Tangled Up in Blue(berries) Part 1: The Perfect Cocktail

My husband Paul is the bartender of the house. He prides himself in managing a well-stocked bar and an arsenal of cocktail concoctions up his sleeve. I thoroughly enjoy coming home on a Friday (or possibly any day of the week) to a vigorously shaken martini waiting on the kitchen island for me to take a sip. I veer on the side of control freak, but relinquish all of that when I’m asked, “What do you want to drink?” A “surprise me” response never leaves me disappointed. Cosmopolitan, key lime, pomegranate, grape. It’s all good. And I figured so would a martini made with blueberry infused vodka.

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Cue the multitude of blueberries in the fridge! When you infuse vodka, or almost any alcohol for that matter, it’s important to choose a mid-grade product, i.e. stay away from the plastic handles on the bottom shelf your college budget could afford, but no need to splurge on the Grey Goose up top. Absolut it is. So after halving 2 cups of blueberries and distributing them among two large mason jars, I poured the vodka and gave each a shake before placing them in a cool dark spot in the back of my pantry.

Now as I often do with recipes, I consulted multiple sites to determine the suggested length of time for the infusion. Three days was the least amount of time and one month was the max. I opted for three and was pretty happy with the results. Every few days I gave them a lil’ shake and when all was said and done, I strained the vodka and put the bottle in the fridge for future enjoyment.

I was really looking forward to whatever Paul was going to mix up for me. So when he asked, “blueberry muffin martini?” my response was, “Yesssssss!” So here it is:

Blueberry muffin martini-

2 shots blueberry vodka

1 shot vanilla rum

1/2 shot cinnamon schnapps

Garnish with blueberries and even rim the glass with cinnamon and sugar. Cheers!

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Tangled up in Blue(berries) Prologue

The food industry that we’ve become so heavily reliant upon is very much an illusion. We have access to fruits, vegetables and grains that are indigenous to countries around the world and we have the luxury of incorporating them into our culinary adventures when they’re not in season here. Oftentimes, taste and quality suffer (except for certain foods like bananas- they are consistently good and they transport really well). It’s this accessibility that clouds the reality that every fruit and vegetable has a season, a specific time with ideal circumstances in which to grow and to harvest.

I’m not trying to be preach-y (though I do hope to utilize this platform to highlight a more sustainable approach to eating). Rather, I mean to justify the overwhelming supply of blueberries I’ve purchased over the past month and a half which is why there will be a series of blog posts highlighting this “superfood” (this is merely a marketing term to create a hullabaloo and catalyze our buying habits, I’ve recently learned, but you cannot deny the health benefits of this fruit).image

So seasons are short, we’ve just established, and blueberries are delicious. Therefore, it is paramount to take advantage of local produce at the height of its freshness (reference my crepe post which highlights a missed opportunity to harvest strawberries). Now I’m originally from New Jersey, the “Garden State” (refrain from laughter, I swear we’re not all Jersey shore types and there is more farmland than oil refineries), but I’ve really embraced the beautiful state of Maryland¬†(minus the high taxes). It offers the beach, the mountains, some “charming” cities and has a penchant for agriculture.

Zach showing off his pickings

I was able to spend a few afternoons of my weekends picking copious amounts of blueberries at Glade Link Farms. I even enlisted the help of my stepson (gotta grab those bonding moments when you can especially when we’re talking about a 13 year old!). And when you pick more than you can eat, you have to track down recipes to make with them. Besides eating them by the handful, tossing them in my cereal with almond milk and making baked oatmeal, I’ve been busy in the kitchen. Needless to say, I totally took advantage of blueberry season this year!