Using infused vodka in your cocktails is a great way to add fresh flavor without a lot of calories and artificial ingredients. The vodka infusion process used by large distilleries is just as easy to replicate in small batches, right in your own kitchen. Homemade infused vodka has limitless opportunities, with any combination of fresh fruits and herbs contributing to one-of-a-kind flavors that perfectly suit your taste. Here’s an easy set of steps to help you flavor your own vodka.
The most important step in making infused vodka is picking out your flavors. There are plenty of infused liquor recipes online, but let your own taste buds be your guide. Any kind of fruit will taste great, especially citrus. If you choose a sweet fruit, like apples or grapes, consider adding a little citrus fruit, such as lemon or pineapple, to help ignite the flavors. Fresh herbs add unique flavor, especially if you plan to make a dry martini, or are experimenting with infused gin. It’s best to start with small sprigs at first, so you can test the potency.
Once you’ve picked out your flavors, you’ll need to find an infusion jar.
This naturally infused vodka maker combines everything you need in one, including the jar. If you get several infusion jars, you can invite your friends over for a vodka tasting.
Cut your fruit and herbs into small pieces. If you are using berries, or small fruit, you won’t need to cut them too small, but it’s essential to break the outer membrane of the fruit so that the juices can soak into the vodka. Place the chunks of fruit into the bottom of the jar, and depress the cutter into the top. The cutter will aid in the vodka infusion process, and also keep pieces separated so the vodka can flow by more freely.
Screw on the top canister of the infusion jar. Make sure it’s sealed tightly to prevent leaks. Pour as much vodka as you like into the jar. You can pour just enough for a drink or two, or fill it all the way so you can share with friends. Top shelf vodka is not necessary, but you want to start with a good neutral spirit that’s been filtered at least three times. This will ensure the alcohol taste won’t interfere with your fruit flavored vodka.
Now, it’s time to wait. For small batches, an hour or two is fine. Larger batches should rest for a few hours.
After the flavors have had time to infuse, you’re almost ready for a cocktail! Simply pour your beautifully infused vodka out of the jar, and into the cocktail shaker or glass. The infused vodka maker will strain out any chunks of fruit or pulp for a smooth finish.
The more you experiment with your liquor infuser, you’ll find the best flavored liquor is made in your own home. Vanilla infused vodka, made with a real vanilla bean, is surprisingly memorable. Fresh basil infused alcohol is incredible in a Bloody Mary. If you’re really adventurous, vodka infused with scallions and radishes will make a dirty martini so good, you won’t want to share. This same technique works well for infusing bourbon and other spirits. Have fun, and feel free to share your ideas for making naturally infused vodka at home.