Thursday, September 15, 2011

Infused Vodka

How do I infuse Vodka and possibly a few of her friends?

 I started with a big jug of Vodka, a couple of freshly picked peaches and whole vanilla beans.  It has been a long time since I purchased vanilla beans, they are expensive-I should have ordered them off Amazon!

 Slice up the peaches and take the pits of out them.

 Place them in some large Mason jars.

 I took one vanilla bean and sliced it in half so I only used one bean for both jars of infused vodka.

 Then, fill your jars up with Vodka and place the lids on tight.

Store the Vodka in a cool dry place for about a week, give or take a few days! I put mine way back in the pantry. 

I think I will try infusing some more vodka with lemon and ginger next!

Infused Vodka and her friends

Use a medium-grade vodka, one that could be served straight up. Bottom-shelf vodkas can add an unpleasant aftertaste and there's no reason to break the bank for premium vodkas when most of the flavor will be coming from your ingredients.
You can also infuse other spirits: gin, rum, whiskey, and even brandy all work well. I'm going to try s few of those a little later on!
Use fresh fruits and ingredients and not canned or prepared items.
Fruits will continue to ripen while infusing. Remove fruits before they get overripe or brown, as this will impact the flavor of your recipe. Replace them with fresh fruits for decorative purposes.
If you find your infusion too strong, dilute it with more vodka and allow it to infuse a little longer.
Be creative! There's a wide range of fruits and herbs you can infuse, each with their own characteristics. Experiment and enjoy.
Mild: melon, cantaloupe, peach, strawberry, cherry, blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, pineapple, mango, vanilla
Sharp: lemon, lime, grapefruit
Bold: fresh ginger, lemon-grass, mint, garlic, chili peppers

Try 2 sticks of cinnamon and half a vanilla pod. After two weeks you will get a deep orange colour and a full, rich spicy flavour. Try it with homemade ginger beer in the summer.
You could also try using single-use coffee pods or herbal tea bags.
You could make a wonderful Christmas vodka using cranberries (which make the vodka turn pale pink) and a vanilla pod for flavour.
You can also try using sweets like Redskins, Jolly Ranchers or any other kind of sweet that tickles your fancy.
Don't add sugar to your infusion unless it is necessary to offset an extremely bitter ingredient. The natural flavors usually don't need it and you can always add a mixer when serving if you prefer.
A fun little piece of trivia; in Sweden, herb-infused vodkas are known as schnapps, and a customary part of the Christmas smorgasbord.

Things You Will Need

750mL - 1L Vodka.
Infuser (Fruit, peppers, herbs, berries, etc.)
Jar with airtight sealing lid.

  • If you are displaying your infusion jar, be prepared for the color to leave the fruit over time. Thus your strawberries may turn a ghostly white!
  • If you crush berries before adding them it will cloud the liquid and look quite unappetizing.
  • Make sure there is no odor or residue in the infusion jar. You don't want it to pick up whatever was in there before (ie. soap or god forbid pickles!)

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