Would Not Recommend Watermelon
With drinks like watermelon margaritas and watermelon shots, its surprising that the summery food wasnt the top draft pick for fruits to mix with booze. But after a day soaking, the watermelon was mushy, kind of slimy, and tasted like a weirdly-flavored vodka shot.
With fresh options like this for booze-infusion, youll never want to soak a gummy bear again. From this experiment, its clear that fleshier fruits tend to hold their flavors and textures best while still retaining a good amount of alcohol. Use basic soaked fruit for a twist on basic shots, or go for something a little fancier, like these brunch drinks, to get a high-class fruit and alcohol combo.
How To Make Strawberry Infused Vodka
Gather the ingredients strawberries and vodka.
Wash the strawberries , dry them, and use the huller or knife to take off the leaf and the stem under it, leaving as much fruit as possible.
Slice the strawberries lengthwise and place the slices in the jar. Fill it halfway with the fruit.
Pour the vodka in the jar and over the strawberries.
Pour until the jar is half full and the strawberries are covered.
Cap the jar and gently shake the two ingredients together.
Leave the jar on the counter for 5 days, shaking it gently once each day.
Heres what it looks like after the 5 days. You can see toward the bottom how red the vodka got.
Place a strainer over a large measuring bowl and pour the contents of the jar over the strainer.
Notice how pale the strawberries are? Toss them after they have drained.
If you have some bottles available, pour the vodka into them. You could also store it in a ball jar or other container you can pour from.
Would you just look at that color?
And wait until you taste it, you are in for a treat!
I hope you enjoyed this strawberry infused vodka recipe! Its so delicious.
And as always, may all your dishes/drinks be delish!
How To Make Your Own Infused Vodka
Flavored vodkas have become all the rage in the past few years. Vanilla, blueberry, raspberryyou name it, it’s everywhere. But you don’t have to buy it by the bottle. Instead make smaller quantities of fresh infused vodka from organic providers. Infusing your own vodka is much greener because you can use what?s seasonally available to make your eco-cocktail truly shine. And infused vodkas make it unnecessary to use sugary mixers and other junk that just add calories and eco-impact to your drink . Organic vodkas are also much easier on the planet because they typically use rye that’s not treated with any chemicals and pesticides. Plenty shows us that infusing your own vodka is super easy and way tastier than the mass produced variety.
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Alcohol Infusions To Try
It can be difficult to know where to begin with infusions, but there are plenty of ideas to get you started. For instance, you might try an apple-pear gin or a cocoa-infused rye whiskey. Both are delicious, easy, and can make some very interesting cocktails.
It’s also incredibly easy to make your own cinnamon whiskey to replace something like Fireball. Simply combine a couple of cinnamon sticks and the whiskey of your choice and infuse it for a few days. You’ll find it to be much cleaner and more naturally flavored than those sweetened cinnamon whiskey liqueurs.
You don’t have to start with unflavored liquor, either. It’s fun to add a complementary flavor to store-bought flavored vodka or rum. For instance, you can infuse rosemary into a strawberry-flavored rum or try a quick jalapeño infusion in mango vodka. Liqueurs and fortified wines are also fair game Thai chile-infused Aperol and raspberry vermouth are two great examples.
These are just the beginning of the possible infusions you can create. Let nothing stop you from experimenting and trying out new flavor pairings in any liquor you feel like using. You will have some duds, that’s for sure, but when you come across a winner, the discovery can do wonders for your cocktails.
Enjoy the process and, most importantly, have fun!
Technique For Making Fresh Fruit Infused Liqueur
I wont keep you in suspense, Ill get straight to the technique. It differs from the traditional method where you cut up fruit and let it steep in the vodka for several weeks. You have to shake it daily, and wait, wait, WAIT. My method is way better
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Should You Refrigerate Infused Vodka
Add the infusion ingredients to your jar, fill with vodka, and cover tightly. Store on the countertop for anywhere from 3-7 days. The alcohol will preserve any fruits or veggies that should typically be stored in the fridge. Taste it periodically to assess whether its flavored enough for your liking.
Choosing Your Base Spirit
A neutral alcohol like vodka is your safest bet when it comes to DIY infused booze because there are no flavors inherent to the spirit that will clash with your fruit. But you neednt limit yourself to vodka. Tequila, rum and gin can work nicely if you choose additives that complement the botanicals used in the distillation process. And darker spirits like brandy and bourbon work well if you pair your fruit with the toasty, caramel, and other complex notes present in barrel aged products.
