My sister, Rebecca (who also blogs here), will be taking the reigns on Fridays for a while and I SO excited about it! Armed with her trusty iPhone and lots of Happy Hour experience, I know she will be bringing some great stuff to Set the Table! Here is her first shot (no pun intended) at Cocktail Friday: a delicious and beautiful cherry vodka recipe. My name is Rebecca and my drink of choice is Vodka Soda with Lime. And I'm not sorry. To me, it's like a palatable, unsweetened limeade. Simple and clean.
Vodka is traditionally made from potatoes or grains and distilled three(ish) times in a process that renders it nearly flavorless. The word itself is a diminutive of the word for water in Russian. I've read that the earliest vodkas had an unsavory smell and, as efforts evolved to clean up the smell, so too went the taste. Or maybe that's conjecture ...
The lack of flavor, however, has a surprising way of making other flavors go gangbusters. Certain foods have flavor profiles that can only be brought out by alcohol (that's why we use vodka in tomato sauce - it amps up weak tomatoes). Vodka, with it's clean taste, brings out these new and stronger flavors without adding additional complexity.
Last summer, I bought fresh cherries at the farmers market, put them in an extra large canning jar, covered them with vodka, and let them sit on a dark shelf until Christmas. They were sour cherries so I didn't know what to expect. Let me tell you, t'was delicious. I drank my cherry vodka plain with soda water and ice and a lot of happiness. You can do this with any fruit, vegetable, spice, herb, edible flower, or combination thereof.
One more thing: from martinis "Shaken, not stirred," to Bloody Marys, to vodka red bulls (um, yuck?), vodka is surprisingly ubiquitous. And, while many of us have an eye out for all things locally crafted, vodka also comes across as annoyingly corporate. Enter: Local (to the Twin Cities) newcomer, Norseman Distillery's Vodka. It has my complete and *completely unsolicited* endorsement.
- 1 bottle of vodka
- 1 lb cherries, or enough cherries to fill the bottle halfway
- Fill a jar with peak season cherries (or whatever).
- Completely cover cherries (or whatever) with vodka and twist on lid.
- Put on shelf and wait at least a month.