More vodka infusions! More!
This time I thought I'd try out a French liqueur, the 44. Essentially, you stuff an orange with 44 coffee beans, put it in a jar with 44 sugar cubes, and fill the entire thing with vodka. After aging for 44 days, you remove the orange and strain out any particulates. Then you drink it in good health and good conscience.
Here's what 44 coffee beans look like:
I used Blue Bottle's Three Africans, a bag of which has been in my freezer for an inordinately long time. We really need to get a decent coffee grinder one of these days. Does anyone want to recommend a good grinder producing a uniform coarse grind that works well in a French press?
Anyway. I grabbed a knitting needle (a size 5 aluminum double-point, for those of you) and stabbed a whole bunch of holes all over my orange.
The orange in question came from one of our copious neighborhood trees. It wasn't very big (so it fit through the regular mouth of my quart jar) but it was super fragrant and juicy. In fact, I ended up holding the orange over the mouth of the jar to catch the juice and orange oil while I stuffed the coffee beans in the holes.
The knitting needle made holes small enough to totally envelop all the coffee beans. When I was finished stuffing the orange, they were only visible as slightly dark spots underneath the peel.
Since we don't generally have sugar cubes lying around, my next step was to check the internet to find out how much sugar each cube contains. Apparently the answer is one teaspoon. 44 teaspoons equals .92 cups. Since we don't like overly sweet liqueurs, I halved that amount and used a touch under half a cup of brown sugar.
Then I filled the jar with vodka, shook it all up (lid on, of course), and deposited it in the cupboard to age for the requisite 44 days. My finished liqueur should be ready to drink on December 9th.
Now all I have to do is wait patiently. Boo!