Thursday, May 3, 2007

Results of cantaloupe vodka; first tasting of almond

Yesterday, we conducted tests of our cantaloupe and almond vodka experiments. I also debuted my newest shotglass, from North Carolina State University, to celebrate my impending graduation!

The cantaloupe vodka has been infusing for about three weeks at this point. I tried it first:

And it was so smooth, it put me right to sleep! Or I may just be exhausted from exams, though my personal hypothesis is that I simply blinked at the wrong moment. The point, however, is that this vodka is pretty tasty. It's got a slight, late vodka burn, but otherwise a nice, slightly sweet cantaloupe taste.

Wayland's reaction was much the same. "It's got a vodka taste on the back end, but otherwise very smooth. The cantaloupe taste is strong on the front end."

We're calling this one a success. Next comes the hard part, figuring out what kind of drink to put it in; but that will have to wait until another post.

We also tested the ongoing almond experiment, simply as a benchmark; after a mere week, we had no expectation that it would be ready. Since the vodka contained a swirling abundance of almond dust, we filtered the sample through a paper towel, then chilled it in a shaker before drinking.

It was Wayland's turn to take the first shot, and as expected, it left much to be desired.

"There's only a touch of almond in there," Wayland said, "but not much vodka taste either. It definitely needs more time."

I could barely even taste the touch of almond Wayland noted, but it was in there, hiding just out of reach. I was surprised at how smooth the vodka had become, despite the lack of taste.

We learned from this tasting that the infusion will likely take much longer at this rate. This, combined with the suggestions from our readers that crushed almonds would have been a better option than whole, inspired us to give the experiment a little push along the way. I reached into the jar using a detached beater from an electric mixer, and crushed the almonds as much as my limited leverage would allow.

Hopefully, this will speed up the process a bit, though it will still take time. We'll try it again in another week and see where it is.


Jon said...

Sounds fantastic; I had some cantaloupe vodka a while back at the Russia House in DC, which stocks maybe 60 or so kinds of vodka, most of which are their homemade infusions.

The most well-received home-infused I've ever made is probably the iced tea martini. Infuse vodka for 24 hours with black tea and lemon zest, and make a martini as usual with the result. You should try it!

Brendan said...

The iced tea vodka sounds interesting! We'll add it to our brainstorming list!

Anonymous said...

Three weeks to infuse?! Oh no! I guess that means the batch I started on yesterday won't be ready for my party on Saturday. Oops.

But have you discovered any great recipes to use with the cantaloupe vodka? Perhaps I'll have a separate tasting party then.

David said...

i'm afraid you might be using plain ol' almonds when you should be using bitter ones. they are what are used in marzipan and other almond flavorings...