Tagged With infusions

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I didn’t used to believe in bay leaves. Though I felt contractually obligated to put them in all stews, soups, and (most) rice dishes, it wasn’t until I conducted this very important piece of investigative journalism that I began to truly value and cherish them. When I saw the “bay leaf martini” on the cocktail menu at Barr — you know, the place with the caviar waffle — I knew I had to have it, and I knew I would be making bay leaf gin at home.

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I love limoncello, but it is — without a doubt — a capital-L liqueur. There’s nothing wrong with the candy-like sipper, but it’s not exactly refreshing. Oddly enough, the key to fresh-from-the-garden citrus-flavored booze can be found not in the lemon, but in a mostly fleshless, uncanny-valley-dwelling citron.

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Horseradish vodka is a sneaky beast (assuming you like horseradish). The bite and burn of the horseradish obscures the bite and burn of the alcohol, meaning your brain does not really comprehend how much you are drinking. It is dangerous, and it is one of my favourite things.

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Hot buttered rum is so good in theory, but in practice, it always disappoints. Slurping a film of butter off your top lip is a bit much, even for those of us who would eat a stick of butter like a banana were society ready to accept us.

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Cherry pits may seem like one piece of kitchen refuse that has no second life, but as Stella Parks of Serious Eats points out, the little bit of fruit that clings to the stone has the ability to infuse flavour and colour into all sorts of tasty treats.

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I am completely obsessed with those fragrant, herbal, Italian liqueurs that fall under the category of "amaro." I love 'em neat, with a bit of soda, or splashed into cocktails. It never occurred to me that I could DIY the stuff, but Food 52 has come up with a method to do just that.