Our local Fresh Market grocery has a sale going on this weekend. I went in to pick up some things for lunch and saw that they had fresh figs for $5 a pound. That got me thinking. After lunch I poured all my remaining vodka together. I had 600 ml. Now, before all this started I had been think about putting some fruit trees in around our house. Figs could be tough to grow around here, but I think I’ve identified two varieties that might make it (Brown Turkey and Hardy Chicago). Because of that, I’ve had figs on my mind. It seemed worth while to try an infusion and see if I liked the result. A little web searching suggested it wasn’t a terrible idea. There wasn’t much out there. Vanilla flavoring was recommended by a couple of people as a complementary flavor.
I headed to Greenlife for a vanilla bean (good selection of bulk spices). Figs were a little over $5 a half pound here, so the sale price turned out to be pretty good. One more stop at Fresh Market to get the figs. I tried to pick ones that were ripe and squishy. It was a little challenging because at both stores they are packaged in 8 oz plastic containers. I also needed a little more vodka, so I picked one of those small 200 ml hip flasks at the ABC Store. With ingredients in hand, I assembled my mix:
- 1 lb of figs
- 1 vanilla bean
- 75cl of 80 proof vodka
Clean and stem figs, slice into quarters or small. Add figs to vodka. Split vanilla bean, scrap out seeds then add asseds and bean to the vodka.
All of this was done yesterday. By today the vodka had extracted most of the purple pigment from the figs. The vanilla aroma is quite obvious, but the vodka also has an earthy undertone from the figs. I’ll let it go a few weeks.
My web searching turned up something marginally related – a great guide to making your own vanilla extract. It’s just an infused vodka: http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Vanilla-Extraction/