Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Vodka Showdown: Mojito Mint vs. Basil

A little over 10 days ago we started an experiment: what if we took some of the herbs from our garden and created infused vodka? That'd be fun, right?

Here's the before photo:

And here, after 10 days of shaking a couple of times a day, is the after photo:

Using cheesecloth, I strained the liquid into a Pyrex measuring cup. Then washed out the jars and poured the liquid back. Here's the final product:

For starters, we had successfully turned clear vodka, green. Not sure if that's an accomplishment or not.

Shira and then sat down with three shot glasses full of vodka. We had Jar 1, Jar 2 and just a regular 'ol shot of the Skyy Vokda (every experiment needs a control, right?).

Now onto the million dollar question: taste!

Jar 1 was mainly mojito mint with a couple leaves of borrage tossed in. It tasted...feh. I was obviously hoping for a nice mint flavor, but: (a) I don't think that I fully appreciate what mojito mint actually tastes like, and (b) this is firggin vodka. Earlier this year I had made etrog liquor which involves flavoring vodka, but also adding a huge amount of sugar. The results were surprisingly drinkable. I guess I was hoping the mint the vodka would be more lie my etrog experience, though minty rather than citrusy. Compared to the control vodka, Jar 1 was definitely flavored. Though I can't really recommend it.

Jar 2 was flavored with sweet Thai basil. Yes, you read that right, basil flavored vodka. I'm not a huge fan of basil per se, but fresh off the plant it smelled delicious. So into the vodka it went. And for taste: surprisingly good. Again, we're talking straight vodka here, but the flavor was definitely basil'y and in a good way. I doubt I'd sit around and sip basil vodka on a regular basis, but there's definitely something to it. And I bet it would be interesting in a cocktail.

So the basil won out over the mojito mint.

The etrog liquor I made was far more drinkable than either of the jars above. So before I start my next infusion I'm going to have to consider a fancier recipe than just a plain infusion. Good times and a fun way to put the garden to use.

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