Infusions make some of the best drinks, especially when made with fruit like blueberries. And gin and blueberries are a perfect match, which is great with tonic water or other drinks.
Kevin Martin of Eastern Standard makes a gin infusion he claims "is like gold at the restaurant." Start with fresh blueberries and freeze them thoroughly. Why freeze fresh berries? Kevin tells us ice crystals form, causing cell walls to burst and impart a deep color and rich flavor into the gin. Soak half of the berries in the gin for 3 weeks, then strain the mixture over a new batch of fresh-frozen berries, allowing it to rest an additional 3 weeks. Six weeks seems like a long time to wait, but this delicious gin will be worth your patience.
Makes 1 liter
* 2½ lbs fresh blueberries, divided
* 1 liter dry gin
* container for infusing
* fine mesh strainer
* 1 liter-sized glass bottle
1. Freeze fresh blueberries thoroughly for 2-3 hours
2. Divide the amount of blueberries in half, placing one part into a container for the infusion, leaving the remaining blueberries in the freezer
3. Add gin, making sure that the fruit is completely submerged. Cover and store at room temperature for 3 weeks; there is no need to refrigerate
4. After 3 weeks, strain through a fine mesh strainer and pour (the partially-infused gin) over the second half of frozen blueberries
5. Let the mixture sit for about 3 more weeks. You'll know your infusion is ready when the gin tastes like juicy blueberries. Strain again through a fine mesh strainer and bottle
6. Store at room temperature and enjoy.