Guest Post by Jason Phelps of Ancient Fire Wines,
Making your own vanilla vodka is amazingly simple. Cut one vanilla bean lengthwise and place it in a clean jar with 8 oz of 100 proof vodka for 24 days. Shake it every day to ensure you get a strong infusion. After 24 days strain out the vanilla bean, which can be used again for another infusion, pure vanilla extract or, if you like, for cooking. When the infusion is ready the color should come out to be a nice gold and the flavor is unmistakable. Now you are ready to make some cocktails.
While the vodka was infusing I developed the idea for a crème brulee martini. There were two things that concerned me. First, how to get a custard taste in the drink and second, how to garnish the drink to convey the visual impression of crème brulee while also creating some flair for the drinker.
Here’s the recipe:
Crème Brulee Martini
2 parts vanilla vodka
1 part amaretto
1 part CoffeeMate Italian Sweet Cream coffee creamer
Mix all of the ingredients in shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a cold martini glass.
As for the garnish, a little bit of culinary genius came upon me. Take Demerara sugar and spread about 1 tsp each in two inch wide circles on a foil lined baking sheet. There should be spaces in the circles. Some will fill as the sugar melts and others will stay empty creating a nice effect. Place the backing sheet under the broiler until the sugar is melted. Watch it closely as it will burn quick! Allow the sugar chips to cool a bit and then float one on top of the drink. Looks like crème brulee! The sugar chip doesn’t dissolve in the drink so you get a nice caramelized sugar crunch at the end.
If you find yourself loving the vanilla vodka check out the Frootsie, another drink featuring this sublime infusion. Come by and visit my blog Ancient Fire Wines where you can find more totally unique artisan-level, cocktail recipes.
A little hint: you may want to cook up some ginger syrup–I use it a lot and I know Spice Sherpa has been experimenting with it in some fun stuff that she plans on sharing for National Talk Like A Pirate Day this weekend.