Last week at the market, when I bought my ramps, I informed the purveyor that I would be infusing vodka. The farmer looked past me for a moment, as if pondering the need for an intervention. After an awkward silence, I explained my planned uses: vodka tomato sauce, to finish sauteed mushrooms, to augment white wine in risotto. All of a sudden my plan seemed to make perfect sense. Since then, I have come to understand that this vodka is also great in bloody marys and dirty martinis.
Ramp flavored vodka is super easy. We followed the basic principals of vodka infusion set down at Burnt Lumpia. He used limes. Basically, use lower price range vodka, filter it through a water filter, and martinate your flavoring agent in the vodka for 1 week. Easy and fancy all at once--though my use of canning jars for the process takes down the fancy level considerably.
For the rhubarb hooch, I had a vague plan to make rhubarb wine. A friend who is an experienced brewer and drinker explained that this is easy but can turn bitter, so I tipped my foot into the world of rhubarb-flavored alcohol with a vodka infusion. In this recipe that I found, rhubarb infusion seems a more complicated process than the ramps. But, with that ramp success, I thought, bring it on. Has it succeeded? Ask me on September 15.
Monday, May 26, 2008