Category Archives: Neutral spirits

“The Wry Smile” recipe

Good morning!  Another day, another cocktail.  Let’s get it!  _DSC1479

The Wry Smile

2oz St. George’s Spirits Dry Rye Gin

3/4oz Bonal

1/2oz Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth

1/2oz Pedro Ximenez Sherry

1/2oz Homemade Cherry syrup

4 dashes Embitterment Orange Bitters

SPR

 

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Sin in The Tropics Recipe

It’s upper 90s in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area.  Thus, for now, I find my Paradise in a chilled coupe glass.

Sin in The Tropics

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2oz fresh Pineapple juice — 1 1/2oz Appleton Estate Special Rum — 3/4oz Rhum Barbancourt (4yr/3star) — 1/2oz Myer’s Dark Rum — 1/2oz Baiju — 1/2oz homemade Orgeat — 1/2oz Cherry syrup — 4/5 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters — SPR

Infusing Vodka – How long do infusions really last?

_DSC1029My 1yo Jalapeño Basil Infusion

If you have ever tasted an aged spirit (of course you have tasted “the brown”… ), or a flavor bomb liqueur made from over a a hundred different herbs (with a color named after it!), then the nuance of a neutral, or “new make” spirit such as vodka can pale in comparison.

I have certainly graduated from viewing an extra dirty martini as a complex drink! (ma! look at me, adding an extra ingredient to my grey goose…! What’s “vermouth”, again?)

Luckily, a multitude of infusions are possible!  Fruit, herbs, veggies – and more 🙂  As we know, we’re even infusing spirits with fat nowadays…

Alright, to get down to business – I have specifically written this post to talk about a vodka infusion I did over a year ago.  I infused some off brand Eastern European vodka (I do not remember the brand – do I have to remind you all how often I drink?!) with fresh jalapeños and basil.  

The infusion is super easy, slice as many jalapeños as you like – based on your heat preference – and remove the seeds, as they are bitter.  I used five small ones.  Put them in a mason jar and add fresh basil leaves – I used a handful (which is equivalent to the fresh herbs in small plastic containers available in most grocery stores).  Use of a tea ball infuser is also an option. I’ve used basil leaves loosely and with tea ball – and found no real difference in the process.  Ok, well, the tea ball was slightly better, as it did keep the leaves contained … 

Add 750ml vodka to the jar.  Which vodka? This one is a judgement call. Using your favorite brand may insure you’ll love your infusion, while using a less expensive brand is fine too, as you’re creating your own damn flavor!  If your favorite vodka is also inexpensive – score 🙂

Vodka chosen?  Great! Your infusion is ready go!

Infuse for 3-5 days, agitating  the mason jar by gently moving to and fro – to ensure jalapeño and basil over completely covered. Shaking probably wouldn’t hurt, but I believe it’s best to give gentle loving to boozy goodness.  Ok – potential boozy goodness.  

Also – feel free to perform taste tests along the way – it can be fun to taste each day and experience the flavor development.  

Once satisfied with the flavor – strain vodka into a clean, dry mason jar.  Viola!  You have added much needed depth to your vodka!

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Vodka after I re-strained it, due to some sediment that was at the bottom…


As for my year old infusion – it still tasted good to me when I made this drink!  If I don’t post within 3-5 days, call the paramedics.

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2oz Jalapeño Basil infused vodka

1oz Rhum Barbancourt

3/4oz homemade Orgeat syrup

3/4oz fresh Lime juice

1/2oz Yellow Chartreuse

3 or 4 dashes Peychauds bitters

Enjoy! And please feel free to comment with name ideas for this cocktail! 🙂 

*Correction – I also used 1 tablespoon of homemade pear preserves syrup (which I purchased)

SPR