Thursday, March 31, 2011

Recipe: Yuja Soju Tincture

If you enjoy a sour drink, consider drinking it straight. Otherwise, mix it with your favorite sparkling water or club soda. (Tammy Quackenbush photo)

Even though we live in an age where bartenders are now called mixologists — makes them sound more scientific, doesn't it? — many are finding inspiration in the old ways of mixing drinks by creating their own tinctures, bitters and infusions.

The Asian citron — called yuzu in Japanese and yuja in Korean — has become a popular flavor for beverages and even frozen yogurt. In Koreafornian fashion, I've created an infused booze combining Korea's most popular citrus fruit and alcohol, Yuja Soju Tincture. It's perfect for flavoring club soda, seltzer water or cocktails.

While the mixture was seeping, I asked my husband to make sure he shook it up a bit every time he walked by the kitchen where I had the soju and yuja peel mingling. He nicknamed it the "snow globe." (Tammy Quackenbush photo)

Some have gotten into a bit of trouble with state alcohol enforcement agencies for making their own infused alcohols. For example, technically this recipe is illegal in California, although it appears the law isn't going to be enforced, for now.

But those who are able to spread their wings and create their own new and improved flavored alcohols also are resurrecting older cocktails imbibed in the 1920s and earlier.

Yuja Soju Tincture

Ingredients

8 ounces of soju
zest from one yuja, finely grated

Directions

1. Fill a small canning jar with the soju.

2. Add the zest to the soju.

3. Close the jar and shake it vigorously for several seconds.

4. Shake the jar every day for three weeks.

5. Filter before use.

6. Drink chilled.
Update: On September 22, 2011, California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB32, a measured sponsored by Representative Mark Leno (D-SF) allowing bartenders to create and sell their own infused liquors. This recipe is no longer illegal in California.

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