Monday, January 26, 2009

Homemade Citrus Vodka (and how to repurpose the leftovers)





As part of finger-lickin' Tuesday, here's a HOW-TO for making citrus infused vodka. I took a bottle of Absolut Vodka and stuffed it full of lime, orange, lemon and grapefruit peels.

In its essence, it's a really easy project. And cheap, considering all you have to do is buy the vodka and put in the peel—something you would probably trash anyways. But as I discovered, getting rid of all that "white" stuff from the peel is quite hard work.

Ingredients:

Vodka
Citrus Fruits

1) peel off sections of each of citrus fruits. Pick your method: I read that a vegetable peeler works well, but I had better luck cutting thicker sliced and then trimming off the white by holding the knife at a slight angle and cutting towards my fingers. Sounds dangerous… and it kind of was.. I sliced my finger a bit. Let me know if you have a better method!

2) Fill the bottle. I threaded bits onto a skewer, to make it more decorative, but they were really hard to get into the bottle. In the end I just stuffed the rest in--- this looked pretty, too. You may have to pour a bit of the vodka out to fit in the peels. That's ok, you can make yourself a vodka gimlet with the juice from your lime and a simple syrup or powered sugar. Mmm.

3) Time to wait. Mine was a birthday present for a party a few days later, and when I tasted it, it was already pretty citrusy (and had a pleasant orange color). But most tutorials suggest waiting at least a week.
4) Don't forget to label it! Here's my label which I made with word. I colored in the picture with colored pencils. The cocktail recipes are of course only a few of many different ideas. Experiment.

All in all a big hit at the party. I did have to explain that no, I did not make the vodka myself in my bathtub. I had a laugh over that one.



CITRUS PUNCH

After all the peeling, I was left with a bowl of naked citrus fruits! What to do?! I decided to peel them and slice, and then douse them in sugar and let steep in the fridge. The next day Artur and I bought a bottle of Sekt (german champagne) and doused our citrus fruits. Mmmm mmm delicious (it was still delicious on sunday night, too… if not less bubbly).



LEMON LIME JAM

My third use for my leftover ingredients was to make "lemon lime jam" which was actually my first venture into the world of jam making. I happened to have a package of "gelierzucker", which is sugar mixed with a gelling agent. I followed the following steps, improvised from a series of internet recipes:

1) slice lemon and limes into thin, half moon slices (I used 2 lemons and 4 limes)
2) boil in 1 quart of water for 20 minutes, or until tender
3) add package of gelierzucker, stirring constantly until the contents boil
4) continue stirring for four minutes while everything boils nicely.
5) Pour immediately into sterilized jars

I didn't take any photos while cooking because it was too sticky. It's quite tasty, kind of like sprite marmalade.

Here's to a vitamin C overdose!!!!
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