Basil-infused vodka? Heck yes! I'm getting ready for summer drinks!
Basil is a perennial herb most commonly known as Italian cuisine. I love growing basil and the flavor it adds to my dishes, but I was always reluctant to use too much of it because I didn't want to run out too quickly. The solution I found was pretty simple; when added to alcohol, it makes for a delicious drink.
Basil vodka is an excellent choice for those who appreciate the flavors of basil but don't want to use it as a cooking herb or have too much in the garden.
Basil is also a common addition to cocktails, especially dry and sweet ones.
Vodka is another excellent ingredient for infusing flavor into your homemade recipes; it's one of the few that can be used straight and still taste good. This recipe has a nice balance of sweet and savory, so you can use it in cocktails or add more basil if you like that flavor.
This recipe isn't as strong as your standard infused vodka recipe, so you can adjust the amount to suit your needs. And while basil may not be everyone's favorite herb, its taste should complement other ingredients nicely. Finally, replace the vodka with an infused spirit to create new flavors.
When making your basil vodka, start with the vodka itself. Basil adds a nice flavor to vodka, but the liquor doesn't need to be made specifically for this purpose.
Any vodka from the liquor store will work—the main point is that it should have a high-quality base and be clear rather than colored.
The next step is to pick your basil.
The flavors of basil are a little more complex and nuanced than you might think. For example, if you have Mexican or Thai basil, the taste is quite different from sweet Italian basil. That's because all basil varieties contain a compound called thymol, but levels vary between types.
Choose fresh leaves with vibrant colors. If they look wilted or dry, they've started to lose their flavor and should be thrown out.
You can choose fresh or frozen, and you can buy whole basil leaves or just the stems (typically used in Thai cooking). Don't worry about getting too many basil leaves; you'll discard them before you're done.
You need to have the right equipment to make your homemade basil-infused vodka.
Here is a list of the equipment you will need:
- Strainer – To strain out the basil leaves.
- Bottles – I would go with glass bottles or mason jars. Glass bottles are durable and can also be used as decorative items in your home.
- Jars: I use a canning jar when doing my initial infusion.
- Funnel – To pour the vodka into the bottles from the bottle caps.
Step by Step Instructions
Basil is a delicious herb that has become very popular recently because of its health benefits. But it's also known to be a potent ingredient for flavored vodka.
The best way to make basil-infused vodka is to start with high-quality vodka. This will ensure that you get the most flavor from the herbs and that your taste buds are not overpowered by the other flavors present in vodka.
First, get yourself a bunch of basil. You'll need about a couple of cups of it. If you want to use fresh basil, that's great! But if you don't have any fresh basil in your garden (or just don't have time to grow your own), you can also use dried basil. It will work just as well and won't last as long.
Next, add the basil to a mason jar or container with a lid. You'll also want to add about 2 cups of vodka—you can use any kind of vodka for this recipe.
-Next, put on the lid and shake vigorously for about 15 seconds until all of the leaves are fully submerged under the liquid. Then let sit in a cool, dry place at room temperature for at least 72 hours or up to a week before straining out the herbs using cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer (make sure not to press down on the basil leaves too hard on them while they're wet)
Tips for making infused vodkas
Making infused vodkas can be a fun, fast, and easy project. The process is simple: infusing some of your favorite herbs into the vodka. Using basil as an example, you'll need to pick out the right kind of basil (the more flavorful, the more flavor extracted), chop it up fine, and then add it to a variable amount of vodka.
Depending on how much basil you want in your drink and how potent you like the flavor, this process can take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks.
Once it's finished, your infusion will change color and should have taken on the aroma of your chosen herb.
Depending on how strong or weak you want the flavor of your infused vodka to be, you can adjust the amount of basil used in the recipe. You can also vary your infusing method. For example, some people recommend steeping the chopped herbs in vodka for several days, while others tell you to inject a turkey baster or syringe into the liquor.
