On Deck and Edible Gifting: Infused Vodkas & Extra Virgin Hot Chili Oil

I`m combining posts cuz I am lazy and at home at the moment. It was a ridiculous day for me since the office closed for holiday at 2, I didn`t get there until 10:45 and I had a meeting off site with my board chair at noon, so I only really went in to grab the stuff for our meeting and was at work for a grand total of 75 minutes. Ok, so yeah, I did go to work late, but even if I got there at 10, I would have only been there for like, 100 minutes, so, yeah, dumb.

Anyhoo, this year I did all foodstuffs for gifts, some were my favorites products with recipe cards and some stuff I made. Here are a few things.

I started with a Rosemary-Meyer Lemon Vodka. It became on it`s own, pretty close to a limoncello, but without the simple syrup – it`s pretty sweet naturally and became a bit more viscous, like a liqueur, but go ahead and add the simple syrup if you want. This is redonkulously easy.

What I used:

4 -5 Meyer Lemons

2 5 inch sprigs Rosemary

Vodka, I used Stoli, even though my go to is Luksusowa. Whatevs, just use a decent vodka, something you would drink straight or with perrier/soda

A Big Mason Jar, I think it was like 32 OZ

Some bottles for packaging – these from The Container Store are dirt cheap and if you are in Manhattan, they will messenger them to you. Guess how they came to me? Hint, I am lazy and delivery service is my friend.

A funnel

What I did:

Clean the lemons since you are using the whole thing. Slice them all up skins on and all. With the meyer lemons, you don`t have to worry about pith ruining the drink and making it bitter.

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Put the lemons in the in the jar, put the rosemary in the jar whole. Pour vodka to the top. Screw the lid on and shake it. Put it in the refrigerator 3 days-up to 2 weeks. It will get more infused the more you leave it in there. Every time you go into the refrigerator to do something, pull out the jar and shake it. Taste it after a few days and see how you like it. I pulled my first batch off after 5 days and bottled it as a gift and left the rest in for another 2 weeks. The the longer infused batch has more color and is more like a liqueur, The early batch was more like a standard infused vodka.

When ready to bottle it, strain with a funnel into the bottle.

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Clearly I don`t totes strain it and left some of the pulp in there, do what you want.

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Label the bottle and gift it, or keep it.

_____

Ginger Clementine Meyer Lemon Vodka

Yeah That sounds like a lot of shizz going on, but whatevs, my vodka, my rules. I really like Domaine de Canton Ginger liqueur. I like to add a shot to when making cocktails and in a straight vodka-soda, so why not skip the middleman, so to speak, and just infuse it in the vodka?

What I Used:

1 Clementine

4 Meyer Lemons

A Big Ol` Hunk of Ginger, peeled. Mine was about 2.5 inches by 5 Inches, pretty much the whole thing when you buy a piece of root at the store.

Vodka – Again I used Stoli, use something you would Drink Straight.

A Big Mason Jar

Funnel

Cheap Bottles for Packaging

What I did. Clean the fruit and chop it up, skin and all. Like the meyer lemon, clementines don`t have a bitter pith to worry about.

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Peel and slice up the ginger

Toss it all in a mason jar and fill it up with vodka.

Stick it in the fridge for 4 days to 2 weeks. Shake the jar up every time you go into the fridge to get something. This is mine, it is still marinating – I`ll take it out on monday after a week and gift it at a boxing day party we are going to.

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When yours is done, funnel off into bottles and label them for gifting or drinking.

_____

Extra Virgin Hot Chili Oil – AKA Pizza Oil

This is also stupidly easy. I wanted to make hot oil for pizza drizzling, but did not want to cook the oil to infuse it because I wanted to use a decent quality oil to use raw. So this will take some time to cure. I can`t even bring myself to write the recipe, it is what it is – hot pepper and extra virgin olive oil. So use a mid-range decent quality oil, not something you cook with, but not something that costs a ton and tastes perfect on it`s own. I used this:

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It is first press Monini and I paid $17 for 750ML. It tasted good on it`s own and would make a fine oil for this purpose. It also has quite a bit of extra virgin goodness that the first press oils tend to have.

So, using a funnel, fill your cheap bottle with about an inch and a half-2 inches of crushed red pepper. Pour the olive oil over the top, also using the funnel. Let sit in a cool, non-sunny place, like your counter for at least 2-3 weeks. This will keep getting hotter as it infuses. It will also turn redder. It will keep for 8 months.

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Yeah, that`s it.

_____

On Deck:

I know, it is christmas for everyone but we usually travel. Mostly on vacay or when it is the husband`s turn to take us to his family, there. Last year was a nightmare with me on crutches and a broken toe and travelling alone long haul to his family in Hawaii. And getting stuck at LAX on crutches alone with no flights going out because of the blizzard. Yeah, that blew.So this year we are home. We are having dinner with friends on Xmas eve and on Boxing day. Sunday we will cook.

Right now this is my plan:

Friday: burritos

Saturday: out

Sunday:
Clementine salad with smoked salmon
Grilled shrimp cocktail

Chanterelle mushrooms in sherry-thyme reduction
puff pastry bites with goat cheese, cherry tomatoes and olives
cheeses and bread – I think we are going to make baguettes, which involves a 21 hour autolyse

Monday: out

Rest of week:

tuesday – make gnocchi on sunday:
Sweet potato gnocchi with brussel sprouts and walnuts

Wednesday: Chickpea casserole with modifications

Thursday: pasta tomatoes

And finally, since it is Friday, I am not thinking of this, I am doing this because I am not at work

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One Comment on “On Deck and Edible Gifting: Infused Vodkas & Extra Virgin Hot Chili Oil”

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