Citron vodka is easily prepared!
You could make this with your eyes closed. Almost.
I mean, you would need to chop the fruit but that’s it (and if you can do that without peeking, well then…)
I was in the market one day when I spotted a strange plaything labeled Buddha’s Hand.
This strange yellow fruit resembled an octopus at best, loaded with golden-green-fleshed fingers or tentacles. It might have passed for something out of an old Outer Limits episode if those shows had not been in black and white. Monstrously beautiful color!
Now I will confess that I have this thing going now where if I see something I have never used or eaten before it goes on my bucket list and faster than that, goes in my market basket if it is in my hand. Now that can be a pretty scary prospect! Where I live there are some interesting markets. Jungle Jim’s in Fairfield Ohio is among them. They call themselves an International Market, and they spread out like a warehouse full of surprises from all over the globe. If I can’t find something, I’m always sure JJ’s has it. So when I find new things I task myself to try them.
Well, except one. 😉
Jungle Jim’s has a lovely, if not foul smelling little gem frozen in the back of their produce section. I wonder if you may have guessed that the fruit I shy from is the durian? Well, it is on the bucket list. I just need a little more time to screw myself up to the task. LOL
But not for the lovely, if not freakish looking Buddha’s Hand. I bought it right away, thinking it was some type of fruit that at the very least would go nicely in some sort of fruit salad or another.
When I get home with it, I find that this lovely knobby fleshed fruit (it kind of has the knobby texture of flesh like a kaffir lime) really has no edible fruit inside. What a rip. Or is it? I find that it is a type of citron. O.K. I can make candied citron with it (but Sue! This fruit is pretty big and that’s quite a lot of candied citron!). O.K. I’ll do something else.
As luck would have it, my eyes fell upon a bottle of liqueur sitting out and it gave me an idea to infuse some booze with it. So I decided on vodka. And off to the liquor store I went, coming back with a bottle of Swedish Absolut in hand.
The great thing about the Buddha’s hand is that unlike typical lemons and limes in which the white pithy part can make infusing things like vodka very bitter, the pith of the Buddha’s Hand is not bitter at all. I guess it is the saving grace for a fruit that really has, well…no fruit. So easily made is the vodka: just chop the fruit and put it in the vodka.
My waiting time is one month. Well, if you can keep your hands off it! LOL I have since seen similar recipes that don’t wait that long, but it seems to me that was the time I used to do when infusing vinegars, so…
Well, as it turns out, waiting just one month is just fine. I did go in and shake it around a bit every few days just to stir things up. In the end, the mixture is then strained as best as you can, either through a coffee filter or several layers of cheesecloth. Then the golden vodka is put back into the bottle and…
Hey! Some of it is gone! LOL
And here, friends, is where i tell you one of those little things that people who work with booze know, especially if they distill liquor. In the business of bourbon, where bourbon is aged in oak barrels until it gets that baby-bottom smoothness, a little thing happens called evaporation, which those who have seen it call “The Angel’s Share.” Well, the lid to my half gallon canning jar was on there pretty tight, so I don’t think it was that. 😉 But besides the Angel’s share, another strange thing happens, at least when distilling bourbon in barrels. The amount of bourbon absorbed into the wood and is lost to the final product is called “The Devil’s Share.” And in major distilleries, I think they use a centrifuge to regain as much of that as they can, because who on earth is going to give the devil an inch, much less any of their hard-earned bourbon? LOL Well, my canning jar was glass so this doesn’t apply. But- a goodly amount was missing. And I know where it went. 😉 (Yeah, I know you are onto it as well, but let’s continue the story…) It is the fruit itself which absorbed the vodka.
Now since i don’t have a centifuge (well, I used to have a salad spinner back in the day but I ditched it) I do know that when you infuse the liquor, sometimes the fruit can be used in something else, especially since it is now full of booze. Well, there’s isn’t really any usable fruit inside the Buddha’s Hand. So alas, it is lost, and I have choose to dub it “The Buddha’s Share”. And being a benevolent vodka god, he has chose to bless my vodka with the most stunning color and wonderful flavor you can imagine.
If that’s the price I must pay, he can keep the change.
You can see the wonderful color for yourself. As for the taste, i guess you need to hit the market and grab yourself a Buddha’s Hand.
Homemade Citron Vodka
- 750 mL. quality vodka
- 1 Buddha’s Hand fruit, chopped
- Chop fruit and place with vodka into a nonreactive, tightly sealed, sterile container.
- Age for one month, agitating contents every few days.
- Strain mixture from vodka hrough several layers of cheesecloth or coffee filters, discarding spent fruit.
- Store infused vodka in the original bottle.
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