12 July 2009

Infusions and Cocktails: Update

A vacation in the woods seemed a good time to demo several new infusions and cocktail preparations. Captive audience, friends who would presumably tell me the truth and apparently – mostly success. The biggest winner without a doubt was the fennel vodka infusion, both solo and as a mixer. Annoyingly, supermarkets trim the crap out of the fronds of fennel, meaning I'll have to wait until the farmer's market on Wednesday to replenish my stocks (not that that's the worst thing anyhow), but I also think that the freshness of the fronds was a major contributor to the success of the infusion.

Typically I'm not a huge anis-flavor fan, but this came out less licorice and greener, fresher and sweeter. Really tasty chilled on its own, it was also the hands-down cocktail winner as follows:

Tupper Lake Special


  • 1 1/2 oz. fennel-infused vodka
  • ice, crushed or cubes
  • large lemon wedge
  • bitters
  • vanilla seltzer (or plain)


  1. Add ice to cocktail glass
  2. Pour shot of fennel-infused vodka over ice
  3. Add dash of bitters
  4. Squeeze lemon wedge fully, and drop in drink
  5. Fill with seltzer
  6. Enjoy!

Obscenely tasty and refreshing

Another favorite of mine on the week:

Mos Isley Bandit


  • 1 oz. fig eau de vie
  • 1 oz. cardamom-infused vodka
  • 1/4 oz. chili-infused vodka
  • 1/4 oz. dry vermouth
  • ice, crushed
  • lime wedge


  1. Pour all booze in shaker with ice; shake thoroughly
  2. Put ice in cocktail glass; pour shaker over ice
  3. Squeeze lime and add to glass
  4. Enjoy!


Spicy and weird, bitter and sour, I was definitely the biggest fan of this drink. Not bad for anyone else but certainly an acquired taste.

And a new summer number on my return:

Carrboro Carass


  • 1 1/2 oz. clove-infused vodka
  • bitters
  • 3 oz. San Pellegrino Limonata
  • ice, cubed


  1. Mix as many shots of the clove vodka and bitters as you like in a shaker
  2. Put ice in cocktail glasses
  3. Pour shaken mixture over ice
  4. Add Limonata
  5. Enjoy!


Unsurprisingly, clove and lemon work well together. Super-tasty.

Next time, on Friar Lane infusions:

...currently working up the next batch of old favorites, and a few new special guest stars. Hint: rhymes with gin.

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