Sunday, October 28, 2007

Liquore di basilico

So after nagging my husband to get the recipe for liquore di basilico from his brother for weeks or probably months now, I finally looked up some recipes online. Most of them followed a similar format, although one was a bit different (it involved soaking the basil in the water rather than the liquor). Here's my take on the process so far.

The first thing I had to do was deal with the fact that you just can't get 95% grain alcohol in California. Actually, I was really grateful to find 75%, as I had heard that grain alcohol didn't exist at all here. So I did some calculations to try to take into account the dilution it already had. I used two 750 mL bottles of alcohol at 75%, which is 1500 mL, or about 1250 mL of actual alcohol. I poured it into our clear water pitcher (it's the only thing I could think of to use) and added 60 basil leaves. These immediately started turning black around the edges and getting black spots on them. Although the recipe said that the liquor would start turning green after a few hours, it didn't seem like it was happening, so I wasn't too happy.

The next morning was great, though, a lovely greenish color that's been getting more and more beautiful ever time. The leaves are really pretty black now, except a few, which are staying green for reasons that are beyond me.

The next step will be to make a simple syrup of sugar and water and use it to dilute the liquor, and then to filter out the basil leaves (or maybe vice versa), then stick this stuff in bottles and let it sit for a couple weeks. I'm hoping to have some ready for Thanksgiving. I'm very excited about this. Yay! I'll have to remember to post some photos.

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