A while back an acquaintance of mine had a vodka infusing party. One of the vodkas he made was a chanterelle infused vodka. Chanterelles have a lovely fruity, earthy fragrance often equated with apricot or pumpkin. The have a lovely complex flavor - a little fruity, a little peppery, a little earhty. They are a great beginner mushroom for hunting in Oregon - easy enough to find, fairly easy to identify, and not prone to maggots like some mushrooms (boletes I'm talking about you!) For my version of chanterelle infused vodka I've added a few aromatics to enhance some of the chanterelles characteristics - some vanilla and star anise to accentuate the fruitiness and add a subtle sweetness, and some black peppercorns to add to the natural pepperiness. I've used dried chanterelles because fresh are out of season, and because they produce a clear vodka. (Fresh ones can be used, but the resulting vodka will be cloudy, and you will need to add about 4 oz.) I confess I've not come up with a cocktail to use this in, but I think vodka lovers will enjoy sipping it straight. It has a fruity & earthy nose. The forward taste is slightly sweet chanterelles, and it finishes with a little peppery bite. —hardlikearmour
What You'll Need
bottle of 80 proof vodka (not top shelf, but something decent)
star anise pod
black peppercorns, slightly crushed
Mix all ingredients in a quart sized jar. Set in a cool, dark place. Shake mix every day or so. Taste vodka after 3 or 4 days, if the peppery bite hasn't started to come through yet continue to infuse another day or 2. Strain with a fine mesh sieve or through cheesecloth and store in the original vodka bottle, or a fancier bottle if you've got one.
I am an amateur baker and cake decorator. I enjoy cooking, as well as eating and feeding others. I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my husband and our menagerie. I enjoy outdoor activities including hiking, mushroom hunting, tide pooling, beach combing, and snowboarding.