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, a discerning palate and spare time, you can customize vodka and make it your own.
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 about 1 liter of vodka:
- If infusing fruit, use 1-3 pieces – 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.
Prepare the ingredients. 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 the ingredients together in a clean, airtight container (glass works best).
Infuse! Fill the container with vodka, seal it, and put it some place safe and away from direct sunlight.
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. A week is plenty of time for a liter of vodka to infuse properly.
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!
For those of you that are ready to take on the challenge, stop by Monk’s Wine & Liquor Cave to pick your favorite vodka selection and please let us know how it turns out and what your successful recipe included; or if all this sounds like too much work just come over and pick up your favorite flavor we already have in stock!!!