Friday, March 13, 2009

Red Currant Vodka

As your brother-in-laddy, I am happy to write up a recent drink concoction for your blog...

When I was studying in northern England, I noticed the residents there seemed obsessed with black and red currants… the tiny pearl-sized berries were everywhere. Sugar dusted scones studded with currants lined the bakery shelves, currant jams and fresh currants lined the store shelves and current juices, hot teas, and sodas quenched the thirst of the residents. I followed their lead and it became a favorite soon enough. One particular favorite of mine was Ribena, a black currant non-carbonated soft drink. This fall my CSA crop-share offered us fresh red currants and once it brought back those memories, I started thinking of ways to use them up. I had made liqueurs and flavored gins in the past and thought a red currant vodka infusion would work well.

This isn’t really a recipe as much as a how-to guide for a simple combination of alcohol and fruit. I used about a pint of fresh red currants and good quality vodka. First, I picked through the currants to get rid of any loose stems left behind by the harvesters haste in picking, also removing some overripe fruit or smashed berries. Personally, I didn’t choose to remove all the stems, or smash/prick each berry with a pin to release the juice. I think this is unnecessary since you aren’t eating the fruit afterwards (it has given up all its goodness to the liquid anyways) and those currants are awfully small. I then washed them in a small colander. Using a funnel or curled piece of paper, I poured them into a decorative vessel with a stopper (I get them at antique fairs, Pier 1 or the dollar store) then topped the fruit with the vodka. The brand of vodka isn’t important to the fruit – you should use what you drink normally although the super-premiums would be wasted (in my opinion).

I got a nice flavor with a ratio of 1 pint of berries to 4 cups of vodka. Seal/cork the bottle and store in a dark space for at least 4 weeks (better for 8-12 weeks or longer as it just improves with time). I try to peek at it once a week and give it a toss upside down to mix up the liquor.

The end result is currant-flavored vodka with almost zero sweetness, ideal for mixing into cocktails all night long. Try a Currant Vodka Sour, C&T (currant and tonic) or a Current Vodka Martini served in a sugar rimmed glass. Beautiful and delicious!

Note: This was made with red currants but black currants, pomegranate seeds, or other small fruits would work as well.

4 comments:

Erin, A Crafty Lass said...

Thanks for guestblogging Mark! Now, go make me a Currant Martini...

the chef said...

Well played ol' chap. I bet if you became a certified "follower" of ACL it would ensure further guest posts.

Mark said...

I will be sure to join then... I certainly want to be invited back!

BTW Dinner was awesome. I want to have you come over and use the smoker this summer on a day off. Since I work at home - we could do it during the week on the first warm day in May!

Undisclosed said...

Just made a two liter batch of this, thanks!