Regular readers will remember that back in June I was given a fabulous hoard of wild horseradish roots. Horseradish is an extremely pungent herb which is reputed to act on the circulatory system, be a beneficial treatment in lung and urinary infections, and a effective treatment for rheumatism and gout (both through being taken internally and used as a poultice). It is also a wonderful culinary herb.
Horseradish, once established, spreads quickly, so many gardeners recommend planting it with caution. Bearing this in mind, we decided to replant some of our roots in a wild area at the edge of our garden. A few weeks later we were rewarded with the sight of the beautiful leaf below, so I am hopeful that we will have a flourishing patch to harvest next year.
As well as making a batch of delicious wild horseradish sauce back in June, we also started off a wild horseradish and ground ivy infused vodka. This foraged infusion has sat in a dark place for the last three months, until today, when I finally got around to straining and bottling it.
To make the infused vodka we simply took a half a dozen pieces of peeled root, and threw them into a large preserving jar with a generous handful of Ground Ivy (it's not an Ivy, despite it's name - it's a member of the mint family), which has a wonderful, savoury smell and taste, and is meant to make a fabulous rub for meat, and simply poured the vodka over the top.
Our finished infusion is a delicate green colour, has a wonderful savoury aroma and flavour, and although it certainly has a bit of a kick, I am pleasantly surprised at how palatable it is, even on it's own. Added to tomato juice as a Bloody Mary cocktail it tastes amazing, and it will definitely be going in this year's Christmas Hampers for our friends and family.
Although we have made many sweetened spirit infusions such as Sloe Gin, Cranberry and Orange Liqueur and Raspberry and Mint Gin in the past, this is our first savoury infusion that has been really successful (some of them have been downright disgusting!), and it has really whetted my appetite for trying some more savoury options in the future.