The essence of summer in a glass, these fruity alcoholic drinks will delight you with flavor; they’re a great way to cap off a beautiful summer day! I started infusing the vodkas and the rum towards the beginning of February and today I finally served these to some guests. The drinks were an absolute success!!
From the book Infused by Susan Elia McNeal, photography by Leigh Beisch, published by Chronicle Books, in 2006:
- 5 ice cubes
- 1 oz Orange Vodka *
- 1 oz Cranberry Rum **
- 2 oz fresh orange juice
- Splash of club soda
- 1 orange wedge
- Place the ice cubes in a chilled collins glass. pour in the vodka and the rum followed the orange and cranberry juices. Top off with club soda and garnish with the orange wedge.
* Orange Vodka
- 750 ml bottle of vodka
- 6 oranges, scrubbed thoroughly
- 1/2 cup sugar syrup
- Decant the spirits into a 2 quart glass container with a tight-fitting li. Soak the original bottle to remove the label. Let dry.
- Using a vegetable peeler, paring knife, or zester, remove the zest from each citrus fruit in strips, avoiding any of the white pith. reserve the flesh for another use. Add the zest strips to the spirits. Allow the spirits to infuse away from direct sunlight and intense heat for two to three weeks. Shake the container a few times per week.
- When you are satisfied with the intensity of flavor, strain the liqueur through a metal sieve into a bowl. Discard the zest. add the sugar syrup to taste.
- Using a funnel, pour the liqueur into the original bottle 9or another container). Label with the name of the liqueur and the data. Age the liqueur for 1 month away from light and heat.
** Cranberry Rum
- 750 ml bottle of rum (must have kosher certification on the label!)
- 1 quart fresh (or frozen) cranberries
- zest from 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 vanilla bean cut lengthwise
- 1 cup sugar syrup
- Decant the spirits into a 2 quart glass container with a tight-fitting lid. Soak the original bottle to remove the label. Let dry.
- If using frozen cranberries (instead of fresh ones) allow them to thaw. Place the fresh or thawed frozen cranberries in a bowl, crush them with a fork and add to the spirits. add the lemon zest and the half vanilla bean. Allow the contents to infuse (away from the direct sunlight and intense heat for 3 months. Shake the container a few times a week.
- When you are satisfied with the intensity of the flavor, strain the liqueur through a metal sieve into a bowl. Discard the strawberries. Add the sugar syrup to taste.
- Using a funnel pour the liqueur into a bottle. label with the name of the liqueur and the date. Age for 1 month, keeping away from heat.
- 2 tbsp chilled strawberry purée ***
- 1 oz strawberry vodka ****
- 2 ozProsecco or any other sparkling wine
- 1 strawberry
- Place the strawberry purée in a chilled champagne flute. Add the vodka. Top off slowlywith the Prosecco (it will foam). Garnish with a strawberry.
*** Strawberry Purée
- 5 fresh strawberries
- 1/2 tsp fresh lemon
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- In a small bow, crush the strawberries with a fork until pureed. Add the lemon juice and sugar, if desired, and stir.
- Chill for 1 hour before using. Store in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
**** Strawberry Vodka
Same steps as the Cranberry Rum above, but use vodka instead of rum and strawberries in place of the cranberries.
Variation, if instead of strawberry puree, you use white peaches you’ll have a Bellini.
Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy, we certainly did!