Tag Archives: infused vodka

In Watermelon Sugar

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I wasn’t really sure what to call this cocktail, invented one day when I was desperate for some fruit but also really needed a drink. ‘Watermelon Wonder’ seemed obvious enough as it contains watermelon juice and was made after I’d spent some time wondering what the hell I was going to do with a 5kg watermelon a house guest had kindly given me. But ‘Watermelon Wonder’ sounds like it belongs at a juice bar (or on a menu written by someone with no imagination) and really, this tastes much better than ‘Watermelon Wonder’ sounds.

Lots of bartenders reckon part of the fun of inventing cocktails is naming them, which is possibly why Melbourne vodka bar After the Tears has a cocktail called ‘Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.’ I’ve always liked that name and recently discovered it’s a quote from Monty Python, which made me wonder if I could just use a quote to name this refreshing watermelon drink.

And so I went with the most obvious choice – no, not ‘nice melons,’ which I’m sure is a quote from a trashy teen movie, but In Watermelon Sugar, named after the excellent 1968 novella by Richard Brautigan, which features the creepily prescient name iDEATH. Which, now I think of it, would also make a great cocktail name…

INGREDIENTS

About 1/2 highball glass watermelon juice (you can make this by whizzing chunks of watermelon in a blender)

30ml mandarin vodka

90ml pineapple juice

mint and pineapple piece, to garnish

GLASS

Highball

METHOD

Chill all ingredients (if you store your watermelon and your pineapple juice in the fridge, they will already be cold enough to use.) Pour liquids into glass, stir to combine, then garnish.

DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY

So much easier to make than it is to name!

RECIPE BY

This one’s by 52 Cocktails, as is the next one. What? There’s another one? Yes, that is your reward for reading this far. Well done you. OK, so the next one is a great way to use up any leftover watermelon chunks. Half-fill a blender with cold watermelon chunks. Add a good slosh of Chambord and some Absolut Vanilla vodka. (Sorry folks, I didn’t measure this one so I can’t be any more accurate than that.) Blend everything together, pour into a highball glass and then demand everyone leave the house so you don’t have to share the resulting light, fluffy, sorbet-like, heavenly concoction that’s best eaten with a spoon and the knowledge that it’s 100% yours.

 

 

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Memories of Summer

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Memories of Summer is so named because it tastes likes it was invented back in the good old days, when all kids had to play with were a couple of plastic dinosaurs and a vodka bottle. As the green dino is saying, it tastes of cinnamon, cherry blossoms and creamy soda; as the orange dino is thinking quietly to itself, if you can hear plastic dinosaurs talking you’ve had one drink too many.

Part of the appeal of this cocktail is that it can be made short and strong, or topped up with soda for a longer, more refreshing drink. Either way, it’ll help make your memories of summer good ones.

MEMORIES OF SUMMER

INGREDIENTS

30ml peach vodka (we used house-made, yellow-peach-infused vodka; if you don’t have any, then Absolut Apeach will do fine)

15ml St Germain elderflower liqueur

15ml sugar syrup

10ml lime juice

5 drops Bittercube Cherry-Bark Vanilla bitters

soda, to top up (optional)

GLASS

Tumblers are fine, though a short version of this drink would look better in a martini glass

METHOD

Half-fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add all ingredients except the soda. Shake like you’ve just run through the sprinkler on a stinking hot day. Strain into the glass; top with soda if you want a long drink.

DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY

The hardest part is making the peach vodka, as you have to let the fruit infuse for at least a month before using it. Can’t be arsed? Use store-bought, and perhaps garnish the glass with some peach slices so it at least looks like you made an effort.

RECIPE BY

Memories of Summer was proudly created by 52 Cocktails. The team would like to order a round at a bar just to see what happens, eg:

‘I’d like two Memories of Summer, please.’

‘Oh? Ah…well, we used to go to the beach…and sometimes we’d have barbecues…’

 

 

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Summer Dreams

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When it’s a sunny spring day and the scent of ripe strawberries is in the air, you can’t help but think all’s right with the world…and that you really want a drink, because hey, you’re only human.

This is the perfect drink for that kind of day, when the sunset burns shades of orange into the sky and you’re dreaming about that long, hot summer that’s just around the corner. It’s like strawberries and cream in a glass and is a sophisticated way to kick off a garden party.

Serves two.

INGREDIENTS
5-10 ripe strawberries, hulled and halved
5 large mint leaves
2 teaspoons caster sugar
30ml strawberry-vanilla infused vodka*
Moscato

*The 52 Cocktails crew was lucky enough to receive a delicious homemade strawberry-vanilla vodka from a fan, who wouldn’t reveal the recipe but hinted they’d let a lot of cut strawberries, sliced vanilla pods and sugar infuse in some vodka for several months before straining the mix and presenting it to us. It’s fantastic and we reckon you could make it, too. And maybe give us a sample, hint, hint. If you don’t want to make your own infused vodka but you do want to try this recipe, substitute 15ml vanilla vodka and 15ml strawberry vodka and let us know how you go.

