But why stop at vinegar? Why stop at herbs?
But first, let's talk about the set up for infusions. What you'll need:
- large glass jar with lid (preferably plastic, but you can use a mason jar, you'll just have to protect the metal with a sheet of plastic wrap if you're using vinegar)
- a plastic lid from a yogurt container cut to slightly smaller than the inside diameter of the jar, with some slits cut in it.
- vinegar, oil, vodka, bourbon, or tequila - enough to cover your herbs and then some.
- your herbs, fruit, vegetables, garlic, peppers, etc. (when using fruit/vegetables, use the ripe ones - it should smell like what you want - if using citrus fruit, you only need the peel, pith removed.)
And now for the photos:
|Put your infusers in the jar (in this case, a peeled head of garlic and 4 Thai peppers)|
|prepare your "hold everything below the surface" yogurt lid|
|Select your poison (in this case vinegar)|
|A top view of the infusers (garlic and dried thai peppers)|
|place the yogurt lid on top of the infusers|
|Add the liquid. Let sit for a few weeks before using. I tend to just let the items sit in the jar until I finally decide that I want to start a new infusion.|
I tend to use vinegar infusions as a finisher for sautéed summer squash, roasted Brussels sprouts, and making homemade salad dressing (which consists of herbed vinegar and olive oil). The one above also gets used on breakfast potatoes when they need a little extra kick.
When using other liquids, choose good quality ones - in the case of liquors, choose ones that you would actually drink - so don't cheap out on the vodka and get the one that burns like paint thinner just to save a few bucks.
I've just recently expanded into trying basil in olive oil:
Lemon peel in Deep Eddy vodka (taken a few days after I started):
And peaches in Deep Eddy vodka (taken a few days after I started):
In the case of vodka infusions, I've had coworkers who have done fennel, corn (surprisingly good), cucumber, raspberry, strawberry, and blackberry. In all cases, it works best if, after a few days, you taste test the infusion to see if it's got the flavor you were aiming for. In any case, you probably don't want to leave the items in the vodka indefinitely. Besides, how are you supposed to eat those delicious vodka-soaked fruit on ice cream if you leave them IN the vodka?