In terms of quality, there is no need to buy tip-top-of-the-shelf alcohol. You will just be masking the finely curated flavor profile of that spirit, which is likely doing it a disservice. But dont buy garbage, either. Much like the wine you use in cooking, it should be affordable but something you enjoy drinking on its own.
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Filter Your Infused Vodka
When youre ready to end the infusing process, its time to filter your Christmas Pudding Vodka, so that you can drink it without being hit in the face by a cinnamon stick and a whole pile of soggy raisins. You can do this through a sieve or tea strainer, but it will still be a little cloudy. A butter muslin cloth would do a better job of straining out the little particles of spices, but if you want your vodka to be really crystal clear, I recommend using a coffee filter to strain it. It takes a while but youll get the best results!
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Does Fruit Infused Vodka Need To Be Refrigerated
Does the infused vodka need to be refrigerated? It cant hurt to refrigerate but its not absolutely essential. The alcohol will sanitize the infused ingredients and prevent bacteria from growing. However, if anything is not submerged in the alcohol, such as a herb twig, the vodka should be refrigerated.
Two: Know Your Infusion Ingredients
You can infuse your base with nearly anything edible, so how do you pick and choose whats getting tossed into that mason jar with tequila? Think with your tastebuds, think about flavor combinations you already know you like in food, booze and elsewhere and be willing to experiment a little bit.
Just like cooking, you may find your flavor inspiration in the spice drawer, the garden, or a favorite dish at a cafe. I love seasonal infusions and the great news is that its far easier to make a cucumber gin infusion than it is to make dill pickles.
In general, infusion ingredients fall into several categories. Ive included rough guidelines for infusing by category, but these instructions should not be construed as hard and fast rules. Remember, you can combine infusions ingredients as you like, add more or less of the infusion ingredients, and steep longer or shorter, all to your taste.
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How Much Fruit Do You Need
Great question! It really depends on how strong or subtle youd like the flavor to be. As a rule of thumb, start with 1 cup of chopped fruit for each cup of vodka . Its not an exact scienceyoull want to experiment to find your preferred ratio.
It is important to use enough vodka to cover all of the fruit. The alcohol is what prevents the fruit from spoiling. Do not feel like you need to use the entire bottle of vodka on one infusion. Anything left in the bottle can be saved for your next infusion.
One: Know Your Base Alcohol
Your base is the booze that youre going to flavor. I recommend a nice mid-shelf, mid-price alcohol. Top shelf isnt necessary, but no infusion ingredients will make terrible rot-gut booze taste like anything other than a drain cleaning solvent, so find a comfortable middle ground of price and quality.
With all base liquors, the higher the proof, the more extraction power youre looking at. So an overproof gin or bourbon will pull more flavor from your infusion ingredients than an 80 proof version. If you are looking for maximal extraction of volatiles, as for a medicinal or culinary extract, 190 proof Everclear may be of use. I havent worked with the super-overproofs, but if you can speak to their use in infusions, please chime in!
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How To Infuse Vodka With Fruit
Unlike gin or rum, vodka is essentially a blank canvas which makes it perfect for extracting and preserving the flavors of your favorite fruits and herbs. The alcohol also prevents any mold from growing on the fruit so you dont have to worry about it going bad. For these reasons alone vodka infusions have become my go-to option when Ive got overly ripe fruit on my hands that I need to use quickly!
Plus, infusing vodka with fruit couldnt be more simple: rinse your fruits of choice, chop everything up and add to a jar along with the vodka! Then just store your sealed jars in a dark, cool place until theyre ready to be strained and enjoyed. Its really that easy!
How Does It Work
Vodka, at about 40% alcohol, is a very effective flavor extractor. In this case Im actually fusing the fruit with the alcohol, which gives the process a big boost! Vodka is flavorless and colorless, so nothing interferes with the vivid fruit flavor and color, although you can use other alcohols like rum or gin, as well.
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Let The Spices Infuse
And now, we wait. Leave the vodka in the fridge for at least a week, stirring every day, to let the spices, sugar and fruit infuse their flavour into the drink. You can leave it for longer the flavours will just get stronger but I personally found that after a week, like Goldilocks, I thought it was juuuuust right.
How To Drink Your Christmas Pudding Vodka
Now youve made your Christmas Pudding vodka, the question is: how should you drink it? Well, I can attest that its delicious served neat, either at room temperature or chilled, but its also great as a mixer in other drinks and Christmas vodka cocktails. If you have a cold or sore throat, try adding a drop of your Christmas pudding vodka to a hot honey and lemon drink its the perfect combination. Similarly, it will work well as a hot buttered vodka drink to warm you up on those chilly winter evenings.
