If there is something that really gives me an adrenalin rush and makes me look forward to the end result it is undoubtedly experimenting with food and beverages. The experience in the end may not always be something to write home about but just the act of eating or drinking the mysterious looking food or bizarre-ly coloured drink really excites me. So, since this last weekend was a rather long one, not that I am complaining, I decided to conduct an experiment that has been on my mind for the past few weeks.
I am not the science nerd type so you can rest assured that you don’t need a laboratory to conduct this experiment. Anyone can do this at home, in your kitchen or even your living room for that matter. The only statutory warning I will issue is to be extremely careful with your liquor so that not a single drop of the precious liquid is wasted.
Here are the ingredients you need:
1. A bottle of good vodka. I bought a bottle of Absolut because I quite like its clean crispness on the palate and also because it’s a moderately priced good quality vodka. Cheaper booze will definitely compromise the end result. You may of course substitute vodka with any other clear spirit of your choice but I prefer vodka as it is easily available and has a neutral taste.
2. Flavouring agents. I love growing my own herbs and using them in my recipes so I chose lemongrass and Thai basil. Lemongrass has a refreshing lemon-y aroma but is quite subtle. The Thai basil has its own distinct flavours and aromas somewhat resembling anise. The important thing to remember here is to use just the 4 – 5 leaves of basil as compared to 8 – 9 stems of lemongrass. You may use just the single flavouring agent or as many as you like but it is important to ensure that all the distinct flavours remain intact.
1. Absolut comes with a fun stopper so I had to empty it out into another bottle.
2. Wash the Thai basil leaves well and let them dry. In the meanwhile peel the lemongrass to it inner most layer. With a sharp knife cut a few slits into the stem.
3. Now insert these into the bottle of vodka. Screw it tight and give it a good shake and let it rest as the label says on most food products, in a cool and dry place.
4. After a day or two taste the drink. Taste. Don’t drink. You may leave the flavouring agents in for a length of 2 – 5 days depending on how intense you would like the flavours to be. After that the leaves tend to give off a not so desirable flavour.
Now comes the best part. Take a highball glass. Fill it up with ice. Pour 2 fl oz (60 ml) of the vodka and top it up with soda. Garnish with a stem of lemongrass. And enjoy.