A while ago I found an old Italian recipe for preserving chanterelles in vermouth. I wanted to try preserving winter chanterelles the same way. I figured I'd use vodka as the mild flavor would show off the chanterelle flavor and nothing else. It makes for a fun sip on special occasions.
Believe it or not, mushroom spirits distilleries are a thing, and here and there you can get sips of mushroom drinks in tasting rooms. But it's more fun to make them yourself with wild mushrooms.
If you don't hunt mushrooms, check your local farmers market in the summer or contact a mushroom farm.
Varieties to use for a mushroom liqueur
Every mushroom will taste different, and some are better than others. Here's a few others that will make a good mushroom flavored liqueur:
- Dried candy caps
- Dried morels
- Black trumpet mushroms, fresh or dried
Black trumpets will make a black liquor, or how about a chanterelle family infused liqour made with golden chanterelles, hedgehogs and yellowfeet?
Using dried mushrooms
Dried mushrooms have a concentrated flavor, and some species like morels and porcini are better for sweet preparations when dried. Grocery stores sell dried golden chanterelles and those can work well here too.
Making a Sweet Chanterelle Cordial
Italians make a cordial with golden chanterelles. To make that, follow the recipe below and add some simple syrup or sugar to taste after the liquor has infused. Yellowfoot chanterelles have a more earthy taste than the fruity aroma of golden chanterelles.
Over time the flavor can mellow so I keep it in the fridge after infusing at room temperature.
I prefer mushroom vodka straight up, as a shot. If you make the mushroom liqueur sweet, you can serve it after dinner like you would a dessert wine.
Here's a simple proportion for the infused vodka.
More Drinks and Liquors
- Highbush Cranberry Vodka
- Cassis: The Blackcurrant Liqueur
- Homemade Rowanberry Liqueur
- Nocino: The Black Walnut Liqueur
Chanterelle Infused Mushroom Vodka
- 4 oz or so fresh chanterelle mushrooms small mushrooms are my favorite but you can use larger ones cut up too
- .75 litres fine vodka
- ½ cup granulated white sugar or to taste (optional) *see note
- Clean the chanterelles of debris using a small brush or if they are really filthy, by rinsing quickly under some cold running water.
- Combine the chanterelles and the vodka in an air-tight, nonreactive container, like a glass mason jar. Add the sugar if using and stir until it dissolves. An alternate method would be to just stuff the mushrooms in the bottle after taking a healthy pull, but then they'll be harder to remove.
- Store the mushroom vodka in a cool place away from sunlight for at least 1 week, then refrigerate to keep the aroma and enjoy. The vodka flavor will eventually smooth out and get mild.