If you're making your own infused vodkas, the best way is to let them age in a cool, dark place. These days, most people have countertop-mounted refrigerators that can hold up to 15 bottles at a time. You can also store them in a cool basement or closet. Then, when it comes time to remove the alcohol from the bottle and infuse it with fresh herbs, it's best to use a funnel or some other container that's easy to get at.
If you leave the bottle open while infusing, ensure it sits in an area with no direct sunlight (not sitting on top of your fridge). If you keep the bottle in direct sunlight, it can attract heat and cause the alcohol to boil out of the bottle before it has had a chance to infuse with the herbs.
Basil in Cocktails and Drinks
Basil pairs well with citruses, such as grapefruit, so you'll often find it in margaritas and other drinks made with tequila. Lime and basil pair very well a Basil Vodka Gimlet or even a summer basil limeade. Another way to use basil is in vodka-based punches. Basil vodka tastes excellent in fruit punch or grapefruit punch, but it'll also work well with other flavors.
For example, basil vodka tastes great in sangrias and margaritas, and it goes exceptionally well with cinnamon and ginger. The spice pairings are surprisingly complementary — the herbal flavors give off a warm flavor sensation.
Basil is also a potent ingredient for making bloody marys and other mixed drinks that require spices. The idea is to infuse the drink with basil oil, which can be easily made using a mortar, pestle, or even an immersion blender.
With enough basil-infused vodka, you should have enough for several months of cocktail time. Just make sure you're using fresh ingredients when you make your cocktails!
Make your infusions!
When it comes to making infused vodkas, there are many options. For example, you can make infused vodkas with fruits or vegetables like strawberries or carrots or make them with plants like basil or mint. You can also make flavored vodka from scratch with your flavors of choice.
This is one of those accessible enough projects that even a novice can handle, but the result is still unique. If you want to step up this infusion, add strawberries to the mix, making a strawberry basil-infused vodka. Either way, you get the best of both worlds in this recipe: an infusion that tastes like basil and has some of the high-proof punch of alcohol.
Infusing basil with vodka is an easy way to add flavor. To infuse the basil, take a quart jar, add basil to the jar, and pour in a vodka bottle and cover. Set this mixture aside for two weeks, then strain it through a cheesecloth-lined strainer!
To make infused vodka, infuse fresh herbs into neutral grain spirit and leave it to age. You can also use this recipe with other fresh herbs such as mint or rosemary.
Herbs that are great in cocktails include lemon thyme, basil, rosemary, and sage.
Making your own basil-infused vodka is easy and affordable; all you need is a clear glass jar, vodka, a selection of fresh herbs, and some patience!
- 1 -2 cups of Basil
- 16 oz vodka
- to a 16 oz jar, 1 cup of basil leaves, packing it well
- Pour 80 proof neutral vodka over the basil leaves until they are nearly submerged in the alcohol, leaving some headroom at the top.
- Cover and label your jar with the date you of infusion
- Store in a cool dry place for 24 hours.
- After 24 hours, turn and gently shake it once or twice to mix up the leaves and extract their flavor
- Leave your jar alone for 2-4 days, checking once or twice a day to make sure there is still water covering the basil leaves (you want them to still be submerged!)
- Strain through a fine-mesh sieve or coffee filter to ensure there is no matter left behind
- Return to glass container or store in a spirits bottle away from the full sun as the color may fade in time.
Basil-infused vodka is a great way to add a little something extra to your favorite cocktails. Here are some tips for making basil-infused vodka:
- Leave the basil out of direct sunlight when picking it, and ensure it's completely dry before putting it in the vodka bottle.
- Make sure you use enough basil—you want to be able to see and taste it!
- After three days or up to a week or so of infusing (it'll take longer if you're using fresh basil), strain the basil leaves with a sieve or cheesecloth and discard them.
- If you don't want your final product to taste like pure alcohol, add more syrup or sugar as needed before bottling it up!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 149Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
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