Blueberry, lemon, honey & thyme infused vodka

Blueberries have been everywhere in the grocery store lately, and they’re delicious, so I infused some with lemon slices, honey from our bee hive, and thyme from our garden.

I tried it tonight, and it’s delicious. I made a light drink with Topo Chico, a squeeze of lemon, the vodka infusion and Creme de Cassis, garnished with a few raspberries. Yum!

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Fig, lemon and honey infused rum

I infused some Cruzan white rum with figs from our tree, lemon slices, and honey from our bee hive about 10 days ago. Tonight, I strained the mixture and made a drink.

The drink was the rum, Topo Chico, St. Germain, and a squeeze of lemon garnished with a lemon slice and some raspberries. Out of all the infusions I’ve made, this one may well be my favorite. Just in time for tiki week, too!image

A fig roundup

Well, our giant fig tree has hit a second round of ripening figs so in addition to giving them away, I’ve been making a wide variety of yummy fig recipes. Here’s a roundup of the non-baked goods I’ve recently created.

Fig Infused Vodka

For this, I peeled and chopped figs, added them to a mason jar along with a split vanilla bean, and covered them with Tito’s Vodka. I let the mixture marinate in the fridge for two weeks before straining out the figs. We tried one drink recipe with the vodka but it wasn’t super good. Anyone have good fig drink recipes? Please let me know in the comments!

Peeled and chopped fig

Figs and a vanilla bean infusing in Tito’s Vodka

Straining the figs after two weeks

The final product – fig vodka!

Fig Balsamic Reduction

A friend at work taught me this trick. Take ripe (or almost overripe) figs, chop them up and soak them in balsamic vinegar overnight. The next day, simmer the mixture until it has reduced somewhat. The balsamic should coat a spoon dipped into the mixture. Strain the figs and enjoy in any food that you might use balsamic. So far, I’ve found it’s tasty to drizzle fig balsamic on broiled figs with cheese or onto a fig, cheese, and onion sandwich. Yum!

Figs soaking in balsamic

After reducing the figs and balsamic

The final product! I’ve already made a second batch to refill my bottle.

Fig Compote

I got the idea for fig compote from this roundup of 10 quick fig recipes.  Here’s what I used:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar (next time, I would only use 1/4 cup sugar)
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Vanilla extract (my homemade kind)
  • Smattering of whole cloves
  • Sprinkle of ground ginger
  • Lots of figs. If the skin was green, I cut it off. If red, I left it on because it was softer. As the mixture cooked, I had to add more figs to get the compote to thicken to a reasonable consistency.

I combined all of these ingredients and simmered for a long time. After I felt it was finished, I refrigerated half of the mixture and froze the other half. It would be good as a pancake topping or with bread / bagel and cream cheese. It is very sweet, so next time I will reduce the sugar.

Sugar and spice and everything nice

Cooking figs

Cooked and ready to eat fig compote!

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Infusing more vodka…with armenian cucumbers!

When I learned that local food delivery company Greenling had local watermelons available, I knew I had to have one. However, to get one of those beauties I had to order $25 worth of food. There was plenty of local produce to select from and I ended up with some armenian cucumbers. I remembered seeing this Kitchen Konfidence post about using armenian cucumbers to infuse vodka.  I love cucumbers! I bet I will also love these Cucumber Lime Basil Martinis.

Lovely armenian cucumbers:

Infusing some Tito’s Vodka:

Making a summer cocktail

I guess it’s not officially summer yet, but in Texas it feels like it’s been summer for months. You may remember the vodka infusions I made recently.

I finally got to try the watermelon rosemary infusion and I must say, it was delicious. I used the Rosebud recipe from Kitchen Konfidence.  It was fun to muddle the watermelon with the crushed ice:

I used rosemary sprigs from the gigantic rosemary bush in the backyard. Rosemary grows like crazy in Texas:

Yum! I recommend seedless watermelons if you can. I still had to strain out the little seeds from the glasses.

Vodka infusions!

So it may or may not be a surprise to you that vodka is my favorite alcohol to add to drinks. I love my Bloody Marys, the spicier the better, and my drink is not completed until it’s garnished with home-pickled green beans!

When someone first sent me vodka infusion recipes on Kitchen Konfidence I just knew I had to make the infusions at some point. Now that we’ve skipped spring in Texas and are straight into hot summer weather I decided it was time. I selected the Watermelon Rosemary infusion because I love watermelon. While I don’t really like grapefruit, I had to try the Grapefruit Tarragon infusion because of the drink it was featured in – a Salted Tarragon Greyhound. Not only is it a beautiful looking drink, it’s also a bit salty and it’s named after a dog! Some people even think my mutt is part greyhound (she’s not, she’s too slow). Soon I hope to enjoy the Watermelon Rosemary vodka in the Rosebud recipe as well.  I’ll have to get the ingredients to mix the drinks this weekend.

Anyhow, here was my experience making the infusions.

Slicing up the grapefruit. Such a pretty fruit but such a gross taste to me! Notice the bottle of Tito’s in the background. It’s my favorite vodka AND it’s local. Win!

The first step was to put the fruit in the vodka and let it infuse for four days. Somehow I lost those pictures, but after four days you add the herbs.  Here’s the grapefruit with the tarragon:

And the watermelon with rosemary from my giant rosemary bush in the garden:

Those mixtures sat for two more days and tonight I strained them using a fine mesh strainer. I tried to get a decent amount of the liquid out of the fruit.

The finished product! The grapefruit infusion is on the left and watermelon on the right. Can’t wait for a delicious drink!