Another beat-the-heat recipe, this one in the fruit + booze category (always a winner): blueberry vodka. Ice, ice (baby) cold blueberry vodka. This one couldn’t be easier and is a perfect way to preserve those blueberries you picked last weekend but haven’t been able to bear turning on the stove to jam. Easy-peasy: dump them in some vodka and call it a day. Some of the quickest, and tastiest, preserving you’ll ever do.
My “recipe” was inspired by Sean of Punk Domestics fame, who wrote up a nicely detailed piece on his strawberry vodka for David Lebovitz’s blog. For years I’ve been making a “black & blue” vodka, using wild blackberries from my backyard and wild blueberries from Minnewaska, as a Christmas gift for a family friend: I freeze the berries until Thanksgiving, then add them directly to a bottle of good vodka (pouring out a cocktail for myself to make some room in the bottle, natch) and let them infuse for a few weeks. If the berries still seem to have some life in them, I’ll leave them in there when I wrap it up to continue infusing: if not, I’ll strain them out, top up the bottle, pop it under the tree. But I didn’t know until I read Sean’s recipe that it’s best to store infusions in the fridge or freezer, as their flavor does not last like a berry liqueur. Just goes to show you that there is always something new to learn in preserving.
Happy Friday, all, and enjoy the weekend. Stay cool!
- wild, organic or unsprayed* blueberries, stemmed & rinsed
*It’s best to use fruit that has not been treated with pesticides for this infusion: all alcohols are solvents and will work to extract not only fruit flavor, but any chemicals in or on the fruit.
- Fill a pint jar halfway with blueberries. Add vodka to rim. Shake. Let sit, preferably in a cool, dark spot, shaking it every day (or when you think of it), for about a week or two. When the berries have lost all of their color, the infusion is done. Strain into a clean jar and store in the freezer for ice, ice cold fruity booze.
Yields about 1 and 1/2 cups.
- Any berry will work and you can vary the amount of fruit, the types, combine different fruits… go wild. For full instructions and details, check out Sean’s post at David Lebovitz.
Sean suggests it’s best to store these infusions in the freezer for maximum freshness.
Summer, or year-round with frozen berries.