Equally, if youre looking for a more festive serving suggestion, you can add your vodka to homemade eggnog or mulled wine it will bring the perfect rich, sweet and spiced flavour. Or, why not check out this list of festive vodka cocktails recipes and see what catches your eye?
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Select And Prepare The Flavor
The really fun part of infusions is choosing the flavor, and there are no limits. You can use a variety of herbs, spices, fruits, and even veggies for infusions.
The most popular infusions are fruit-based . You can also create some wonderful combinations, such as lemongrass-ginger tequila or lavender-rosemary vodka. There are fun possibilities with unusual ingredients, too. Kettle corn gin or butternut squash bourbon, anyone?
For the best results, use fresh ingredients. Dried spices are the exception, and sometimes you can get away with dried herbs.
Common sense will guide you in preparing many of your infusion ingredients. For the most part, a few cuts and a good rinse under cold water are all that’s needed. You want to cut fruits and vegetables so they fit in your jar and remove any undesirable partsthe skin of a cucumber, for instance, can impart a bitter taste. Citrus fruits and similar ingredients do not necessarily need to have the peels removed.
Tips For Washing Strawberries
- Always wash strawberries well because they are among the ten fruits with the highest pesticide levels.
- Dont soak them as strawberries easily absorb water, which dilutes their flavor and sweetness.
- To wash, remove the leaves with a strawberry huller or core them out with a knife leaving as much fruit as possible. Then put them in a colander or sieve run water over them take them in your hands and gently rub each one with your fingers to make sure you clean it.
- After they are completely washed, place them on a paper towel and dry them off or let them air dry for several minutes.
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Step : Buy An Inexpensive Bottle Of Vodka
There is absolutely no reason you need to buy an expensive bottle of vodka for this project. The fruit youll be using will provide the flavor, so theres no need to spring for an artisan bottle unless you just really want to. Skip anything with hints of vanilla, citrus, etc.any subtle flavors will be lost. 80-proof or 100-proof will work just fine.
Produce Moms Tip: Vodka can be made from various ingredients, including different types of grains. If you are on a gluten-free diet, be sure to choose a vodka that is made from something other than grains, like potatoes.
Vodka Infused Fruit Recipes
If you search cyberspace for vodka infused fruit recipes, youre going to get tens of thousands on how to make fruit vodkas! However, theres no need to search any further than this recipe because its simple, easy and guaranteed delicious! If you want to do just a singular fruit, you certainly can. But I love the different fruits that add to the bold flavors and that give the vodka drinks with fruit their signature hues.
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Spices Dry Goods & Similar
Spice infusions are as easy as it gets. Drop dried spices in jar, add booze. Wait. Always use whole, not ground spices. The cookie spices tend to do well if you want a warm, cozy, Christmasy flavored infusion. Fennel is always nice. Vanilla beans are lovely, and for the most flavorful extraction should be split lengthwise before use.
One vanilla bean is generally plenty unless you are making an extract they are potent! Beware of cloves and cinnamon stick, which will dominate if overused.
Dont be afraid to mix up combinations to your taste. If you love Bloody Marys, try a dill and celery seed infused vodka as your base. Throw a jalapeno or dried red chili in there too if you like it spicy. Chai spices and black tea can infuse a vodka for a killer Chai White Russian. I typically end up with 1-3 tablespoons of whole spices per cup of base.
Loose black and green tea, or high quality teas left in the little tea bag, can be added to your base. I have a green tea apple gin coming along nicely right now. Use 1 tablespoons loose tea or 2 teabags per 2 cups base.
Coffee should be lightly crushed but not ground and added to your base at ½ 1 cup of coffee beans per 2 cups base, depending on how strong a coffee flavor you want.
Cocoa nibs are how you infuse booze with a chocolate flavor. Do not attempt cocoa powder or a hunk of baking chocolate. Youll be disappointed. A half-cup of nibs to 2 cups of base works well.
How To Use Infused Liquors
There are really no rules when it comes to using your DIY infusions. Add them to any cocktail for more flavor. You may even find you can use less sugar than usual, especially if it’s a fruit-infused liquor.
Here are a few quick ideas using our infusions:
- Use pineapple-infused rum in this Pineapple Coconut Rum Punch or this Long Island Iced Tea
- Spike homemade lemonade with lemon ginger infused gin
The possibilities are endless – we’d love to hear how you’re using your infusions in the comments below!
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