Tag Archives: vodka

Make: Earl Grey Tea Vodka

earl grey tea vodka, tea party

Heads up people, Vodka is on offer in the big orange shop right now, adding to the festive cheer. I snaffled myself three litres of the stuff with a view to creating some alcohol infused alchemy from the comfort of my own home.

I’ve no doubt mentioned a fair few times that Earl grey tea is my favourite, I simply can’t start the day without a cup. Don’t get me wrong, i’m not suggesting this is the way to start the day, with a glass of tea steeped vodka, I merely propose this would make an excellent gift for the tea lover in your life and would add a new dimension to tea parties as we are in fact in the midst of party season.

Unlike other infused alcohol recipes this is fairly swift to turn around, rather than impatiently waiting for months on end for the booze to infuse I made mine from start to finish in around three hours. This timing includes packaging and of course a little tasting (Which is essential!)

Vodka doesn’t have quite the strength of flavour as other booze, making it an excellent flavour carrier and perfect for infusing. The recipe will also work tremendously with Gin, in fact after earl grey tea, Gin and tonic is my second favourite drink so i’m slightly regretting not including it now. However I did err on the side of caution worrying the strength of flavour in gin would be a step too far.  Heston is of course there with the gin already, so i’ll save it for another day.

vodka, on special offer

To make 1 litre of earl grey tea vodka you will need

  • stock syrup: 100g caster sugar and 100ml water
  • 1 litre of Vodka (or Gin)
  • 4 earl grey tea bags
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cardamom
  • A clean, sterilised 1.5 to 2 litre capacity container with a tight fitting lid
  • Clean, sterilised bottles to decant the infused vodka into

Begin by making the stock syrup, place both the sugar and water into a saucepan, bring the mixture to a rolling boil to allow the sugar to dissolve. The mixture will turn from cloudy to clear, at this point remove the stock syrup from the heat and set aside to cool.

Place the vodka, along with the tea bags and cardamom into the large container and allow the mix to steep for one and a half to two hours. I like my tea strong so I left mine for two, taste the booze after an hour to see how it’s getting on and to ensure you get the right strength of flavour for you. After all brewing tea is a personal thing, these timings are just a guideline but I wouldn’t go further than 2 hours. Also, a note on cardamom. This is an optional ingredient but it really works here as it has a floral citrus note, akin to earl grey tea. A small amount will enhance the flavour of the tea no end, so do try it. I promise you, it’s worth it!

bottled, earl grey tea vodka

Once your tea is brewed to your taste discard the tea bags, stir in the stock syrup and transfer the booze into bottles, a funnel is always useful here.

The recipe makes 1.2 litres of earl grey tea vodka. I like to bottle mine into miniature 187ml wine bottles, this recipe fills 6 nicely, provided you only take small sips when tasting! Sealing the bottle tops with wax and a homemade label adds a finishing touch.

And to serve, on the rocks with a slice of lemon does the trick.

earl grey tea vodka, on the rocks

 

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Make: Rosehip syrup

rosehips I’m a massive fan of free food, I may have mentioned this before. Fruit, berrys, vegetables, anything that can be foraged from within a 2 mile radius of my home is a bonus, particularly when it comes to preserving. Foraging may seem an unlikely pastime for a city centre dweller but i’m constantly surprised by the amount of free pickings. So today the first of hopefully many autumnal leaps into the unknown, rosehips.

Rosehips are the seeded fruit of the Dog Rose, a scrambling shrub usually to be found amongst hedgerows. They are GB’s most prolific native wild rose. I’ve had my eye on these little beauties for some time, it was back in July that I first spotted a small unassuming bush in the hedgerow with delicate white flowers. All I had to do was wait (And hope no one else got to them first!)

Picking them was a prickly business, I recommend long sleeved clothing and good company (many thanks to my Mum for helping me collect these little fellows) and of course, always pick above hip height to avoid contamination from passing dogs/wild rambling animals

Recipe wise, the possibilities are endless as they are in season with so many other amazing fruits and berrys, Rosehip and apple/crab apple or blackberry are common flavour pairings in jams jellies and cordials, but as I’d never tried rose hip in any capacity before I wanted to make something simple that would let it’s true flavour shine through, as follows

To Make Rosehip syrup you will need:

  • 500g rosehips
  • 1 litre of water
  • Fine Muslin cloth/J cloth for straining
  • 250g sugar- caster or granulated
  • 1 litre bottle for storing the syrup

This recipe makes approximately 1 litre of syrup and can be stored unopened in a sterilised bottle for 2 to 3 monthsrosehip 1 Wash and clean the rose hips thoroughly then blitz them in a food processor. Place the rose hip pulp and the water into a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil then turn the heat down to a simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain the liquid through a muslin cloth to strain off all the pulp, this stage is import and as the tiny little hairs contained within the seed pod are highly irritant, rose hips can also be used to make itching powder! After about 20 minutes, once all the liquid has been strained off discard the pulp and re-boil the liquid with the sugar rapidly for around 10 minutes until all the sugar has dissolved. Store in a sterilised bottle until ready to use The syrup can be diluted as a cordial with soda water, is amazing poured over ice cream, apple pie, or baclava. Or alternatively,

Make rose hip and pomegranate martinis

  • 50ml vodka
  • 100ml pomegranate juice
  • 25ml rosehip syrup
  • a squeeze of lemon juice to taste

Place all ingredients into a Cocktail shaker along with a handful of ice, shake well and strain into a martini glass, sip slowly and enjoy! rosehip martini

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