Thursday, October 14, 2010

Bottoms Up, Charlie Brown!

Ok, I've gotta stop with the "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" references that no one outside of my own head will understand.  Last week I read a ravelry post about making your own pumpkin infused vodka.  Given my recent obsession with sugar pumpkins and the fact that I have enjoyed many a home-infused fruity vodka in my time, a fire was lit under me in no time.  I had to make my own pumpkin vodka.  Luckily I also had the perfect pumpkin-loving vodka-swilling partner in crime, so we set out to mix up our concoction last Friday night.  Want to spice up your Halloween or Thanksgiving with your own version of the Great Pumpkin Martini (geez, there I go again...)?  Here's what we did:

Pumpkin Vodka
1 Qt. Mason Jar (any jar that seals will work--food safe seal not necessary.  We're not canning here, people.  Besides, doesn't alcohol kill germs?)  
2.5 C triple distilled vodka
.75 C vanilla triple distilled vodka
2 cinnamon sticks
2 split vanilla bean pods or a dash or two of vanilla extract
1 sugar pumpkin, no larger than 3 lbs
cheesecloth or coffee filter for straining

1.  Cut your pumpkin in half and scoop out the guts.  Check out Elana's Pantry for a fabulous hand-holding photo tutorial on how to do this.   This time I had four hands rather than two to hack open the pumpkin, but that didn't make it much easier.
2.  Roast the pumpkin in a 350 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes, just long enough to get the raw taste out. 
3.  After the pumpkin cools, cut it into wedges.  Stuff the wedges in your mason jar along with the cinnamon and vanilla.  You may not be able to fit the whole pumpkin in just yet. 
4.  Add the vodka.  As the ingredients settle add more pumpkin if you still have some left over.  Add more vodka in the previously stated proportions as desired.  Fill that jar up!
5.  Seal the jar and store in a cool dark place (we have ours in the fridge) for 2-4 weeks.  The more natural your ingredients (aka vanilla bean pods instead of extract) the longer it will take for the flavors to seep out and flavor the liquor.
6.  Move the jar around daily to make sure all of the vodka touches the pumpkin.
7.  Strain the liquid through your cheesecloth or coffee filter.
8.  Mix up a pumpkin pie martini and enjoy!

I'm not linking a Pumpkin Pie martini recipe because I can't find one I like.  Who needs heavy cream in their liquor?  Yuck, not me!  I'll get back to you after I've personally sampled and crafted the perfect drink.

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