Home-infused clementine vodka. Photo ©
Hannah Kaminsky | Bittersweet Blog.
Our colleague Hannah Kaminsky of Bittersweet Blog has already made her Mother’s Day gift: which she calls climoncello (a rift on the lemon liqueur, limoncello).
You’ve got more than enough time to make your own liqueur for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, in any flavor you choose. It simply requires a base spirit—vodka—plus fruit and sugar.
You don’t even have to buy fruit: You can use citrus peels leftover from other recipes, which is what started Hannah on this journey. You can save them up in a freezer bag, and make a mixed citrus if you don’t have enough of any one variety. You’ll also need a large infusing jar and a funnel.
Then, just cook it up and let the fruit or peel infuse for a month or longer. Hannah went on vacation, forgot about the steeping peels and ended up with a three-month infusion.
Here’s her easy recipe:
RECIPE: CLIMONCELLO, CLEMENTINE LIQUEUR
*Don’t buy the cheapest firewater like Everclear, but don’t buy premium brands, either. Hannah used Popov; we used Russian Standard and Absolut (and couldn’t tell the difference in the finished product).
1. PLACE the peels, water and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook just until the sugar has fully dissolved. Turn off the heat, cover with a lid and let cool to room temperature.
2. TAKE a pestle or other blunt instrument and muddle/mash the rinds, bruising them to release more of the essential oils.
3. ADD the vodka, give it a good stir and transfer the whole mixture, peels and all, into a large glass jar (be sure to save the vodka bottle for packaging the finished product, if you don’t want to buy a decorative bottle). Seal the lid tightly and stash it in a cool, dark place for 1-3 months. You’re likely to get even greater depth of flavor if you let it steep for an extra month or so. When the liqueur is ready, the liquid should be a golden orange color and smell of sweet oranges.
4. STRAIN out and discard the peels, and transfer the liquor to an attractive glass bottle. Store in a cool, dark place for however long you can make it last. It should keep indefinitely, but you’ll no doubt want to enjoy it before too long.
Homemade mint liqueur. Photo courtesy Good Cocktails.
If you’d rather have mint or other herb liqueur than a fruit flavor, here’s a recipe from GoodCocktails.com. You can make basil, rosemary or anything you’d like.