GLASS
Champagne flute

METHOD
Place the strawberries, mint and sugar in the glass part of a Boston shaker, like so:

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Muddle them together, then add the vodka and half-fill the glass with ice. Pop the metal part of the shaker on top, flip the whole thing over and shake like mad. Of course, if you don’t have a Boston shaker you can use a cobbler instead.

Strain through a sieve into a clean glass. If you really, really don’t like having ‘bits’ in your drink, strain it again. Pour the mixture into two Champagne flutes. It will look like this:

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Top with chilled moscato and serve.

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DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY
Straining the mixture is the hardest part. And that’s pretty easy!

RECIPE BY
This one’s by 52 Cocktails….with a little help from our friends.

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Welcome to 52 Cocktails!

Hello!

I’m Luna, an amateur mixologist, and my new year’s resolution is to try at least one new cocktail each week for a year. This could be a drink at a bar, one I make at home from a recipe book, or one I create myself (wish me luck – I’m not known for my prowess in the kitchen!). I’ll be recording my best recipes/disasters on this blog for you to enjoy/laugh at – for regular updates, follow 52 Cocktails using the handy buttons below.

It would have been logical to start this challenge on new year’s day, but I was too hungover then so I decided to start around Chinese New Year instead. (If you’re thinking, ‘But there was weeks between January 1 and Chinese New Year,’ you’d be right…it was a killer hangover.) I figure celebrating both Western and Chinese new years gives you the chance to make one set of resolutions, say ‘fuck it, I give up’ after a few weeks, and then redeem yourself by making another set for Chinese New Year, which is what I’ve done. Win.

Anyway, according to the lunar calendar, it’s the year of the goat (or the sheep, apparently you can take your pick).

According to the Luna calendar, it’s the year of the cocktail. Let’s get shaking.

DOUBLE HAPPINESS

Double Happiness:  easy to make, easy to drink

Double Happiness:
easy to make, easy to drink

Western New Year is celebrated with bubbly, and I see no reason why Chinese New Year can’t be celebrated the same way. This recipe is loosely based on the famous Bellini created at Harry’s Bar in Venice, which combines peach puree with prosecco for an elegant, sweet drink. My version uses peach-infused vodka (partly because peaches are a symbol of longevity in Chinese culture, and partly because peach vodka = yum) and whatever bubbly you like best. Different styles of bubblies (moscato, prosecco, Champagne etc) will alter the taste, as will different types of peach-infused vodka (homemade, store bought, white peach, yellow peach…and there are myriad vodkas to use in the homemade infusions, too) so there’s endless variations on this simple recipe. Try a few and see which one you like best. Any excuse to try lots of drinks is a good excuse!

Oh, and the name? Double Happiness is a Chinese character that appears on decorative items during Chinese New Year. But it also reflects this drink’s two ingredients: with vodka and bubbly, you’ll be twice as happy!

INGREDIENTS

Ingredients:  peach-infused vodka and bubbly

Ingredients:
peach-infused vodka and bubbly

20ml peach-infused vodka (use Absolut Apeach or try making your own)

Bubbly of your choice (I would usually use moscato, as it’s sweet and – bonus – cheap, but I had this mini Omni sparkling white lying around in the fridge so I used it instead)

GLASS

Champagne flute

METHOD

Pour peach-infused vodka into a Champagne flute. Top up with bubbly. Drink!

DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY

If you can open a bottle, you can make this drink.

HOW TO MAKE PEACH-INFUSED VODKA

Wash white or yellow peaches and slice into quarters, discarding the stones. Place in a clean, wide-mouthed jar. (You can sterilise the jar if you’re anal about food hygiene/have too much time on your hands. I’ve never bothered and I’m fine. *twitches*) Use enough peach pieces to 3/4 fill the jar. Add a handful of white sugar if you wish (obviously this will help sweeten the final product – leave it out if you want a less-sweet flavour). Pour vodka over the top, completely submerging the peaches (use whichever vodka you like best – I tend to use Absolut or Russian Standard). Screw on the lid, gently shake the jar to help dissolve the sugar, and – this is important – LABEL your jar with the date and the jar’s contents. Otherwise you run the risk of forgetting how long the fruit’s been infusing or, worse, someone else not knowing what that weird jar full of stuff is at the back of the cupboard and throwing it out. Place the jar in a dark, cool spot (eg the kitchen pantry).  After a few days, taste it. If the flavour isn’t strong enough, let the fruit infuse for a few more days, but no more than a week or the flavour will go kinda funky, and not in a James Brown way. When you’re happy with the flavour, strain the contents through a piece of cheesecloth into another clean jar. You’ll be left with a jar of homemade peach vodka and a lot of really drunk peach pieces. Eat them with ice cream for an instant boozy dessert, or use them in sangria.

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