How to make your own Infused Vodka at Home.As many of you are probably aware, there are so many flavor infused vodkas on the market these days. From Peach to Cherry, Lemon to Lime, Apple to Orange just to name a few. What you are probably not aware is that infusing vodka is easy to do and can become as much of a hobby as home wine making.
Infusing your own vodka is the best way to add a twist and have a story to tell with every cocktail when entertaining. With plenty of your favorite vodka, a jar, some fruit, and some time, you can customize your vodka and make it your own. Below are some helpful and easy to follow steps to guide you in your maiden voyage in the sea of infusing vodka.
Step #1 Choose a Flavor.
Decide how you want your vodka to taste, and get plenty of the desired fruits, berries, peppers or herbs. Use the following guidelines for infusing one liter of vodka.
- If infusing fruit, use 1-3 depending on their size. Aim for about two large apples' worth; one is usually enough for larger fruits (i.e. grapefruit), but you'll need 3-4 for smaller fruits (apricots, plums, etc.)
- If infusing fresh herbs, use 1-2 fists filled with the herb, depending on its potency. Use about half as much of dried herbs or spices.
- If infusing berries, use 2-4 fists filled with the berries.
- If infusing peppers, use as many as you want. The more you use and the longer you infuse, the spicier the end product will be.
Wash all fresh ingredients thoroughly. Slice fruits finely to increase their surface area and speed up the infusion, removing any pits, seeds, or stems. Leave berries whole, but bruise by very gently squeezing them and remove any stems. Crush herbs gently, as it will help to release their flavor. Place all of your ingredients together in a clean, airtight container (glass works best). The relative proportions of each ingredient, if you're using more than one, are a matter of personal preference.
Step #3 Infuse!
Fill the container with vodka, seal it, and put it someplace safe and away from direct sunlight. (Very Important)
Step #4 Wait.
The timing isn't scientific but most recipes will infuse within two to five days. Generally, citrus fruits or strongly flavored ingredients will infuse more quickly, but softly flavored or fibrous ingredients (vanilla beans or fresh ginger) may need up to a week or more. Luckily, you need not do anything but ignore the jar. Some advice will recommend two weeks or more infusion time, but this is only necessary for a large restaurant-size batch. A week is plenty of time for a liter of vodka to infuse properly.
Step #5 Sample and enjoy!
The first few batches you make may not taste the best, but with practice you will get the hang of it. Drink, adjust, and try again!
Thank you, Randy, for this Smoke Rise Inn recipe! I've been thinking about several infused vodkas that I made a [long] while back - one with the most aromatic cantaloupe I had ever tasted and another with jalapeños... They were terrific and made for great stories. Time to recreate those infused vodkas!
What is your favorite infused vodka flavor? Let me know in the comments. Tell me, too, about your success with this recipe. Did you use fruit, berries, herbs or peppers?