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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.
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.