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Drink Your Garden!!!

by germinatrix | July 29th, 2011

ahhhh... the mule. Ride 'em cowgirl!

Shhhh… don’t tell anybody – I love to drink. I’m not a beer person, and although I sometimes partake of the fermented grape, I can’t call myself an oenophile by a longshot. I LOVE cocktails. And I have a very deep and meaningful relationship with vodka.

Infusing the  alcohol of your choice with fresh ingredients is all the rage – and is SO EASY! You can create your own versions of your favorite cocktails, and all it takes is a mason jar, the ingredients of your choice, a little time, and BOOZE!!!

The infusion shown in the picture is my version of a Moscow Mule, which is my favorite summer libation. (THIS summer, at least) It is usually made with vodka, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, and either ginger beer or ginger ale – a delicious drink to be sure, but if you infuse your vodka with the fresh flavors of a Moscow Mule, you will have a thing of wonder that is head and shoulders above what you can get at most bars.

I love ginger, so I peeled and mashed up a whole gang of it and placed it in a quart sized mason jar. I added the vodka and let it “steep” in a cool dark place for a few days, sampling it (FUN!) until I had the intensity of ginger I wanted (and like I said, I love ginger – so this mule has quite a kick!). Then I added sliced limes. I added them later because citrus infuses quickly into spirits, and it can overwhelm the other flavors and make any drink teeter towards the citrussy. Usually, this wouldn’t be a problem for a Moscow Mule, which is lime based – but I wanted mine to be really ginger forward, so I held off with the lime until the last two days. On the second day after I added the lime, I pronounced the concoction done! It isn’t REALLY a Moscow Mule – since it has so much ginger in it, it has been dubbed the Red-Headed Mule. Get it? Ginger? Red Head? Bahahahahaha!!!

Serving couldn’t be easier – just pour over ice and enjoy. Nothing else is needed unless you want a pretty garnish. This drink has NO sugar in it – a Mule in a bar would be very sweet and packed with calories. Not MY Mule! The Red-Headed Mule is almost as skinny as a vodka soda.

If you ask for a traditional Moscow Mule in a bar, it will be served in a copper mug. You have to have alot of confidence walking around a bar with a big copper goblet that makes you look like you are trying to be a character in Game of Thrones. But it is an excellent conversation starter, if you don’t mind being asked “what’s with that cup” over and over again.

Infusing takes your drinks to a whole other level – your cocktails will have a new depth and richness of flavor. I infuse all of the time – especially using herbs from my garden. Vodka, mint, and cucumber? YUM! Tequila, hot peppers, and tomato? OMG! But don’t stop there – use other spirits, other flavors! One of my favorites is Bourbon and apples! I’ve also infused Cocoa Nibs and oranges into bourbon – so incredible!

Let your imagination soar. Use what you have in your gardens, or explore the offerings at your farmers markets. And, of course, in order to get good at anything, you have to PRACTICE. Practice ALOT. In fact, I am going to give you some homework. I want everyone who reads this to do an infusion for next week, and report back. I want to hear everything – how you made your infusion, who you shared it with, what kind of trouble you got into – don’t hold back! You know your Germinatrix likes the dirt!

Speaking of dirt, you can get more cocktail inspiration from fellow garden blogger Nicky at Dirt and Martinis. Drink up, my friends!

XOXO Your Germinatrix

16 Responses to “Drink Your Garden!!!”

  1. Dearest Ivette,

    You have totally made my day!!! BIG XOXO’s to you! Muah!

  2. This sounds like a page to bookmark, Germi! I, too, am a gingeophile.

  3. another great mixer whether you are drinking water or whiskey or anything in between.She make her sipping vinegars from local farms (unless its citrus flavors) – for more information check out her website or facebook page.

  4. Nicky – I get all excited from your posts! We are sisters in Drinking our Gardens! XO!

    Helen – if you love ginger, TRY THIS! Heaven in an icy glass.

    Cj & deb – I have never heard of a “sipping vinegar”. Will it make you drunk? And who IS this “She” you write about? Intrigued!

  5. This reminds me of all the bottles of sole gin I left in England. I’ve heard rhubarb wine is the best. I only make elderflower cordial these days , which I highly recommend …with bergamot ice cubes.

  6. expat39520 says:

    OK, so I put the ginger in a jar, pour on the vodka and…do what? Cap it and leave it on the counter? How long? Add the lime and wait 2 more days? Then drain, strain and funnel back into the vodka bottle? I’m a big fan of flavored vodka, but I don’t want to waste a drop of the spirits by getting something wrong.

  7. Hey Expat! You store it in a cool dark place and taste it until it is to your liking – I can’t tell you how long, some people like it stronger than others. Ginger can infuse rather quickly, which is why I say take a little sip every day and see what gives. You might want to strain the ginger out after two days, or might want to leave it in and serve it with the ginger floating in it (my style). It isn’t an exact science – you have to play with it. Get yourself some practice vodka! The experimenting is the enjoyable part!

  8. Oh Linda that sounds DIVINE!

  9. I could just comment with one big LOL! You always crack me up. I would probably like the non-skinny sweet version of the drink myself; I’m not much of a drinker, but fruity girlie drinks and sweet muscadine wine appeal to my childlike tastes.

  10. ohhhh, nice! I’ll try it!

  11. Great…now I’m really REALLY thirsty!

  12. I KNEW I’d find the real reason behind home gardening if I hung around here long enough. Ivette… you are total inspiration!! My own deep and meaningful relationship is with a guy named Jack Daniel. I’m so hot to try this infusion with Jack – I’ll call it a “Tennessee Mule”. Why, silly me, have I never thought of infusions with regards to anything other than medicinals??? There’s an unspeakably fabulous Israeli liqueur called “Sabra”, that’s a divine chocolate/orange blend. It’s inspired me to try infusing oranges and chocolate mint with my darling Jack… Mmmmm… I’m gonna get started straightaway!! Love you… Mmmmwahhh!!!

  13. Apples and Bourbon? Yummy. I may never take another completely sober breath in my life . . .

  14. Lavender vodka lemonade – 4 sprigs lavender infused for one week in a mason jar – this turned out fantastic

    Hatch chili bloody mary – 3 roasted seeded chopped hatch chilis infused one week in a mason jar – waiting for the right day to try this

  15. This sounds super yummy! Did you use top shelf vodka or regular? If I don’t want to use ginger, just have the lime soak for a day?

  16. I have been doing this vodka thing for years-I have used calamondins (my favorite), and kumquats, but I do add the simple syrup and sip it as an aperitif after dinner. Yummy you can’t find these little look a like baby oranges unless u grow them yourself. Hey it is medicinal too!

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