On its own, vodka is a potent blank palette, just waiting for whatever flavors you want to give it. Infusing your vodka gives you freedom to come up with your own creative flavors rather than relying on the good folks at your favorite liquor company. Here’s how to do it and some flavor combinations to get you started.
START WITH VODKA
You don’t want top-shelf here. You’re adding in your own flavor, so you don’t need the base liquor to be all that fancy. Just be mindful if you’re gluten-free that your bottle wasn’t distilled from grain.
PICK A VESSEL
Unless you’re working with herbs or fruit slivers, the vodka bottle isn’t going to work. Grab some widemouth mason jars next time you’re at the supermarket for a pretty and easy solution.
Now let your mind go wild. Citrus and other fruits are a great place to start (slice them first. Do not toss in a whole orange, even if it will fit through the mouth of jar, and call it a day.). Chiles are great for heat (cut them, too). Try cinnamon (toast it, it releases the flavor) and other spices, but go for the whole, not ground versions. Ground herbs and spices can give the finished product a dark color and gritty mouth feel. Once you’ve got a winning flavor combination, cap it off — if you got the mason jars, they come with lids — and leave it out on the counter for 3-7 days. The alcohol should keep your flavor-carriers from spoiling. Shake the jar about once a day and taste it to see how it’s coming along. Once you’ve got it where you want it, strain out the solids and toss them. Pour the vodka into a clean jar and cap it. Vodka made with perishables should be kept in the fridge. If you used shelf-stable products, like dried fruits and spices, you can store it at room temperature. You can wash and reuse your infusing jar for your next batch.
LEMON THYME INFUSED VODKA Recipe from Love to Know.
1 lemon, cut into wedges
3 sprigs fresh thyme
750 mL vodka Directions
1. Combine all the ingredients into a large, clean jar. Close and place in a cool, dark place to infuse for three days, shaking each day. 2. Strain the infusion and store in the original vodka bottle or clean jar.