A couple of weeks after doing the final decant of this flavoured vodka, all hell broke loose in our liquor cupboard. Either the other bottles were super jealous of the Apricot and Lavender Vodka and beat it up or some serious fermentation was going on which resulted in the bottle breaking open. Possibly using honey instead of sugar in this recipe caused this to happen so it is back to the drawing board for this one!
Back in March I ordered a tray of these gorgeous things from Orchard Fresh, a company in Central Otago.
Central Otago has the right climate for growing stone fruit and these apricots were better than any I’ve tried from the supermarket. They were juicy and delicately sweet with floral notes. I wanted to preserve some of my bounty to enjoy over the coming months and decided to make a sweetened flavoured vodka as this would get me one step closer to being able to enjoy that most celebratory of cocktails – the kir – throughout the dark night of winter.
I also have a lot to celebrate at the moment so champagne cocktails seem to be the right drink for this moment in time. My gorgeous younger sister just got married, my middle sister just produced the most delightful baby that ever lived and a dear friend has just conceived her second baby after many years of trying.
I started with this recipe from Country Living Magazine: Apricot and lavender liquer and made a few alterations to suit my self. I replaced the sugar with honey to bring out the honeyed notes in the apricots and used pure vodka rather than a mixture of wine and vodka as I didn’t want to overly complicate the flavour – I wanted the apricots and lavender to shine on through.
- 500 ml vodka
- 250g apricots, halved and stoned
- 250g honey
- 10g dried lavender flowers
- stirring spoon
- a glass container with a lid
- coffee filters
1. Put the honey and apricots in a saucepan and cook over a medium heat until the apricots are tender.
2. Remove from the heat and stir in the vodka and lavender. Leave to cool.
3. Pour into a lidded container, cover and infuse for a week in a cool place. The bees were very interested when I took the vodka out of its cupboard for a photo shoot while it was busy infusing.
4. Strain the liqueur through a sieve lined with a double layer of muslin, then decant into sterilised bottles. I sterilised mine by washing them then placing them in an oven set to 100 degrees celsius to dry.
5. Seal and store in a cool dry place for one month.
6. Decant the liqueur again – this time through coffee paper – into freshly sterilised bottles.
7. To make a kir, as I did in the main photo, pour 3 tablespoons of your flavoured vodka into a champagne glass and top up with sparkling wine.