Ground cherries, or golden berries, are becoming more and more popular and are showing up at farmers markets everywhere. They have a sweet and tart flavor, similar to a tomatillo. They are often eaten raw or baked in pies and crumbles, but making an infusion with them allows them to last longer once the growing season nears its end. I add some nutmeg and ginger to round out the flavors and contribute some spiciness.
I like to serve this vodka as a mixer in sours or with Sprite or 7-Up, though it is versatile enough to work in many different cocktails. The post-infusion ground cherries are great as garnishes for drinks or for use in baked goods like muffins, bread, or pie.
If you like this recipe you can get it and more than 140 other inspiring recipes to get you on your way to infusing success. It is all in my comprehensive book Modernist Cooking Made Easy: Infusions - Get Your Copy Today!
Preheat a water bath to 150°F (65.5°C).
Coarsely chop the ground cherries or smash them with the edge of a knife or a rolling pin. Combine the cherries, nutmeg, grated ginger, and vodka in a sous vide bag or Mason jar then seal and place in the water bath. Heat the infusion for 1 to 3 hours.
Prepare an ice bath with 1/2 ice and 1/2 water. Remove the bag or Mason jar from the water bath and place in the ice bath for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain the vodka and store in a sealed container. The ground cherries can be reserved for a garnish or boozy snack.