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Vodka infusions: Cucumber and lychee, part 2

InthebottlesFolliwing Saturday’s foray into vodka infusions, I took my own advice and tasted on the fifth day. Good thing, too, as I think they were pretty much done at that point. So I got down my trusty Melitta cone and filters, which happens coincidentally to fit so very well with the top of my Tupperware measuring cup, and set to work.

Draining the lychees was entertaining, as the fleshy white meat with pinkish streaks immediately made me think of lobster meat, which was not quite the effect I was going for. Somewhat to my surprise, the lychee infusion did not turn out milky white, but rather faintly golden and opalescent. Luckily, it does not smell or taste like lobster. Rather, the bouquet is slightly funky (as lychees are), but the flavor is full-on sweet lychee. Very nice indeed.

The cucumber seems good at first pale. I did not have cute containers at the ready when I strained off the infusions yesterday (d’oh), so I just had them in the fridge until this afternoon. The acid test for the cuke infusion will be when it’s frozen, to see whether those fabulous ice crystals form.

I did try a sip of the two blended together. That has potential! I’ll try it when they’re both frozen.

I tasted the spent flesh of both fruits, as I always do. Naturally, they taste like booze, and to a lesser extent like the produce they are. But interestingly, the vodka appears to have a pickling effect on it, as the flesh comes out denser, tougher and crisper. I’m sure there are some significant culinary applications for vodka-pickled fruits and veggies. All I’ve ever done with them in the past is blend them with ice for a quick summer cocktail. Alas, for now, I’ll merely have to continue dreaming up recipes for liquor-soaked lychees; I sent it down the drain. Eat up, little fishies!

A few more pics, including closeups of the lobster meat lychee flesh and obligatory cutesy label, after the jump.

See what I mean about lobster meat?

The cucumber infusion worked out to almost exactly 750 ml. The lychee, maybe not even 200 ml, but it was an experiment anyway.

Such stately little bottles. As you can see, I’ve bought extra for future infusions.

Tediously and meticulously made label.

This Post Has 5 Comments
  1. LOVE the labels.
    I lost the template for my starburst labels, so I will be forced to come up with something new…
    Keep eyes open for green walnuts. Sunday (6/24) is the traditional nocino-making day.

  2. Hee … I need to make a template. This was a bit slapped together. There’s one for the lychee too, but there’s not enough to share, so I’ll just have to whip up more!

  3. Oh man I had this lust for lychee infused vodka tonight and stumbled upon this…Having never done an infusion before I’m curious as to your thoughts on tinned lychees? Longer or shorter infusion time for my tinned friends? Or should I hold out for the fresh ones? Thanks in advance!

  4. Interesting, it hadn’t occurred to me. In theory there should be little difference, except that longer infusion might extract some actual tinny flavor. Also, canned goods are cooked, so that may affect how the flavor is imparted; my instincts is that it would reduce the amount of lychee flavor in the infusion, but I haven’t tried it. Naturally, fresh is best!

  5. I’ll do some market hunting, but if worst comes to worst I’ll give the tinned lychees a whirl. Thanks for the advice, I’ll let you know how it all goes!

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