Dazed and Infused…

Posted: November 5, 2012 in Why buy it when you can make it
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So I have been pondering it for a while to do another infusion of some sort but have just been unsure what I wanted to do.  I don’t want to make something and just having it sitting around my house for months on end, so I’ve been waiting for an occasion where it may be appropriate.  Well, on November 3rd, friends of ours are having a Jambalaya Party, so I figured…why not?  Lets do something fall based….so I attempted to do another Vodka infused with Pie Pumpkin, Cinnamon Sticks and Whole Allspice.  Two of my three previous attempts to infuse were great sucesses, I had a little confidence when doing this infusion although I never worked with Pumpkin before and didn’t know how much flavor would come out of the pie pumpkin.  For those that do not know, there is a difference between a pumpkin and a pie pumpkin.  Typically, a Pie Pumpkin is usually smaller in size, has green or brown spots on the exterior skin, much easier to cut into and the interior has much more ‘meat’ than your typical pumpkin.  When the interior of a regular pumpkin is hollow except for seeds and pumpkin guts, the interior of a pie pumpkin has a very small hollow that is crammed with the seeds and guts, leaving you a meatier interior.

So here is what I did….

  1. Took a 6 inch Pie Pumpkin and ashed the Exterior Skin Off of Debris and Dirt
  2. Cut the Pie Pumpkin Into Quarters and carved out the area of the stem and the bottom knot
  3. Carved out any seeds and pumpkin guts from the meat of the interior of the four pieces
  4. Peeled the skin off the exterior until just pumpkin meat is leftover (Pie Pumpkin will peel like a cucumber)
  5. Cut the Pie Pumpkin Quarters into one inch cubes
  6. Place Pie Pumpkin Cubes into decanter
  7. Place Cinnamon Sticks into decanter (standing upright, not laying down…it needs to flavor as much area as possible)
  8. Place hole Allspice beeds into decanter
  9. Pour One Liter of Plain Vodka (not flavored, thats cheating)

And you end up with this…

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After letting sit for one day, I did a quick swirl of the pumpkin as to get as much of it inside the vodka as possible.  I also took it for a quick test run (strictly for Quality Control purposes) and the clear vodka has taken a golden straw hue, similar to a lighter apple juice color.  The nose is quickly noticeable with the cinnamon coming through and the allspice following with a mild pumpkin flavor on the back end.  I really wished that the pumpkin nose was much more straight forward but it is what it is.  The taste actually came off a lot better than I thought it would, the pumpkin is much more forward with the cinnamon and allspice on the back end.  Now, as much as I could drink this On The Rocks, not everyone at the party will be alcoholics, so now I’ve got to come up with some sort of mixer for it.

Well, bringing the vodka to the party worked out pretty well. As I brought the large decanter into the house, I caught some odd looks and mild stares from other party goers. The vodka turned out extremely well with a nice mildly sweet pumpkin flavor with a spicy finish of cinnamon. As for its reception, for a house full of a majority of wine drinkers and one self glossed ‘craft beer aficionado’, the decanter was empty within three hours. Most people were mixing it with Apple Cider and other (like myself) drank it On The Rocks.

As a side note of the Craft Beer Aficionado, its a funny little side bar story. I am talking with another unknown party goer about infusing liquor when two other guys stepped in to listen in. One gentleman was opening his Sam Adams Oktoberfest while the other was holding a glass of infused vodka mixed with apple cider. The guy holding the apple cider mixer interrupted the conversation asking me the infused vodka…(okay, no problem, I like to talk about it) but then he starts to talk up how he was a ‘Craft Beer Aficionado’ and ‘into it, Big Time’. So, out of curiosity, I asked what his style preferences were and his response was ‘Guinness…that’s my go to craft beer’. I excused myself, rolling my eyes as I walked away. I love to talk craft beer, especially to those that aren’t into craft beer but to do it with the self glossing experts is where I draw the line…it may be ‘asshole’ of me, but it just isn’t worth teaching the dumb about it in my opinion.

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