Monday, 5 March 2012

Pineapple & Basil Vodka

Pineapple and basil infused vodka? Possibly one of the best ideas ever? This amazing concoction was inspired by a recipe in Matthew Teacher's great little book The Home Distiller's Handbook for Pineapple and Basil Cordial. My version is a bit stronger on the vodka :) The basil in this one came fresh from my beautiful garden where the basil is growing like crazy because all of the rain we have been having. Overall the basil flavour in this infusion is stronger than the pineapple, however, although the pineapple flavour is subtle it serves a great purpose to provide a sweeter undertone to the strength of the basil.

Infusing my own spirits is something I plan to get into a lot more and the success of my first try has only inspired me even more! This infusion makes a wonderfully fresh tasting vodka which needs nothing more than some soda water and a squeeze of lemon to drink with!

750ml vodka
1 small pineapple, peeled and chopped
1 bunch basil, washed

.....that's it!

To Make
1. In a large jar with a sealable lid (with a wide top so that you can get the stuff back out again!) place the sliced pineapple and the bunch of basil (tear up the basil leaves slightly so that the flavour infuses easier).
2. Pour the vodka into the jar and shake slightly. Tip: poke the basil leaves under the vodka so that they don't dry out or become too brown.
3. Seal the lid on the jar and set aside in a dark cupboard to infuse for 1-3 weeks (the longer you leave it the stronger the basil flavour), getting it out occasionally to shake it (but ensure that the fresh ingredients are covered by the vodka before putting back in the cupboard) and taste it to see if it is infused to your taste yet.
4. When you get it to the strength you like strain the whole jar through a strainer lined with muslin or cheesecloth. Put the soaked pineapple pieces into the muslin and squeeze to get as much of the pineapple-y-ness out of it as possible. Discard the basil and pineapple and put the vodka into a bottle.

Serve with lemonade, soda water (with a squeeze of lemon juice), pineapple juice or just on ice with water and a slice of lemon (simple - but actually very delicious).

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