Sunday, June 15, 2008

Lemongrass-infused Vodka

We've planted lemongrass in our herb garden for the past couple of years and I honestly don't know why. It's a great plant, with its grass-like stalks and lemony essence, but I've struggled with what to actually do with it.

St. Louis has numerous authentic, delicious, and inexpensive (my holy trinity) Vietnamese & Thai restaurants, which is where many people get their first exposure to lemongrass. But because our local restaurants are so good & affordable there's little reason for me to make sub-par home versions spring rolls or Tom Yum soup, the dishes lemongrass usually turns up in.

Instead I decided to try infusing vodka with lemongrass. The young, tender sprigs are perfectly sized for a 750mL bottle of vodka. I've read different recipes that use the more woody stalk, but because this is early in the herb season I've only got the young shoots in my garden. I'll try using the stalks later and compare, but until then:

1 750mL bottle of good vodka (I like Ketel One or Grey Goose)
3 young stalks lemongrass

Wash & dry the lemongrass. Place in vodka. Store in a cool, dark place for 3 days and up to 1 week. Strain the vodka & return to its bottle.

Once this has steeped I'm going to try it in a variety of Thai- and Vietnamese-inspired 'tinis and 'tails - check back!


Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

I've been thinking of trying lemongrass in my herb garden too. Did you do anything special to strain the vodka? Did you pour it thru cheesecloth or something?

Ginger said...

Wow!! What a beautiful image. My vodka is currently infusing. Does anyone have a suggestion for mixers? Maybe something minty?

Chris Freeland said...

Lisa, I actually haven't strained it yet - just put in the lemongrass to steep on Saturday. I will use cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer when I do remove the lemongrass.

Chris Freeland said...

Ginger - Thanks! I'm going to do a post about mixers & how to use the infused vodka soon. I'm thinking of Vietnamese/Thai takes on cocktails like a "Phojito" or a "Tom Yum Collins"...that kinda thing.

Rikesh said...

Nice post.. I haven't had the lemongrass vodka till now! did you use the entire leaf? or just the base?

uptownie said...

Did you ever do a followup post on mixers? Your two drink name suggestions are hilarious!

Anonymous said...

Try it with Domaine de Canton -- it's a beautiful new ginger liqour.

Anonymous said...

sumac-lemongrass vodka sour