Culinary Anthropologist

Citrus and vanilla infused bourbon

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Despite the two week interval I’m afraid I’m still stuck on a hard
liquor theme.  So this week, a delicious bourbon whiskey infusion, plus
a cocktail to use it in.  (Actually, the 1794 is usually made with rye
whiskey, but not in this household as we don’t have any.)

This ‘recipe’ comes from Scott Beattie, the talented barman at the Cyrus restaurant bar in Healdsburg, California, who is reputed to be the best ‘mixologist’ in America.  After we’d worked our way through most of his cocktail menu, he happily divulged his bourbon-infusing secrets…

Recipe:   Citrus and vanilla infused bourbon.pdf

1 bottle of your favourite bourbon whiskey
1 large beautiful orange
1 large beautiful lemon
2 fresh vanilla pods (ie squishy, not brittle)

  1. Empty bottle into a large container so the liquid has a large surface area. 
  2. Holding the fruit over the top, peel off all the zest of the orange and the lemon, so that the bourbon catches not only the zest but also the oils that are sprayed out.  Be careful to only get the zest, not the bitter white pith underneath.  Use one of those zesters used in bars that peel off long, thin, curly strips for garnishes.  NB You may need to bash its blade against the tabletop so that it doesn’t peel too deeply.  Or use a vegetable peeler. 
  3. Score and open up vanilla pods along their lengths so that seeds are exposed.  Add these to bourbon.  Pour it all back into the bottle using a funnel.  You may need to push the pod and peels in with your fingers. 
  4. Let sit for at least two weeks, occasionally gently shaking, before drinking.

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