Monday, March 12, 2012

Infused Alcohol

I naturally always look for people's unique uses for Mason jars. This one I got from a friend  and I cannot wait to share it. Infusing Alcohol.

Let's get one thing straight - we are not making alcohol here (yet) - we are just going to try and naturally flavour it, to make types of alcohol taste bearable - I mean better.

Infusion is the process of drowning a plant, fruit or vegetable in liquid, to extract the flavours into the liquid.  Yeah I know, why would you want to infuse alcohol yourself if there is now a liquor store full of inventive flavours. Go outside the box and create flavours you can’t find.

Here are some of the basic steps:

Your poison: It is your spirit that will be the base so make it a decent one. You want one that is smooth so it can make the flavours sparkle. A clear alcohol is necessary: so stick with vodka, rum or even tequila.

Flavour: When infusing alcohol spices, fruits and herbs are most common. I am going to stick with the most popular – fruit - for the first time. This is where you get creative. – Combine. Create. Use Your Imagination. For best results it is important to use fresh ingredients.

The Jar: Use clean air-tight quart size Mason Jar.

My First Attempt
Strawberry Infused Vodka
Starting Point: Wash the ingredients, cut them up if necessary and place them inside the jar and fill it with your poison. Shake a few times and cover tightly with a lid.
The process: The jar should be stored in a cool and dark place. A fridge or pantry would work. Shake your jar often during the infusion process. The infusion process will take from days to months, - this is based on your personal taste. If you are using intense flavors it will need less time then flavours that take longer to extract. Be sure to taste often to make sure you get your preferred flavour and can monitor the change.
Enjoy: Serve your new flavours over ice or in a cocktail. Share with friends. 
I just completed my first attempt- Strawberry Infused Vodka. Still debating on adding cinnamon later on in the infusion process. Thoughts?

Monday, March 05, 2012

The Bar Jar

Ladies and Gentlemen I am proud to announce I am not alone in this jar-affair. 

The Toronto Star and bars across this region are putting the Mason jar in the spotlight.

Mason jars and alcohol are a perfect match but definitely not new to the bar seen.

During prohibition mason jars were used to smuggle alcohol into the country. If you were to sneak a drink in those days it was common that it would be in a trusty mason jar. Pretty convenient if you ask me, especially if you were on the run.

Speakeasies may be out but the Mason jar forgot to follow.

Great places to drink from jars: (Toronto Star's Choices)
Mildred’s Temple Kitchen - Bungalow Island Caesar ($8.50)
Parts & Labour - Collins McMacintosh ($12)
Burger Bar - Sours ($6)

But better yet, make your own… at home!

Two weeks ago I teamed up with The Lady Lager to blend our loves: beer and jars.
After a few spills and some modifications we were equipped with beergaritas for our night out.

It was only proper for The Lady Lager to add the beer.
What you need:

2 cups frozen limeade (recipe below)
2 bottles of light beer
1/2 cup tequila


In a pitcher, combine frozen limeade, 2 beers and 1/2 cup of tequila.  Pour mixture into Mason jars and close lids. Place in the freezer overnight until frozen through, then mix so that it is in slushy form and serve.

Make extras so you can pull one out when you need a treat. 


P.S. Be sure to check out the amazing Toronto Star tribute to the jars.