With colorful celebrations of death in our wake we might find ourselves dealing with an excess of offerings at our doorstep. A hearty pumpkin? Aging Flowers? Stale Twizzlers? They all make for excellent alchemy (well, not Twizzlers, Twizzlers will only ever be Twizzlers). Yesterday’s decoration can easily become tomorrow’s curry
. But maybe you’re interested in entertaining spirits a little while longer? Those gorgeous marigolds you bought to help guide the deceased back home aren’t done being helpful. A bitter liqueur made of marigold petals can be a poetic celebration of life and death. When served chilled in a pretty glass time slows down a little. The life of a flower is fragile so it’s reasonable that we would try to preserve it as long as possible. One of my favorite methods of preservation involves vodka. For more delicate extractions (soft fruits, herbs, flowers) an 80 proof vodka provides a perfect base for a homemade liqueur. There may be retail-ready bottles to purchase
, but it’s the tradition of making food and offerings that help us keep the wheels turning forward. A dear friend of mine suffered a major loss this year. The marigolds she purchased are quietly being preserved in a time capsule on her kitchen counter. Below is her recipe for Marigold Liqueur.
“I made this batch with marigolds from this year’s ofrenda for Dia De Los Muertos. Steve loved the liqueurs I made (his favorite was a bright bartlett pear liqueur)”
For a 1/2 gallon sized jar
- 10-12 large organic marigold flowers, petals removed from head
- 1 cup (250g) granulated sugar
- 6 cups vodka
Rinse petals with cold water and pat dry. Mix with sugar and vodka in a half gallon sized jar. Stir or shake daily for two weeks. Strain into bottles and allow to mellow for another week before serving.
If using dried marigold petals, use only 1 tablespoon per cup of vodka. If adding other dried spices, like cinnamon or cloves, use sparingly as they can overpower.