DIY: Saving the Taste of Summer

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DIY: Saving the Taste of Summer (for Cocktails!)

by: Shoshana

Though it may not seem like it now, considering the record heat wave, soon summer will be over and with it goes all of the fabulous flavors of the season: fruits, berries, peppers, and herbs.  Here are a few simple and clever ways to enjoy your favorite summer flavors, long after the sunshine is gone!

frozen-herbs-basil-ice-cube-trayHerb Infused Ice Cubes

You can have great mojitos in the winter, by simply preserving your mint in ice cube trays.

Process: Strips leaves of of fresh mint sprigs, and chop leaves evenly.  Portion so that each pile is one teaspoon of herb.  Place each portion in separate compartment of ice cube tray, cover with water and freeze.

To use: Thaw and strain.

(This method also works well with just about any fresh herb.)

Herbed Simple Syrups

simplesyrupYou can put a twist on a simple syrup, simply by infusing with herbs.  (Simple syrup is equal parts white processed sugar and water, heated until sugar melts.)

Lemon Verbena Simple Syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon verbena leaves
1/2 cup water

Chop and bruise the lemon verbena. Put sugar in a small saucepan with 1/2 cup water and stir to dissolve as it comes to a simmer over low heat. Let it simmer for just a couple minutes.

Stir in the lemon verbena and take off the heat. Let steep for fifteen minutes, and then put in the refrigerator to cool completely.

fruitinfusedvodkaFruit Infused Vodka

You will need:

A generous handful of washed & bruised fruit such as lemons, oranges, peaches, or berries. You can also use summer peppers for a spicy kick.

750ml Good Quality Vodka

Large Glass Jar

Steps:

1. Fill your jar halfway with fruit, then add enough vodka to fill to rim and cover with

tight-fitting lid.

2. Place jar in cool dark place (like pantry) for three days to a week.  How will you

know when it’s ready?  Taste it!

3. Once you have the flavor you want, strain it.  Keep the fruit- it’s yummy but

powerful!

4. Store your infused vodka in the freezer to enjoy when summer is gone!

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