blood orange vodka

I think they're the prettiest fruit of all.

In the winter, in pastry school, we used a lot of blood oranges and a lot of passionfruit. I can't stand passionfruit anymore, but I still love me some blood orange. In my culinary rotation we once infused liquors and I realized that I was never going to pay for flavored liquor again.

Vodka is very fast to infuse, especially if you're doing a hot infusion. I sliced a blood orange very thin and crammed the slices into a bottle into which I'd poured 750ml of vikingfjord vodka. You want a clean-tasting vodka, but it doesn't need to be expensive. Something really cheap will continue to taste like the plastic it came in, but you can use flavor to make it better if you're in a pinch.

I put the bottle into a pot of simmering water until the liquor reached 165 degrees. Then it was cooled and allowed to sit for as long as I was able to keep my hands off it (4 days). The longer it sits, the more the color and flavor deepen. A cold infusion (no heating at all) takes much longer (weeks) and I haven't done it to compare flavor. As it was, this vodka tasted very strongly of orange at first, with a distinct vodka finish. It would be excellent in mixed cocktails or sipped over ice, and it renders a shot a million times more palatable than plain vodka tends to be.

I repeated this process with kumquats, but the high rind to pulp/juice ratio rendered the finished product overly bitter. While it was drinkable, it was best mixed with another juice. In the future I'd stick with larger citrus so as not to incorporate too much pith.

No comments: