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As summer slides into fall, I find myself savoring the flavors of the sunny season. I am truly enjoying the last of the peaches, squash and corn until they come again next June. Late summer tomatoes, fresh herbs and citrus fill the final hot weeks. As the days get shorter, I am craving quick and easy meals that are not only light and fresh but feel special and celebratory as we say goodbye to summer.

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Fresh and flavorful oil, spirit, and water infusions are suddenly on my mind. Mason jars of fresh fruit, herbs and peppers line my kitchen counters steeping summer’s bounty in liquids so as to extract the essential flavors of the ingredients. The creators of The Mason Shaker’s latest cookbook, Infuse: Oil, Spirit, Water, boasts fun recipes like cucumber mint water, grapefruit tequila, berry hibiscus tea, and garlic confit oil. I also love their Mason Tap that allows you to easily infuse oils, spirits and waters in any regular-mouth Mason jar and then dispense your liquid creations neatly.

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One of my favorite summer dishes is a Caprese Salad—heirloom tomatoes with fresh mozzarella and basil straight from the garden. What makes it even better? Finish it with basil infused oil and fresh cracked pepper and serve it with chilled Limoncello.

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What a better way to send-off summer than with two light and fresh Italian favorites? Cheers!

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Overnight Limoncello
This sweet lemon-flavored Italian liqueur is served chilled as a welcome drink or after a meal. It is astoundingly easy to make and is sure to wow guests.
5 oz vodka
5 oz of simple syrup
1 lemon, sliced into rounds approximately 1/4 inch thick
Combine all ingredients in a 16 oz. Mason jar. Seal and shake until combined. Let infuse at room temperature for 12 hours. Strain through cheesecloth. The infusion will keep in the refrigerator for up to three months.
Recipe courtesy “Infuse: Oil, Spirit, Water” by Eric Prum and Josh Williams

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Basil Oil 
This basil infused oil is great for adding an extra layer of flavor to a Caprese Salad or amazing with simply a crusty loaf of bread for dipping.
1 cup (packed) of fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon of coarse sea salt
6 Tablespoons of olive oil
6 Tablespoons of canola oil
Combine basil and salt in a 8 oz. Mason jar and muddle until thoroughly crushed and aromatic. Add oils, seal, and shake for 30 seconds. Strain through cheesecloth, squeezing the crushed basil to extract the oil. The finished oil will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Recipe courtesy “Infuse: Oil, Spirit, Water” by Eric Prum and Josh Williams
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To read more about these infusions, check out my monthly column in YOUR Williamson Magazine.
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You might also like:
Peach Caprese Salad
Grilled Avocados with Pico de Gallo
Brown Sugar and Bourbon PEACH Crisp
Summer Supper: Healthy Turkey Burgers
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