions of her own. Donovan made Grasshopper Brownies from Smitten Kitchen and I also chose a recipe from Smitten Kitchen — the Chocolate Caramel Crackers. Kathy made Glazed Sausage Bits and Berry Tart, recipes that can be found here, both are from Jacques Pépin's book Fast Food My Way (of PBS fame).
Do it yourselves, grannies... have a party!