I love to explore new places to eat and drink. You only live once, so I try not to spend time eating at too many places twice. That rule is bent, of course, if the food and drinks are phenomenally delicious (or if it’s the neighborhood Chinese take out spot). Thankfully though, I live in New York and finding new restaurants and bars isn’t usually a problem. But this summer I found a little Italian restaurant while on vacation that definitely required me to break my rules, for drinks anyway. You’d probably think that an Italian restaurant equals Pinot Grigio and deep red wines, but not this place. They had liquor infusions lined up at the bar that left made my cocktail tastebuds drooling.
Today’s liquor infusion is an ode to those. It’s one of my favorite liquor infusions and will surely become one of yours, too.
Liquor infusions are super simple. Bascially all you do is add a bunch of flavors to a jar of liquor and let it meld together for a week or so. Then you crack it open and you’ve got youself a damn fine bottle of deliciously infused vodka, gin, bourbon, etc.
Infusing vodka is one of the simplest liquors to work with because it has very little flavor—making it a wonderful base. It just soaks everything up. Things like fruit, cinnamon sticks, herbs and citrus rind all make for wonderful infusing elements. In fact, with just a little lemon rind, sugar and vodka you can make your very own limoncello! It’s a twelve-week process, but totally worth it.
As if liquor infusions couldn’t get any better, they are also really inexpensive to make. No top shelf liquor is required here (of course, you don’t want to go totally bottom shelf either).
As for this Chai Pear Vodka, let’s just say you’ll be thanking me next week when you’ve killed the whole bottle yourself. Or maybe you wont be thanking me because you’ll be so hungover. Either way, it’s definitely worth a try.
My new favorite drink combination is Chai Pear Vodka, honey, a touch of lemon juice, and ginger beer. It’s the perfect drink to guide us right into Autumn.
Chai Pear Vodka
What You’ll Need:
- 4 C. Vodka
- 2 Chai Tea Bags
- 1 Anjou Pear
Place vodka in a jar with a tight fitting lid—I always use a canning jar.
Soak the tea bags in the vodka for one hour, then remove and discard. In the meantime, slice up a pear and add to the mixture.
Let pears and vodka sit for one week in a closed container.
Once your week is up, your liquor is done infusing. You can strain the pears out of the vodka, and chow down for a drunken pear snack.