I have taken up a new hobby. I started infusing different liquors and it’s addictive. When I saw Artisan Drinks by Lindy Wildsmith, I immediately asked the marketing manager to Quarry books to send me a copy.
The photography by Kevin Summers is gorgeous and informative. It has recipes, how-tos and even equipment lists. If you want to learn a new hobby this is the book to get.
It’s filled with non-alcoholic drinks as well as those with alcohol so I’d recommend that everyone take a peek at it. There are sparkling drinks, beer, cider, perry – even all kinds of wind. Apple wine, rhubarb wine and the one I want to make the most, beet and marjarom wine!
There are liquors, punches, cocktails and cocktails, plus teas and tisanes. Honestly, if I could I’d make them all. I have never made beer or wine, but they are on my list for a project next year.
I’m sharing a great recipe for DIY Vanilla Brandy that’s so easy to make and does not require any special equipment. Best part is that you can make some now for holiday present later in the year!
I’ve also been trying out infusing using a home sous vide machine. It speeds up the infusions to 1 or 2 hours instead of letting it sit for weeks. You can see some of my sous vide vegan recipes on the Anova Culinary Sous Vide site.
DIY Vanilla Brandy from Artisan Drinks
Vanilla pods or any other whole spice can be added to brandy and sugar syrup to make a lovely mellow liqueur—perfect for after-dinner drinking, a warming midmorning “skeeters” (liqueur-laced coffee), or for adding to ice cream, pancakes, or poached fruit. - Artisan Drinks, Lindy Wildsmith
- 1 vanilla pod
- 1 pint basic brandy
- 3/4 cup water
- 3/4 cups granulated sugar (look for sugar marked vegan - Kathy)
You will also need
- 1 x 1 1/2 pints (24 ﬂ oz/75 cl) or 1 quart (32 ﬂ oz) clean, dry bottle, with stopper
- Split the vanilla pod open and scrape out the seeds and then add them with the pod to the bottle of brandy. Seal, shake, and leave in a dark, warm place for 2 weeks, then strain, reserving the vanilla pod. Put the water and sugar in a pan and bring gently to a boil. Stir well to dissolve the sugar, remove from the heat, and leave to cool, then add the brandy and stir. Measure the volume and using a funnel pour into a bottle and add the reserved vanilla pod. Seal and store in a dark, dry place and try and forget about it for 6 months to a year. The longer it’s kept, the better the taste. Serve as above.