For many people canning means having stocks of berries, produce, and pickles to last them the whole winter. It conjures up images of homesteading, Little House on the Prairie , and simpler times. I have yet to develop the patience or desire to can—perhaps in a few more years!—but I like to think infusing chocolate covered espresso beans in a mason jar is close enough.
Infusing alcohol is really simple (just think of the catch phrase “set it and forget it”) and is a nice addition to any spirits in your freezer, mini bar, or bar cart that just aren’t getting the right amount of love; I admit to only making one Cosmo this summer and instead I’ve been slowly pecking away at the tequila and rum. Due to my love of espresso martinis (the very sophisticated cousin of the Vodka-Redbull), I decided to combine the chocolate covered espresso beans that had been sitting in my work cabinet for nearly two weeks and the Three Olive Vodka that was feeling left out. It was like the two-loners in a 90’s movie hooking up and sticking it to the cool kids, bad denim washes included.
The recipe calls for 2 shots of espresso beans and 14 shots of Vodka. Since I was home over the weekend my infusion sat an extra half day, but 72 hours was the suggested limit. I also thought driving across two state lines with a jar of slowly darkening vodka would be way too bootleggin’ and that any cop looking to pull me over wouldn’t understand that, no, I wasn’t driving dirty, but merely indulging in some slightly hipster-homesteadin’ charm.
After straining, the vodka needs to be diluted with 6 shots of simple syrup and 6 shots of water. Do not skip this step. I tried a half shot pre-dilution and it put at least 3 strands of hair on my chest which I plucked without mercy. This is not some southern Everclear swill that you brag about being able to down—this should be a delicious “brew” that melds delightfully with, say, an ice cream shake or Baileys. And please don’t buy simple syrup, since a well supervised 4 year old could easily whip up a batch.
Stocks of infused Vodka might not get me through the winter, but if the Zombie Apocalypse were to occur at least I could go out in a deliciously incoherent bang! As long as this sore throat of mine clears up, check back very soon to see what lushy recipes I have in store for this new creation.