About Deborah

Deborah
Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Cindy

Cindy
Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Jan

Jan
Jan is a serious home cook who loves to read recipes and then do her own thing. Her focus is ingredient driven comfort food, often with an Italian influence. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about food and travels (next trip to Italy: May/June of 2012) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Palma

Palma
Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Sandi

Sandi
Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Kim

Kim
Kim joins us after being our permanent sub on the Pomodori e Vino project. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think or The Amy Foundation.

About Jerry

Jerry
Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

Our Subs

About Beth

Beth
Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Amy

Amy
Amy is a teacher in suburban Boston with far too many cookbooks, her Grandmother's meat grinder and canning jars, and a new Wolf stove. She appreciates cuisines from around the world, with a particular fondness for French, Moroccan, Italian, Vietnamese, and Indian cooking. Tweaking her cooking and eating habits resulted long-lasting weight loss and health benefits, proving that living well still tastes good. An old hobby is knitting; and a newer one is canning preserves. Read more from Amy on her blog, Destination Anywhere.

« 'Squash'ed Potatoes | Main | Roasted Beet, Goat Cheese and Walnut Tart »

Beet Liqueur

By Deborah

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Those who know me, knew it was just a matter of time before I'd post a "hooch" recipe for the weekly flavor assignment. Oddly enough, Beet Liqueur was the very first thing I ever I consulted The Flavor Bible for.

It was late fall of 2009. I'd admired the book in the cooking reference section at Barnes & Noble, but was yet to purchase it. Then we decided our next trip would be to Estonia, and as is my habit, the first thing I began researching was the country's food traditions. With its proximity to Russia, it is to be expected that those traditions include beets.

I'd just finished a new batch of Carrot/Ginger liqueur and was in a groove with root vegetables, so I checked Andrew & Karen's recommendations and a new liqueur recipe was born.

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Beet/Tarragon/Orange Liqueur

2 cups - Everclear (grain alcohol)
2 cups - Vodka
1 large ORANGE
1 bundle (6-8 five inch stems) fresh TARRAGON
6 small or 3 large red beets
3 cups - white granulated sugar
2 cups - water

Peel beets, cut into cubes and put in a large glass jar that can be tightly sealed (I use gallon sized jars with rubber gaskets and metal hasp latches.)

Peel the orange in as large strips as possible, making sure to take only the peel of the orange and as little of the white inner pith as possible. Add these strips to the jar
.
Rinse and shake dry the tarragon and add to the jar.

Pour in Everclear and Vodka and seal down lid. Shake to mix, and store in a cool dark place for 10-20 days. Shake the bottle every day to redistribute ingredients.

Once the infusion is a deep dark red and most of the color has leached out of the orange peel and tarragon, remove all solids and strain liquid through a coffee filter into a clean sealable jar.

Put sugar in a saucepan and add water. Heat over medium heat to melt sugar. Bring to a rolling boil and continue to boil until sugar syrup is clear. About 3 minutes should do it.
Remove pan from heat and allow sugar syrup to cool to room temperature.

Pour cooled syrup into filtered beet liqueur. Stir to mix, seal lid, and return to cool dark place.
Allow to mellow for as long as you like. Several weeks to several years.

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The picture above is what the liqueur looked like just a few weeks after bottling.
The one below is what it looks like today, two years later. You can see that when young it retains the red color of the beets, and after mellowing it becomes a golden whisky color.

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An interesting side note about that trip to Estonia that led to the development of this recipe -- the glass you see in this picture is a souvenir. While in Tallinn, we visited the "Soviet Life Museum", a funky and fun collection of common items from everyday life under Communist rule. The museum receives donations from Estonians all over the country and supports itself by running a sort of flea market to sell the items it can't use for display. I loved the chunky look of this glass and knew I had something waiting to pour into it.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 15, 2012 2:58 AM.

The previous post in this blog was 'Squash'ed Potatoes.

The next post in this blog is Roasted Beet, Goat Cheese and Walnut Tart.

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