Vodka infused with mangoes. Make it your situation this summer!
I am up to no good and I thought you should know that. No sense beating around the bush. It is summer and I’m going to be a bad, bad, bad girl.
This summer, seldom – If ever – Will you see me without a cocktail in my dominant hand. This is going to be yet another boozy summer; one that promises to be even boozier than the last. We’re going to set this summer off right and start infusing.
Today we’re infusing ripe-as-hell mangoes in vodka. Let’s talk about this for a second. I need to be clear on what ripe-as-hell really means.
It means ripe. Not rotten. Ripe. Mangoes are in abundance, yo. I mean they are everywhere. And I need you to seek them out. At least 5 large mangoes. I am partial to the Haitian mangoes. Because… Heritage, yo.
Give them a squeeze. They should yield immediately.
Give them a sniff. They should have an intoxicating tropical scent. That scent should take you to the top of a mango tree. In Dominican Republic. Or Haiti. Or wherever you get your mangoes. It needs to take you back, back, back there.
So now you have your very ripe, sweet, tropical mangoes. Try not to eat them. Resist. I can’t resist. I’m weak as f***. This is why I purchase twice as many mangoes; this guarantees I get through a recipe. If you are anything like me, go that route.
OK – Where was I? Ah, yes – Mangoes. You got ‘em. You need to make a mango simple syrup. It’s easy. Pureed mango, water, sugar. Then you simmer it till the sugar dissolves. Easy peasy, bruh.
Now you need some vodka. Use what you have on hand. I am partial to the Svedka brand. It’s inexpensive, but not isopropyl alcohol, know what I mean? Don’t use the good stuff to infuse vodka. Go mid-range.
Now you have your simple syrup, vodka, and your mangoes. What do you do?
You infuse – That’s what.
Cut up the mangoes as best you can into a half gallon mason jar. Make sure you squeeze all that rich tropical juice. The seed ought to be free of pulp, so you may need to scrape it with a spoon. Once your mangoes are in the jar you pour the simple syrup, followed by the vodka. Till you reach the top. Then you seal the jar and store it in a dark place.
Allow it to infuse for at least a week, giving it a shake once a day. You are fully allowed to exercise your right and allow your vodka to infuse longer. I’ve infused for up to a month. But a week is pretty good if you’re impatient. I’m impatient sometimes. When your vodka is ready all you have to do is strain it, discarding the solids and make yourself a drink. This mango infused vodka smells delicious and the flavor is outta this world.
Join me, homies. Let’s keep it boozy.
Make the simple syrup:
In a blender, puree the mango, sugar, and water until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a small pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is somewhat translucent, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and strain the mixture. Discard fibrous solids, if any.
Transfer the simple syrup to a glass container with a tight fitting lid. Simple syrup will keep for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator. Makes a little over half a cup of simple syrup.
Infuse your vodka:
Cut and peel the mangoes into the mason jar, extracting as much pulp from the mango as you can. Since the mangoes are ripe, you can scrape the pulp with a spoon into the jar. Same goes for the peel. I want those mangoes all up in there. With a muddler or back of the wooden spoon, mash the mangoes a bit; enough to release those mango juices.
Add the simple syrup. Pour enough vodka to almost reach the top of your mason jar. Seal with a tight fitting lid, give it a good hard shake, and store in a dark place. Shake the jar once a day and allow to infuse anywhere from 1 week and up to 1 month. The longer it infuses, the more concentrated your vodka will be.
After the infusion period, strain mango pulp from the vodka using a cheesecloth lined strainer into a measuring cup, pressing on the solids. Pick up the cheesecloth, give it a couple of twists to close and then give it a hearty squeeze to extract as much booze as possible. Discard the fibrous mango solids. Transfer strained vodka back into the mason jar and store either in the fridge or at room temperature until ready to use.
Makes about ½ gallon (64 ounces) of mango infused vodka.