A Weekend Toast

by Zehorit Heilicher, Tastemaker in Residence

A Weekend Toast

May you never lie, steal, cheat or drink.
But if you must lie, lie in each other's arms.
If you must steal, steal kisses.
If you must cheat, cheat death.
And if you must drink, drink with us, your friends.

 (An old Irish Toast)

Throughout history we have marked occasions with a toast of alcohol: wine, mead, beer, ale, vodka, ouzo and champagne – you name it. Even explorers carried a supply of drinks with them. This quote is from the Mayflower Ship’s log: "For we could not now take time for further search (to land our ship) our victuals being much spent, especially our Beere”. Wouldn’t we have loved to sit at that captain’s table?

So, knowing that a little liquor goes a long way in greasing the wheels of a good party, what are you serving your company this Labor Day weekend? I’ve got just the right End of Summer Cocktail for you! You know how our markets are burgeoning with delicious summer fruit; peaches, mangos, berries, cherries and more, right? So, how about fruit infused vodka? All it takes is your wholesale club made vodka – no need for the really expensive stuff. You actually need vodka that’s pretty neutral, so it can absorb and highlight the flavor of the fruit. All you need is vodka, fruit, a little sugar and a lot of patience!

Follow the recipe below to make your infused vodka, which will make a fruity liqueur. To make a cocktail: pour about 2 oz. of the vodka over ice, top with sparkling water and a squirt of lime. Yum! 

Remember: please drink responsibly!

Fruit Infused Vodka

Makes about 2 cups

1 cup fruit, (see suggestions below)
1/2 cup granulated sugar, or to taste
3-4 cup Vodka, inexpensive brand
1 quart mason jar


  1. Fill jar: Prep fruit as needed and placed in the bottom of a clean 1 quart mason jar. Pour sugar over it and then fill with vodka, almost to top of jar, leaving a 1/2” gap. Seal the jar tightly and shake gently to combine the flavors. Set jar in a sunny spot outside for a minimum of 10 days and up to 1 month, shaking the contents occasionally. 
  2. To use: Pour into cordial glasses and serve to sip or mix into a cocktail as follows: Pour about 2 oz. of the vodka over ice, top with sparkling water and a squirt of lime. 
  3. Suggestions: pitted sweet or sour cherries, nectarine or peaches slices, pineapple chunks, mango slices, lemon/lime slices. You can also add fresh herbs such as mint, rosemary, lemon verbena etc.