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Editor's Note:
Our general response to vodka is, "Why bother?" It's just not our drink. But, when MrLucky contributor Beth LaDove suggested flavored vodka, we were intrigued. Rosemary and coriander are not the first two herbs we'd consider when boozing it up, yet this drink is fine indeed! Although different, it conjures up memories of that weird Double Kummel drink we enjoyed in Europe.

Flavored Vodka
by Beth LaDove

Although it has become almost commonplace to find herb-infused oil and vinegar in gourmet and specialty food shops, flavored alcohol still predominantly falls into the "if-you-want-it-make-it yourself" category. Their rarity, great flavor (and the fact that they are incredibly easy to concoct) make them a wonderful gift.

Vegetable peeler
Large chefs knife
Rubber spatula or wooden spoon
Saucepan (optional)
Decorative bottle with cork or lid

1-tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
2 3" long strips lemon peel (without white membrane)
4 coriander seeds
One fifth bottle (375 ml - 25 ounces) vodka
1 cup sugar (optional)
½ cup water (optional)

Wash the rosemary leaves and bruise gently to release their aroma. Crush the coriander leaves with the broad side of large chef's knife. Add the crushed coriander, rosemary leaves, and lemon peel to the bottle of vodka. Shake well and let steep in a cool dark place for at least a week. After the curing process is completed, line a strainer with several layers of cheesecloth and place it over a pouring container. Strain the vodka into the container, using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to press lightly on the herbs. Try to get as much vodka through the cheesecloth without letting the herbs through.

If you want to make a sweet liqueur version of this drink, heat the sugar and water and boil gently for several minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature. Add the cooled syrup to the strained vodka.

When the mixture is complete, decant the vodka into an attractive bottle. Seal, label, refrigerate and you're ready for gift giving.

Reprinted with blessings from Patio.
©1999 ellipsis productions



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