I’m on a ‘make your own booze’ fix lately. It’s fun and has definitely made me some new friends! My homemade booze of choice is the “cello.” I’ve conquered a lemon, a lime, now a cilantro? What inspired this craziness? There is a taco place in our neighborhood that makes the most incredible cilantro lime-soda. I have been trying to replicate it for months, always disappointed in the results. The problem was, I was trying to infuse vodka with cilantro and lime zest. It always turned out bitter and musky tasting. My freezer will not be stocked with lifeless booze! So, after perfecting the limoncello and limecello, I knew the answer to my problem was the “cello technique” but with cilantro. My first batch was a winner…after just 4 days I decided to strain it because I didn’t think the Everclear could get any greener and the cilantro couldn’t get any crispier. Yes, crispier…I have learned that when you soak anything in Everclear for an extended period of time, it sucks every bit of color, flavor and life out of it, leaving the peels (or in this case, cilantro stems) crispy to the touch. Seeing that the cilantro had nothing left to give, I strained it, added the simple syrup, and voila! A rocking cilantro-lime soda made in the comfort of my own home! Thank you taco shop for the inspiration…I think my version is better though 🙂
- 3 of the biggest bunches of cilantro you can find
- 1 750 ml bottle Everclear
- 1 giant mason jar or large glass container (anything that can hold about 7 cups)
- 3 cups white sugar
- 3 cups water
Wash your cilantro bunches & let dry on a kitchen towel. Take all 3 bunches and cram them into your giant mason jar. Use a wooden spoon to bruise the cilantro slightly. Pour in the entire 750 ml bottle of Everclear. Screw the lid on and put on your counter (in a cool place). Let this mixture sit for exactly 4 DAYS. Give it a little gently rotation every day.
After 4 days, make the simple syrup by combining 3 cups of white sugar with 3 cups of water. Bring to a simmer until all the sugar has dissolved. Let it cool completely.
While the simple syrup is cooling, strain your cilantrocello. Wash the mason jar and pour the evil looking green liquid back in. Be careful when straining, this will stain anything it touches!
Store your Cilantrocello in the fridge. If it separates slightly after a couple weeks, don’t worry, just give it a little shake.
To make the perfect cilantro lime soda you will need:
- Juice of 2 Limes
- 4 oz Cilantrocello
- 1 oz Vodka
- ½ can of Lime La Croix
Mix everything together, pour over ice & enjoy!