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!
Adapted from Strawberry Vodka by Sean Timberlake of Punk Domestics
- 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.
I made back in June using frozen locals from last year. Delish.
Check out my 4th of July results!
We have plenty of blueberries here in Maine. I’ll have to make your pretty drink.
Such a color! I’ve had mixed luck with blueberries, but it’s been a while since I’ve tried it. Guess it’s time to do it again.
Oh my! What gorgeous photos!
Sean – It’s very tart and I suspect that the blueberry is much more subtle than the strawberry flavor. It’s definitely vodka. But yes a gorgeous color; maybe better for a fancy cocktail than sipping on its own. This is the first time I’ve made straight blueberry: I think the blackberries give it a little more berry omph, but the blueberry invites more tinkering. Some lemon rind, or fresh herbs. Or my favorite fennel. I may experiment some more.
I will have to try this! I have a friend that makes fruit infused alcohol drinks and I’d forgotten about it! Thanks for the reminder!
I have frozen blueberries that I was looking for ways to use them!
I’m really interested in the fennel….let us know how it turns out.
I have a refrigerator full of infusions but no blueberry. I think it’s time to rectify that. Good point about pesticides, by the way.
Love the concept. Vodka and anything, almost!
Did you take these pictures? So good.
I do take all the pictures; thanks so much for the kind words. I’ve been working on it, but I’ve still got a lot to learn!
love it! i am going to run to the kitchen and do this now!! thanks for the tip
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Tried this with blueberries we picked throughout August (we are in the Seattle area). We broke the bottles out for mom’s birthday party last weekend and it was an absolute hit. Not a single drop was left. Thanks for a great recipe!
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