The Taser's Edge


Infusion Confusion: What’s Your Function?

So the title doesn’t quite work, but it does go straight to the heart of the matter.  This past Saturday, Holly and I hung out with Courtney and Max and their friend Jeremy (I am really paranoid that his name’s wrong, but this is the Internet so no fact-checking allowed) from Boston.  Max is apparently sometimes adventurous with his gin and tonics.  (Or as parody sci-fi lovers know them, jynnan tonnyx.)  The attempt (mostly successful by the version 2.0 which I tried) was a strawberry gin and tonic.  Max didn’t really have a recipe, so I can’t share it here.  In fact, off the top of my head, I couldn’t share a regular gin and tonic recipe, but I’ll try anyway:

1. Dump some ice, gin, tonic water, and limes in a glass.
2. Shake well.
3. If it tastes like an ice-cold, refreshing tumbler of PineSol, then it must be a gin and tonic.  (See opening picture.)

As those of us who weren’t actually making the strawberry GnTs talked, our conversation quickly turned to infusions.  As in, What is an infusion?   Is it just soaking, or is it something more technical?  Is heat involved?  Does infusing have anything to do with distilling?  What is the precise relation of infusing to marinating?  (As in, did we eat marinated steaks accompanied by marinated drinks?)  Finally, how many marinated steaks and marinated drinks does it to take to make a marinated human being?

From merriam-webster.com, “infusing” is :

1a. to cause to be permeated with something…usually for the better…
1b. Inspire, animate
2. to steep in liquid…without boiling, so as to extract the soluble constituents or principles
3. to administer or inject by infusion

Dictionary critique:

1a. “usually for the better” will not necessarily apply to the examples of infusion hereafter discussed
1b. That sounds neat.
2. So heating is okay, but boiling is out (making distillation out, as I understand it).  Also, “so as to extract the soluble constituents or principles” is a dead giveaway that you are plagiarizing, so don’t use it in your paper on infusing.  Your teacher will know.
3. Classic circular dictionary definition.  Love it.  I should have thought of that in our Saturday night discussion.

This afternoon I came across a few infusion-related articles which you should be interested in:

1. Wired tells you how to make basic, tasteful (fruits, vanilla, lavender, etc.) vodka infusions.

2. Mix That Drink tells you how to make Skittles-infused vodka.

3. The Modern Materialist tells you how to make bacon-infused bourbon.  (And the accompanying bacon-infused Old Fashioned recipe includes maple syrup.)

Another point of interest:  Jeremy informed us that you can help out cheap vodka by sending it through a Brita filter a couple times.  Check out the great pictures of one very scientific experiment with this idea here.  (The problem: Brita filters quickly make up the cost difference.)

Free association bonus article:  Last year the NY Times published an article on Kool-Aid pickles, especially popular in the Mississippi Delta.  Check out your very own Koolickle recipe here.

And that seems to be a fitting end to this altogether pickled and/or infused post.

P.S. Dear Mom, Dad, and any other family member who doesn’t really drink much (or at all) but who does read this blog, know that there is neither vodka nor gin in our home at this time (either of the Skittle, strawberry, chili pepper, or animagus-infused variety).  There is also no bacon, either of pig or turkey variety, in our refrigerator.  There is bourbon on the sideboard, but it is good enough (10 yr. old Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey) that I wouldn’t add bacon grease to it or “swig” it.  Also, no pickled cucumbers or pickled persons were involved in the writing of this post.

Finally, I am sorry, Holly, that I indeed made Soarin’ Strawberry Lemonade KoolOlives while you were at work today.  As damaging as the experience was to my self-confidence, it was unimaginably more destructive when combined with Prudence’s sensitive GI tract.  Hope you understand that we might need a new couch or two.  There was nothing to do but burn the living room set.

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5 Comments so far
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Well of course there’s no vodka or gin in the house NOW!

Comment by T Jarrett

[…] Original post by tasersedge […]

Pingback by Infusion Confusion: What’s Your Function?

That may be my favorite fact in the entire Hitchhiker’s Guide. Another drink from the Guide:

“[The Guide] says that the best drink in existence is the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. It says that the effect of a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick.”

Comment by Zack J.

SEE!! It says “inject!” I said inject and everyone laughed at me!

Comment by bouquetofparentheses

I watched a MythBusters show on the Vodka thing. They had 21 shots of the same vodka, but each glass had been filtered a different number of times (1 through 21 times) through a Brita filter. Then they had a professional vodka taster come in and do a blind taste test. He ranked them in perfect order from the glass that had been filtered once to the glass filtered 21 times! It was crazy! That was a longer post than I had intended.

Comment by Ben




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