This summer, we thought we’d try something new for our recipes. Thanks to bloggers like Nick Hines over at Vinepair and Justine Sterling at Supercall, we got the idea to infuse our vodka with local herbs, fruits and teas using a French press. Vodka infusions done without a press take 24-48 hours. With the French press, you can get great results in under 20 minutes. Head over to Chino Farms in Del Mar for specialty herbs and fruit if you feel like experimenting with some novel ingredients, which we did. Special thanks to Searsucker in Del Mar for letting us play Swedish Chef in your back bar and sorry about the mess!
Hot, Sticky, Sweaty
½ muddled peach
½ muddled Cavaillon melon
¼ tsp marigold lemon tea leaves
4 crushed fresh lemon balm leaves
½ crushed fresh cayenne pepper
1 C Chilled Trust Me Organic Vodka
Add all ingredients to a French press, stir vigorously, allow to steep for 5-20 minutes, depending on how long it takes for you to wash your sticky, cayenne pepper-infused hands. Press, pour into chilled glass and garnish with fresh cantaloupe chunks and lemon balm leaves. Warning: Don’t touch your eyes for a good 20 minutes after washing your hands.
When Life Gives You a Cucumber
2 Hamburger Cucumbers, peeled and muddled
Six sprigs of Anisum seedlings
½ juiced Eureka lemon
1 C Gluten Free Trust Me Vodka
Dash of simple syrup or agave
Make Cucumber-ade! Add all ingredients to a French press, stir vigorously, let steep for 5-20 minutes, depending on your patience level. Press, pour into glass with ice and garnish with lemon peel and sprinkled herbs. Then drink and cheer up.
The Floor is Lava
12 French Strawberries, stems off and muddled
5-6 Fresh mint springs, crushed
2 hibiscus tea bags
1 C Trust Me Gluten Free Vodka
Put everything into a French press, stir, let steep for 5 minutes, pour into a chilled glass and garnish with a strawberry and mint leaves. Don’t let your feet touch the floor until it’s all gone.
- To muddle the fruit and herbs, you can use a mortar and pestle, or just throw the fruit in a blender or food processor. Roll the herbs into a little bouquet and crush with the flat side of a knife if you don’t have a mortar and pestle and toss everything in the French press.
- How long you leave the vodka in the French press really changes the flavor. Play with the amount of time you let it sit and note the results.
- How much vodka you add also contributes. We aren’t the vodka police, so take the 1 C advice loosely. Keep in mind that if you add more vodka it will dilute the flavor, so if you want more drinks, double the whole recipe to maintain the same flavor profile.
- We only added a little agave or simple syrup to one drink, as the ripe fruit was sweet enough on its own.