In an ongoing effort to make the simple things in life (like Vodka) more complicated, I made a couple of infused liquors this fall/winter. I just made a lovely Blood Orange vodka and a delightful Ginger Whisky for making whisky sours.
Note to self, remember to thank Matt Blodgett (a demi-sous chef at Deschutes) for letting me steal his infused liquor ideas.
I also made Aged Apple Liquor. Here's the backstory:
Last October, the BF brought me about eight pounds of misc. apples; some Honeycrisp, some Fiji, and a few Gala's. I wanted to do something fun with them. Fun and easy. So I looked up a recipe for apple liquor. This is what I found:
adapted from an original recipe by Long and Kibbey
2.5 # apples
2 c vodka
2 c brandy
1.5 c sugar
3/4 c water
3 ea cinnamon sticks
10 ea cloves
Cut apples into wedges. Put in 1/2 gallon jar (with cloves and cinnamon if desired). Top with vodka and brandy. Steep for one month. I steeped it in a cool lower shelf of my pantry. I call it the 'wine cellar.'
After one month, remove apples and spices. Set liquor aside. Heat water and add sugar making a simple syrup. Add to liquor and steep one more month.
I made two batches. One with spices and one without. When both batches were finished, I married the two versions.
The drink has a lovely complex apple flavor and it tastes fresh, like clear apple juice for grown-ups.
When the apples came out of the liquor, I juiced them and aged the juice.
It's delicious, almost as good as the finished hooch. Actually, I'm drinking it right now.