Saturday, January 21, 2012

Infused Booze: It's fruitcake!

I have to credit (or blame) my husband for this idea. We were talking about the different flavors of liqueurs I had made - everything from coffee to fruit to nuts - and for some reason he brought up fruitcake. Maybe because of the fruits and nuts.

It sounded interesting despite the fact that neither of us really likes fruitcake.

Now, we weren't talking about blending up a fruitcake and using that. No need to make a whole cake if we could just use the flavor components - you know - those fruits.

I figured that since the fruits were already candied, I'd skip the sugar and add it later if I wanted a sweeter drink. That made this a two-ingredient infusion - just vodka and the fruitcake fruits.

You can use as much of the fruit as you like -and how much you use might depend on how you buy them. The local store had them in pint-sized containers, and I bought two. They weren't packed tightly into the containers, and they weren't full to the top. So use your judgement. When you put the fruit into the container for infusing, you need to have enough room for the vodka.

The result? Well, the colors from those fruits started fading almost immediately and the liquid turned a golden color ... and then it got darker ... and darker. It was an odd brown color. Sort of like muddy water with a dash of algae.

I let the infusion steep for about a month, then I strained out the fruits which had faded to nearly white. Then I strained the mixture through a coffee filter. The resulting liquid was still brown, but an interesting color rather than a muddy creepy one.

The flavor was citrusy and fruity. There were hints of a licorice-like flavor as well as some spice. It had a lot of flavor, but I kind of doubt anyone would immediately think of fruitcake.

Fruitcake Liqueur

2 pint containers of candied fruits for fruitcake
Vodka, as needed

Put the fruits into a quart jar. Add vodka to fill the jar. Seal the jar and shake. Let it sit for several weeks - or longer - shaking the jar occasionally.

Strain the fruit out, then strain the liquid through a coffee filter. Transfer to a bottle for storage.