My 2014 Winter Amaro
Posted on Monday, February 3rd, 2014
My 2014 Winter Amaro is underway. Last year, I created an Amaro for each season, using ingredients found in our own garden. I began with Winter in 2013, which produced a very enjoyable herbal and bitter liqueur. By the Fall Amaro, I had a much better sense of the flavor profile I wanted to achieve, and hit it. (Spring and Summer were lovely infusions as well.) Knowing I would have fewer ingredients to choose from in the middle of winter again, I decided on a limited combination of flavors.
The 2014 Winter Amaro has gin for its’ base, so I’m already ahead with the gin’s botanical contribution. Using a conifer, Western Red Cedar, in this infusion is new territory. When I’m using a new ingredient, I make sure to do a fair amout of research, so I don’t kill myself. This article was a motherlode of information about Western Red Cedar. I particularly liked learning the Salish names for Western red cedar include “Long Life Giver”, “Rich Woman Maker” and “Mother.” I’m tasting the 2014 Winter Amaro every few days. I will probably pull the Western Red Cedar out after two weeks of infusing, and let the other ingredients soak away for a total of four weeks. Then the amaro will be strained, and sweetened just slightly with a rich simple syrup. Here is what is in my:
2014 Winter Amaro
- 14+ ounces gin
- 1/2 ounce Western Red Cedar
- rosemary – several sprigs
- thyme – several good-sized branches
- bay leaf
- tangerine peel from one tangerine
Place all ingredients in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Store away from heat and light. Give the infusion a gentle shake daily the first week, and every few days for the other three weeks. Taste frequently the first week, to see if the flavors are balanced for your palate. After two weeks, remove the cedar. After a total of four weeks, strain out the solids. Sweeten slightly with simple syrup. Pour into a clean bottle.