culinary review
   
   

How To Infuse Vodka

Last Modified: 12/14/10
First Published: 10/30/07
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Views: 5144

The method of infusing liquor with flavorings is old and quite common in various parts of the world. With variousinfuse_vodka ingredients, liquor and some time you can produce very different flavored substances perfect for drinks and cocktails.

What's so interesting about infusing spirits on your own is that you can try so many different combinations and flavorings. It's a good idea to start infusing small amounts of liquor, that way you won't waste too much in case you don't like a particular blend or if you over-infuse something.

What flavorings can be used to infuse spirits?
There are so many different things one can use to flavor liquor. Spices such as cloves, cinnamon and cardamom and whole pepper can be used. Fresh fruits and berries are an other option. You could either use “softer” fruits such as strawberries, melon, blueberries, apple etc or “harder” fruits such as citrus (then it's best to use thin-skinned citrus in order to limit any bitterness) or cranberries. Fresh herbs also work such as sprigs of rosemary or thyme. Other alternatives include vanilla beans, chili peppers, ginger and lemon grass to mention a few...

For interesting blends, you could utilize a combination of both fruits as well as spices.

Preparation:
Fruits should be washed well and depending on the size of the fruit you could either leave it whole (blueberries or cranberries) or chop it up (apples or pears). Vanilla beans for example, you want to split, while chili peppers can be left whole.

Spirit:
While you could use any clear liquor, most people prefer vodka since it doesn't have much flavor to begin with. There is no need to use top quality vodka since it will be flavored anyway.

vodka

cranberries + cinnamon, apple

vodka

apple, cranberries + cinnamon, cranberries

vodka

cranberries, apple, cranberries + cinnamon after about 1 week of infusion

Length of Time
The length of time during which you infuse something will differ depending on what flavorings you use. If you are looking to create a strong flavor, then you can infuse the liquor for a longer period of time. It's usually a good idea to test your concoction every few days, then you can have more control over the result. Some ingredients only need a few days to lend their flavor, while others require a longer period of time. Softer fruits for example may only need a few days where as chili peppers may need 2 weeks in order to fully lend their flavor.

Storing:

Any tight-fitted container will work. If you have an infusion jar on hand with a pouring spout, you could of course use that, otherwise utilize what you have on hand - we utilized small mason jars.

Assemble:

Fill the jar or container with your flavorings and top with vodka. There are no rules here. Depending on your flavoring, you might want to adjust how much vodka you utilize in ratio with your flavorings. You may need quite a bit of fruit to flavor your liquor, whereas you won't really need too many whole spices to lend some flavor. You could always adjust this as you go on and add some more fruit or flavoring until you are completely satisfied.

Place your jar out of direct sunlight and let the flavors develop.

Once your vodka is infused
, you can either make cocktails with it and add some simple syrup for sweetness, use it for long drinks, or as a liqueur – it all depends on the taste of your new spirit!



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