We have been going crazy around here with the fruit this summer…neither of us can seem to get enough of it and I also admitted that we have become the royal house of lush. I guess you could call us a couple of fruity booze hounds. Whatever! It’s summer time and for a change, we are both able to somewhat enjoy the summer.
For all of the cooking that I do, I am a food blogger you know….I somehow am not quite able to get the fresh fruit I buy cooked into anything. Not a single blueberry has made it into my mom’s blueberry pie recipe, peaches aren’t making it into cobblers or crisps and cherries….well, those did manage to find themselves in a black forest cake as well as some maraschino cherries and one other surprise item. But the summer fruit has pretty much been consumed as is.
The Mix Master General (that would be Craig) has been playing around with the contents of our liquor cabinet. Okay, it’s more like a liquor closet but shhhhh don’t tell anyone. He’s been playing around, a lot, with vodka martini recipes. He doesn’t mess with the gin martini recipes, make that recipe…that’s sacred. But vodka is one of those liquors that is chameleon like, which makes it a lot of fun to work with. Vodka takes on the flavor or flavors of what it’s mixed with. For the most part, any vodka that we have is just plain vodka. The only flavored version that we use is vanilla which is a necessary ingredient for the dessert martini. Craig played around with sweet and savory martini recipes, but just couldn’t get one that either of us liked.
I finally decided to take matters into my own hands. I picked up some blueberries, I bought a rather large bottle of vodka, I found a large canning jar and set out to make my own infused vodka – with fruit. Finally, some of this summer fruit was going to be made into something. Pure genius, I told myself, as I set out to combine the two things that both Craig and I were partaking of this summer and putting them together into one harmonious package (yes, it’s okay if you need to excuse yourself to hurl…I just did).
Three days later I had created a spectacular blueberry infused vodka that could be turned into a simple blueberry martini (and not one using that fake blueberry vodka) or a gimlet (I highly recommend this btw). Of course, I had to take this one step further. I was still somewhat embarrassed that I had not made a blueberry pie yet this summer. Enter the blueberry pie martini. I used a recipe that we had for a key lime martini and substituted the blueberry vodka for the key lime liqueur. You really must try making your own infused vodka while summer fruit is at its peak.
It’s really simple today. We’ve had a particularly draining week and the next couple are going to be even busier. This weekend is being spent enjoying the nice summer weather (we’re finally getting here in LA). We’re sitting around the fire pit with blueberry pie martini’s, taking naps and cooking easy to prepare meals together. My suggestion is…you should do the same.
Blueberry Infused Vodka Recipe
Makes 1 Liter
- 1 Pound Blueberries (washed and picked over for bad berries)
- 2 Pieces of Lemon Peel (peel the lemon with peeler so there is no pith attached – that’s the white stuff)
- 4 Stems of Fresh Thyme (optional)
- 1 Liter Plain Vodka (you do not need to use uber expensive vodka for this)
- In a clean, air tight jar, smash the blueberries. (You need to smash them so that the vodka can penetrate the skins and get all the flavor out.)
- Add the lemon peel and thyme.
- Pour the vodka over the top.
- Seal the jar and shake it up to distribute the lemon peel and the thyme.
- Set the jar in a cool place.
- Gently turn the jar end over end and side to side once a day for 3 days.
- On the third day it’s time to strain and bottle your blueberry vodka.
- Pour the contents of the jar into a large strainer that has been placed over a bowl or pitcher.
- Gently push on the solids to get most of the liquid out.
- Throw away the solids.
- Line a funnel with a double layer of cheesecloth.
- Pour the blueberry vodka slowly through the cheesecloth into the bottle (you can use the original vodka bottle for this).
- Cap up the bottle and let it sit overnight.
If you see solids in the bottle, the next day, you’ll need to repeat the cheesecloth straining process. You don’t want solids left in the bottle, but a second strain should be all you will need.
Blueberry Pie Martini Recipe
Makes 1 Martini
- 1 1/2 Ounces Vanilla Vodka
- 2/3 Ounce Blueberry Vodka
- 2/3 Ounce Rose’s Lime Juice
- Crushed Graham Crackers
- Pour the vanilla vodka, blueberry vodka and rose’s lime juice into a shaker filled with ice. Shake well.
- Dip the rim of the martini glass into either water or Rose’s lime juice. Then dip it into the crushed graham crackers.
- Strain drink into glass and garnish with 2 blueberries if you like and serve.
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