Recipe: Winter Squash Cocktail
Summary: Winter spices and warm roasted butternut squash are infused into vodka, creating a drink with deep, earthy sugar and spice flavors.
- 1 small butternut squash (about 1 pound)
- 1 (750 ml) bottle vodka
- 2 tablespoons / 1 fluid ounce simple syrup (see recipe below)
- 1 tablespoon / 1⁄2 fluid ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon / 1⁄2 fluid ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 sage leaf, as garnish
- 1 big pinch ground cinnamon, as garnish
- 1 big pinch freshly grated nutmeg, as garnish
- Make the infusion: Place the oven rack in the center position and preheat the oven to 450°F. Place the whole butternut squash on a baking sheet and bake until blistered and soft enough that you can easily pierce the skin with a knife, about 1 1⁄2 hours. Remove from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle but still quite warm.
- Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and fibers from the center. Pull off the skin and cut the flesh into 2-inch chunks. Place the pieces in a large, nonreactive container or Mason jar. Add the vodka while the squash is still warm; this will help the infusion process. Cover and set aside in a dark area for 5 days, swirling the mixture occasionally.
- Taste the infusion; it should have a pronounced sweet squash flavor and be amber in color. If so, strain the liquid through a wire-mesh sieve lined with a double layer of damp cheesecloth, discarding the solids. This infusion makes more than you need for just one cocktail, but it can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 month.
- Make the cocktail: In a cocktail shaker 2⁄3 filled with medium ice cubes, combine 1⁄2 cup of the butternut-infused vodka with the simple syrup, lemon juice, and lime juice. Shake vigorously until well chilled. Strain into a chilled 6-ounce cocktail or martini glass. Float a sage leaf on top. Mix together the cinnamon and nutmeg, and sprinkle lightly on top. Makes 1.
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Stir together sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking until a syrupy consistency is reached, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand 30 minutes. Syrup may be refrigerated and stored in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
Makes 1 ¼ cups.
“Savory Cocktails” by Greg Henry. Recipe and photos reprinted with permission from Ulysseys Press.
Diet type: Vegetarian
Diet tags: Reduced fat, Gluten free
Number of servings (yield): 1
Culinary tradition: USA (General)
Disclosure: The publisher sent a copy of the book for review.