Labor Day 2011 is behind us now and the summer season is winding down towards a new term of school for not just me but a lot of people out there. Some will start in the next few days, some after already started, but the schedule at the University of Oregon gives me the entire month of September off to really enjoy the best season of the year in Oregon.
Me and the Wolf spent the weekend in Reno visiting family and had a great time. Good food, great conversations and meeting my new bff, Total Wine. I’m not an alcoholic, nor do I play one on television, I just enjoy a cocktail every now and then. Since the beginning of the summer I have started taking off the unwanted pounds that have been haunting me, so my enjoyment of a nice cocktail has really increased as I am not having them as often as I used to. I think it is one of those things that we forget about consumption, too much and it becomes nothing special, but when something is had sparingly, it becomes a true treat that can be savored and truly enjoyed for what it is.
Anyway, back to Total Wine. We like to stock up on the essentials when we aren’t in Oregon because it just costs a lot to buy alcohol in Oregon. I get it, the tea totallers here in Oregon want to control it from within their little government run liquor stores and that’s fine because this is a democracy and we do vote those people in who make these laws, so who am I to complain, but it doesn’t mean I need to support somebodies democratic vision do I? So enter the inane conversation on Saturday, “So what do you guys want to do while you are here in Reno?” We say, “Oh, we need to get to Costco for booze.” They say, “Oh no no no no. You want Total Wine.” So we head on down there and pick up a years supply of booze.
Now this is a long way around to tell you about my latest experiment, which really has nothing to do with Total Wine, I just needed to plug the place because it was awesome. But somehow we inherited about 3/4 of a 1.75 litre bottle of Grey Goose Vodka to take home with us from CnC (thank you). And this morning at my Chiropractor discussing booze with my friend Kate, she told me about Lavender Vodka. To say the least, I was intrigued. So I promptly came home and googled lavender vodka.
It was pretty easy to make actually. Mix the following into a 1 quart mason jar:
750 ml of Vodka (grey goose for this batch) 1/4 cup of lavender flowers (from the garden) 1 1/2 inches vanilla bean (split, scraped and entire thing dumped into vodka)
Now it’s in the pantry steeping. The recipes I saw ranged from steeping 15 minutes to 3 1/2 weeks but no more than 3 1/2 weeks or it gets bitter, so I figure I’ll try it after a day and see how it tastes and when I think it tastes like what I want it to taste like I will simply strain the vanilla and lavender from the vodka and be good to go.
To continue the lavender/vanilla trend, I put another inch of vanilla bean and the rest of the lavender flowers into a sachet and hung it in the closet. I am really looking forward to smelling that during the winter.
And with the last little bit of vanilla bean, I made up a batch of vanilla simple syrup which I think will be a nice addition to some cocktail in the next few days. There is a lot of mint growing in the back yard and it’s just itching to be muddled.
I will post again when the vodka is ready and maybe have a recipe or two to share.