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A question about a recipe: Blueberry Basil Infused Vodka

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I have a question about the recipe "Blueberry Basil Infused Vodka" from Kitchen Konfidence. Have you used fresh bay leaves in infusions? It is such a hardy leaf, I'm curious if anything special needs to be extract its full flavor. (I use bay to scent blueberries that I can in light syrup, and have found that, even sitting (initially at a high temperature) for a few hours, they don't yield as strong a flavor as herbs with more delicate leaves.) Many thanks. ;o)

asked by denisebjorling almost 4 years ago
8 answers 1898 views
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Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

added almost 4 years ago

I've used bay leaf in lots of infusions and have always had great success with its flavor coming through -- without having to bruise the leaves, etc.

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AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added almost 4 years ago

What other ingredients have you paired with the bay? I'm wondering if the intensity/sugar levels of freshly picked (as in, in my case, picked 10 minutes ago) blueberries are particularly strong. I'm using fresh bay leaves that sound loud and clear in tomato sauces, but are barely perceptible in the blueberries in light syrup I've been canning of late. Many thanks. ;o)

B3038408 42c1 4c18 b002 8441bee13ed3  new years kitchen hlc only
AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added almost 4 years ago

Incidentally I-- and not denisbjorling -- asked the question initially. (You probably figured that out from the signature within the question.) I have no idea why it's displaying the question that way. Not surprisingly, I did not get any notification via email of the first two answers to this question. ;o)

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added almost 4 years ago

I've made a few infusions with bay and I did not do anything special to extract the flavor. However, this process is to taste. So if you are not satisfied with the flavor when using whole, fresh bay leaves you can either 1) add more whole, fresh bay leaves or 2) tear the bay leaves in half.

On a side note, Jo Malone is coming out with a new fragrance called Blackberry Bay. I was totally thinking about making a blackberry bay infusion to celebrate :)

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added almost 4 years ago

Muddle the leaves first with whatever your infusing them with you can always strain out any pieces of the leaf that breaks up.

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added almost 4 years ago

Antonia James, I've done a vodka / bay infusion. Also, gin / bay / rosemary.

B3038408 42c1 4c18 b002 8441bee13ed3  new years kitchen hlc only
AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added almost 4 years ago

Okay, thanks. Those sound good. Just wondering about blueberries + bay and how to make the bay flavor more noticeable. I'll have to try this. I'm still looking for things to do with the daily multiple quarts of blueberries we're picking from the bushes lining my front walkway. I'm thinking that bay with Mexican vanilla (spicier than Madagascar) would be nice too. Really love the gin + rosemary + bay. Have you considered blueberries + ginger + gin? I add ginger + gin on occasion to the blueberries in syrup that I can. Pretty nice, to put it mildly. ;o)

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added almost 4 years ago

I find that vanilla can overpower subtle flavors in an infusion. So use with caution! I've made blueberry infused gin as well. Super tasty. Never thought to add ginger though. I'll have to give that a try. Thanks for the suggestion!