Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Extracts with Rum

So, its been a hard month so far.  My mom passed away Jan. 30th from still unknown causes (Harborview is still investigating why she died) and we have been getting things ready for her Celebration of Life on March 2nd.  So, lots of things have been going on.

But, I have been working on things that are crafty as well.  They have been keeping my mind busy.  Also, because mom drank rum and no one else in the house will touch the stuff...   First was orange extract.

We had one orange left sitting out, and I decided that I might as well try making extract out of it.  I mean, why not?  So, I zested the bugger.  After cleaning it of course.  I didn't want any weird tastes from whatever they put on the skins of fruit.

Orange zest... smelled yummy....
 I read somewhere on another blog about making extracts that you can add sugar to the zest.  It called for a full teaspoon, but I thought it was a little much, so I added about an eighth of one.  But hey, experimentation is the best!  Who knows how it will turn out!  I wont for a few months at least..... >.>

 So I mixed the zest of one orange, the tiny bit of sugar, and one cup of white rum together in a sanitized mason jar and viola!  It looks like watered down orange juice!  I mean... the beginnings of extract.
The recipe I used is as follows:
Zest of one large orange (Navel for me)
1/8 tsp sugar
1 cup white rum or vodka (80 proof)

Zest the orange, making sure not to get too much bitter pith, unless you want bitter extract.  Mix the sugar with the zest, then place in a clean mason jar.  Add prefered alcohol.  Seal, shake vigorously, and store in a cool dark place for two-six months.  Shake at least once a week.  The longer it sits, the stronger extract comes forth.  Enjoy!

That was last week that I did the orange extract.  Note to self, after zesting an orange, do not let it sit for more than a few hours before consuming.  I did, and pealing off the zest was hell!

This is what I did today.  I finally got my pack of vanilla beans from amazon.com.  Soooo happy!  It was mucho cheaper buying that way than it is trying to buy beans from the super expensive local stores.  Seriously.  This pack was $18ish bucks for (as you can see) many beans versus $8+ for two single beans.  I'll pick the amazon ones any day....

I pulled out nine beautiful beans (I decided to go with Tahitian beans this time, I might try Madagascar beans when I eventually get through all of these...) to make a nice big batch of vanilla extract.  My plan is to make at least two batches of extract to bottle up later this year as X-mas gifts.  This first batch is with... yeah.... rum!

I know, I said rum!  The bottle is empty... no Ketel One in it...  Thats my brother's favorite vodka...

Begin by splitting the lovely heaven sticks down the center and scrape out some of the little black bits of absolutely delicious smelling caviar.  Mmmm... our kitchen still smells yummy...  When done, shove all the heaven sticks, aka vanilla beans, into the empty bottle and then drop all those lovely little black bits into the bottle as well.

I figured I was doing the extract, might as well through a bean into the sugar while I was at it and make some vanilla sugar!  (I scraped the black gold out of that bean to add to the extract....  the bean will still work in the sugar without the seeds!  I mean, there will still be some in there anyway, my scraping skills need some work and I don't get it all in one go anyway...)

Anyway, back to the extract....   I then measured out a little less than three cups of white rum to add to the bottle stuffed with vanilla.

 And I poured... and watched the little pieces of black gold float through the bottle.  I then added a little more rum to it, because I wasn't sure how much would fit into the bottle with the beans taking up room in there.  Doesn't it look delicious?  Can you smell the vanilla?  I can~~~~  I guess I need to invent some smell-o-computer things for others to smell it too... (I'll stick it next to the time making machine that I need to invent in order to get one of my favorite bands out this way, cause they are booked solid right now and would need more time in order to come out and party here....) Or, you could just buy some vanilla.....
And voila!!  Vanilla extract with rum has been started!  Now it shall sit for six or more months, with random shakings at least once a week.

For the recipe:
Three vanilla beans per cup of alcohol.

Split vanilla beans, leaving about an inch at one end hooked together.  Optional: scrape out the caviar to add manually to the bottle.  I read some people do, some don't, so I guess its personal preference.  And whether or not you want tiny little black dots floating around in the extract.  I think it adds character!  And a feeling of home-madeiness...  Add beans, seeds, and preferred alcohol (vodka, rum, whiskey, etc) and seal.  Shake.  Store for six plus months.  The longer it sits the tastier it gets!  It gets a fuller bodier flavor the longer it has the beans in it.

Easiest thing to remember, ever.

Seriously, I didn't even need to look it up in the little extract/liquour book that I'm writing for myself.  I'll post more about that some other time, probably....

Well, that is what I've done so far!  I'll be posting some stuff about them later on in the year on the progress of these extracts.  I'll probably be doing another batch of vanilla extract with vodka later.  My plan (with my sister) is to give little bottles of extracts for gifts this year, including a 'comparison' bottles of rum vs vodka (maybe even whiskey) vanilla extracts for people to try different versions of them...

....and on that note, I will end this here....

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