Sunday, January 30, 2011

Saffron Sweetie

God knows why, but we at IYMI HQ decided that we needed to make saffron vodka. So we looked for tutorials and then instantiated them.

Our version had a sixteenth of teaspoonful per cup of vodka, and we used Smirnoff Blue--a 100 proof vodka, which was recommended by Mike Sherwood of Sub Rosa Spirits for saffron infusing. We let it infuse for 24 hours, at which point the vodka had acquired a lemony color and the saffron threads had turned from red to a pale saffron (appropriate, no?).

Saffron-infused Vodka

The first thing to do with any sort of new vodka is attempt a basic martini; so we rinsed an ice-water-chilled martini glass in vermouth and left a tiny bit in the bottom before adding the saffron vodka. We had them with a dill shrimp scampi, and the overall impression was that the saffron paired beautifully with the shrimp scampi but was perhaps a bit strong for a non-food-paired martini.

Saffron Martini (lemon garnish)

Among the cocktail recipes we found, the Saffron Cosmopolitan stood out:
  • 2 saffron vodka
  • 1 Cointreau
  • 1/2 simple syrup
  • 1/2 lime juice
  • Mango juice according to taste (generally 2 dashes to 2 units--we used 1/2 unit strained mango pulp)

Saffron Cosmo (top view)

The saffron gets a bit stomped on--it's less a cosmo than a mango party--but it's quite an enjoyable cocktail for summer or seafood pairing.

Saffron Cosmopolitan

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