I hate waste. If I leave my flat for an extended period of time (a fortnight for example) I can’t stand the thought of anything going off or out of date and I hate throwing things out.
I might pickle certain things, like any leftover cucumber to make Japanese Tsukemono. Otherwise, with my herbs I do what naturally comes to mind. I stick them in alcohol.
Leave it in a cool, dark place to infuse for a few weeks, giving it a shake every now and then if you can. When ready (ie when you get back from a trip for example), remove the herbs, squeeze the alcohol out of them back into the jar and discard them.
If making a martini I like to keep the infusion in the freezer for at least 8 hours before serving. One batch should make around 4-6 martinis.
We didn’t have any martini glasses to hand when we made a batch but it still worked fine.
- If you’ve got any fresh basil left, rub some around the inside of the glass.
- Squeeze some lemon peel into the glass.
- Add a measure of vermouth to taste (between 2tsp to 20ml)
- Add around 100ml of the infused vodka and stir with the lemon peel.
- Garnish with basil leaves and/or lemon peel.
- For a fresher-tasting version take the juice of one lemon and dissolve 6tsp sugar into it.
- Add a dash of the lemon mixture to each martini.
This works with chives as well. You could use the resulting concoction to make a particularly gripping Gibson Martini.
You can also do it with lavender for a more subtle tasting infused martini.