Make Ahead

Butternut Squash 5-Spice Liqueur

October 18, 2012
Author Notes

In this fall-flavored alcohol infusion, fragrant 5-Spice syrup is used to sweeten a homemade batch of butternut squash infused vodka. A perfect treat after Thanksgiving dinner. —Kitchen Konfidence

  • Makes about 1.5 liters
Ingredients
  • For the Butternut Squash Infused Vodka
  • 3 - 4 pounds butternut squash
  • 1 liter good quality vodka (or enough to cover squash)
  • For the 5-Spice Syrup
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 5 whole star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken into smaller pieces
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 cup water
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Peel butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise, then clean out seeds and guts. Discard skin, seeds and guts. Cut the squash up into 1.5-inch chunks. Spread out in an even layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until just tender (test by inserting the tip of a knife), 20 – 30 minutes. Do not overcook here. The squash should be tender, but not falling apart. Let the squash cool to room temperature, then transfer to a large mason jar.
  3. Add vodka to the jar until it covers the squash by 1 inch (I used between 750 ml and 1 L). Seal the jar and store in a cool, dark spot.
  4. Give the jar a gentle shake every few days. Start tasting the vodka after 1 week. The finished infusion should taste very strongly of butternut squash. I was pleased with the flavor after 2 weeks; however, this can vary based on taste.
  5. Once you are satisfied with the butternut squash flavor, pour the mixture through a medium-mesh basket strainer into a clean bowl or jar. Discard the solids. Strain again through a fine-mesh strainer into another clean bowl or jar. Set aside while you prepare the 5-Spice Syrup.
  6. In small saucepan, combine sugars, spices and water. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once the mixture comes to a boil, drop the heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes. Let the mixture cool completely, then strain out all of the spices. Discard spices.
  7. Pour syrup into the infused vodka, stirring to combine. Cover and let rest for 1 more day before serving.

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Kitchen Konfidence is a collection of recipes and techniques aimed to inspire the home cook to do more in the kitchen. About Brandon: I enjoy cooking with seasonal ingredients, making ice cream and shaking up some killer cocktails. When I am not cooking and taking pictures of my food, I am at the beach, carousing with friends, taking day trips up the 5, or engaging in all manner of computer geekery.