Many years ago we had dinner at a local restaurant which featured a “Doley Stoli” as their signature drink. They had this massive beverage container on the bar with pineapple rings packed in tight and Stoli Vodka poured over the top. The fruit was in a constant state of fermentation, as the vodka was consistently replenished. The drink was served simple, as a martini with a small chuck of pineapple on the rim. It came with a warning…eat the pineapple at your own risk. Well, someone telling me that is simply an invitation to go for it! I did… I learned… I won’t again, lol. Anyways, after falling in love with that wonderful, simple concoction, I just had to make it at home. It only took me three trips to the store to fill my 2 gallon beverage container – it held a whopping 10 pineapples…10! But the results were wonderful, and with a few vodka refills it lasted us a full 2 months of entertaining. This adventure in fruit+liquor=yum led to many more experiments over the years.
In preparation for the upcoming holiday season I made 3 different varieties. I know, I know, we still have a couple months to go – but the fruit needs time to infuse it’s wonderful flavors into the alcohol. So to work I went. I made a Cranberry Lime Vodka, an Apple Cinnamon Rum and a Spiced Pear Liquor. I found the Spiced Pear Liquor recipe at the blog London Eats. Check it out the recipe yourself. [Note: the 225 grams sugar = 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons.] I’m still in the waiting period of mine [I actually made this one close to a month ago], so I can’t vouch for it’s deliciousness, but I’m sure it will be great.
•I recommend glass containers for infusing the alcohol. Ball jars will work great. I found these “chalkboard” label jars at HomeGoods. Try to avoid plastic containers – there’s a chance of a “plasticy” taste to the final product.
•Use organic fruits when possible when infusing them. The less chemicals the better as the alcohol is pulling all the flavors out.
•Strain fully fermented liquor through a mine wire mesh sieve [or a coffee filter] into bottles for gift-giving or personal enjoyment.
Cranberry Lime Vodka
2 12 ounce bags fresh cranberries
2 fresh limes, peeled
3 teaspoons sugar, divided use
6 cups Vodka
Note: actual ingredient amounts will vary based on the size of your container
•Wash and pick over cranberries, removing any soft berries and stems remaining.
•Using a small knife, poke a small hole in each cranberry as you place it in your container. I know this sounds tedious, but it actually gets done quite fast as the skins are easy to pierce. Fill container 1/3 with the cranberries.
•Place the peel of 1 lime on top of the cranberries. When peeling the lime, try to leave as much of the pith behind as you can. Top the lime peel with 1 teaspoon of sugar.
•Fill the container to the 2/3 mark with more pierced cranberries. Top with peel of other lime and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Top with cranberries to fill container to the top, sprinkle remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar.
•Pour Vodka over the fruit mixture, all the way to the top of the container. Close tightly and allow flavors to infuse approximately 1 month before tasting.
•Serve as martinis or in your favorite mix drink.
Apple Cinnamon Rum
2 tart apples
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 whole nutmeg
6 cups rum
•Wash the apples, slice in 1/8s, remove core and stem.
•Place 1 cinnamon stick in the bottom of your container. Fill with prepared apples. Top with the other cinnamon stick and nutmeg.
•Pour rum over fruit to the top of the jar. Seal and allow to infuse a minimum of 2 weeks, up to 2 months.
Serve mixed with Vernors [ginger ale for you non-Detroiters] for an after dinner drink that will remind you of apple sauce. 😛