For those who read regularly, you might recall I posted the instructions on making almond infused vodka quite some time ago. Then, later on I posted photos of the step by step process of getting starting the infusion. But then what?
This is after 10 glorious weeks, give or take. The almonds, cinnamon, and vanilla combined to impart a super dark and rich color. Hopefully, that will also apply to the flavor.
I think I had a rather complicated set of options for “the first straining.” I take them all back. By far the simplest is to just use a metal strainer set over a large enough funnel.
You’ve got some cloudy stuff here. It’ll also be mildly gritty, so I would avoid using it at this stage (unless you want to add a tiny bit to a mai tai or other drink calling for a dash or orgeat).
Don’t you dare throw away those almonds! What I did was put them in a pan and baked for about 20 minutes on a low temp. Basically give them a light toasting. I then just threw them in the freezer for now. Tomorrow, I will be topping some baked haddock with an almond crust. We’ll see how that goes. I made cookies with them once with pretty good results.
Wait a week and all the particulates will settle. Here’s a closer look at the bottom:
Be *very* gentle. It looks like a thick paste, but in fact it’s rather light and airy. One careless tip and you might have to wait a few days again. Why wait? Well, the next step is what gets you a lovely deep amber infusion:
I use basic cone coffee filters with a plastic funnel thing I got for like $5. Gently pour into the filter. The more of the “pure” top vodka you can get the longer that first filter will last. Toward the end, it will likely clog at which point I just switch to a fresh filter.
At the very end, you might still want to make use of that sludge. My best advice is to add 1/2 cup of pure water and give it another week to settle. You’ll be diluting your vodka a little, but you’ll be extracting as much flavor as possible. You can try to filter it, but you’ll be clogging a lot of coffee filters, or allowing a lot of cloudiness through if you go with a cheesecloth.
On to a drink! Amaretto is upwards of fifty percent sugar! It’s basically a boozy syrup. What we’ve created here is a completely unsweetened version. You can add simple syrup directly to the vodka to create a liqueur (anything from 2–1 parts vodka to 1 part simple syrup), but I prefer to control the sweetness of my drinks as much as possible. Below is a recipe for a much less sweet amaretto sour, yet still one I find more in the “after dinner” category. It’s also tasty with no added syrup.
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.