Monday, January 8, 2007

This week's experiment: vanilla

We apologize for not updating much in the last week. I have been sick with a cold and haven't had much energy for writing. We have, however, sampled some of our previous infusions in cocktail form, and will be posting on that subject soon.

In the meantime, we started our latest experiment: vanilla vodka. The Stoli and Smirnoff versions of this vodka have been popular with our crowd in the past, mixing well with colas, root beer, and orange soda. We also intend to create a few other vodkas in the near future which should compliment this one well.

We do have one caveat to this experiment, however. We purchased two vanilla beans for about $13; this will last us for two infusions. Combined with the price of the Vladimir vodka that we quintuple-distill and use as the base, this infusion is our most expensive yet, and only marginally cheaper than buying a bottle of Smirnoff Vanilla or the like. (It is possible that we could find the beans cheaper; we bought them in a jar in our grocery store's spice aisle. We considered trying the whole foods market instead, but opted for the shorter drive this time.)

We began this infusion by slicing one vanilla bean lengthwise.

The bean is slightly oily, and has a very pleasant aroma. I spent most of the evening sniffing my fingers after this.

The distilled vodka is then poured over the two halves of the bean.

Here's how it looked immediately after the beginning of the experiment. Since then, the bottom level of the vodka has attained a yellowish tinge.

Research indicates that this infusion will be complete in three to four days.


Sarah said...

I made a vanilla infusion with 2 beans in about 300 ml of vodka. I let it sit for a couple of weeks, and you could totally strip paint with it, even once I'd sweetened small test amounts. Let this be a lesson to you: be not distracted from your mission to taste within a few days :)

My plan for the paint-thinner: I've strained it and am going to let it sit for another few weeks to see if it mellows, and if that fails, try massive amounts of sugar.

Brendan said...

Whew! That is, by my calculations, five times the flavor per mL that we're using. I hope you are able to transmute it into something drinkable.