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Tea Liqueur for NightLife at the Academy

tea liqueur 5

Huge thanks to everyone who came out to NightLife at the Academy this evening! For those of you who were not able to make it, or were and want a recap, here's what we covered. 

First of all, infusions and liqueurs are a fun and easy way to capture the essence of many ingredients. I taught a few classes on it at 18 Reasons a couple years back. For one springtime class, I nabbed some amazingly fragrant, perfectly ripe strawberries and plonked them into some vodka. A few days later, during the class, I opened the jar, and the room instantly filled with the sweet aroma of strawberries. The students audibly sighed. 

Infusion is simply the process of imparting flavor into a solvent, like alcohol, water or acid, by way of steeping ingredients. Liqueurs are basically just infusions that have been sweetened. In the case of the strawberry infusion, no further sweetening ws needed. But in the case of things like limoncello, made from lemon zest, or amaretto, with bitter almonds, sweetening can be desirable. 

Tea cocktails are becoming trendy right now, but you don't have to drop a Jackson to enjoy one. You can make your own tea liqueur at home, and use it to make your own clever cocktails. And unlike some other liqueurs, which can take days or even weeks to make, tea liqueur can be made in just a few hours. 

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Orange You Glad We Have So Many Ways to Preserve Oranges?

In the dead of winter, no fruit brings a beam of sunshine better than the bright sweetness of oranges. Whether you're working with bitter Sevilles, sanguine blood oranges or sweet-tart cara caras, we've got a bushel of ideas on putting up everyone's favorite citrus.

Orange Marmalade
Orange Marmalade
Sevilles are great, but orange marmalade can also be made with blood oranges, cara caras and others. But first, make sure you know how to slice citrus for marmalade, for the best results. (Image via Local Kitchen)
Orange Jam
Orange Jam
If you don't like the orange's bitter rind, use the flesh for a sweeter jam. Warming spices or bourbon and vanilla kick it up a notch or two. (Image via Sunchowder)

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Top 10 Blog Posts of 2013

Seven Things to Do With Green Tomatoes
Seven Things to Do With Green Tomatoes
As the days shorten, those last tomatoes on the vine may stubbornly stay green. But that doesn't mean they're not good eating. Here's seven ways to preserve those green tomatoes. (Image via Garden of Eating)
Eighteen Ways to Preserve Apples
Eighteen Ways to Preserve Apples
Biting into a fresh, crisp apple is the quintessential taste of autumn itself. But when you are faced with more apples than you can eat out of hand, try some of these tempting ways to put them by for later use. (Image via Southern Fried Curry)

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10 Most Popular Topics of 2013

Happy New Year to everyone in the Punk Domestics community and family! Now is a great time to reflect, looking back on the year that was. Here are the 10 most popular topics on the site for the year.

LemonTomato Jam
Tomato Jam
Treat your tomatoes like the fruit they are. Tomato jam is sweet, savory, tangy and amazingly versatile. Use it like ketchup, pair it with cheese or just have a dollop on your dinner plate to spark up your meats and mains. (Image via Garden of Eating)
Pickled Radishes
Pickled Radishes
Pickled radishes are unlikely to replace cornichons as the most popular pickle in France with a sandwich. But they're great alongside a fatty hunk of French pâté, or slivered and strewn over a steaming bowl of Korean Bibimbap for lunch or dinner. (Image via David Lebovitz)

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5 Seriously Last-Minute DIY Food Gifts

Wait, Christmas is when? Don't panic. If your canning pantry is paltry, there's still time to bang out a few DIY food gifts that will delight your giftee. Best of all, each of these can be done in mere hours, requiring ingredients that are readily available this time of year.

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15 Ways to Preserve Lemons

Lovely lemons bring a ray of sunshine during the cold, dark winter months. If you're lucky enough to have a neighbor with a tree, you may find yourself overwhelmed with the bounty. (If you don't, be sure to order some fragrant meyers from Lemon Ladies here in the Bay Area, trust.) Here's a bushel of ways to put the lemons by. 

Lemon Marmalade
Lemon Marmalade
Harness the bittersweet flavor of lemon rind and turn it into a sunny yellow marmalade, sure to brighten your morning muffin. But first, make sure you know how to slice citrus for marmalade, for the best results. (Image via Life Currents)
Lemon Jam
Lemon Jam
Lemon pairs nicely with plenty of other flavors in homemade jams: kiwi, red peppers and even onions and oregano. (Image via Autumn Makes and Does)

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Home(made Booze) for the Holidays

Homemade liqueurs and infusions are fun and easy to make, and are always a welcome gift. Here's a handful of our favorites, just in time to get a few batches started for holiday gift giving.

Limoncello
Limoncello
There's just enough time to get a nice limoncello started; they'll need to let it age in the bottle a little past Christmas, so think of it as the gift that keeps on giving. Think outside the box of lemons! Try it with other citrus, like my favorite, grapefruit for a pompelmocello. (Image via Cooking Channel)
Irish Cream
Irish Cream
Break out the whiskey, add a little coffee, chocolate and cream, and voilà: A homemade Irish cream liqueur without all the artificial flavorings and additives. (Image via My Own Labels)

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Three Things Thursday: Repeal Day Edition

Today marks the 80th anniversary of the ratification of the 21st amendment, repealing Prohibition. Celebrate your American right by dabbling in a few DIY delectations of the libationary variety. (And all can be made as holiday gifts!)

Persimmon Infused Dolin Vermouth
Persimmon Infused Dolin Vermouth
Matthew Biancaniello is well known in Los Angeles for his seasonal cocktails. Try his farmers market infusion of hachiya persimmons and Dolin Blanc vermouth. From KCRW.

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Chestnuts Old and New

When Jack Frost comes nipping at your nose, break out the chestnuts. Here's a few ways to use them beyond simply enjoying them by the fireside.

Chestnut Jam
Chestnut Jam
Creamy, sweet and rich, chestnut jam harkens back to early American traditions. From Auburn Meadow Farm.

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Happy Homesteading Holidays

Even the most hardcore DIYer needs a little assist now and then. There are tools that make our work feasible, or at least easier. Or maybe you know someone who's just getting in to the game, and you want to give them a starter kit. No matter what your reasons, this is an excellent season to stock up on the goods that we'll reach for again and again when summer's bounty bursts upon us. Best of all, our pals at FARMcurious are offering a discount to all Punk Domestics readers!

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