What Alcohol To Use
You can use either 80-proof or 100-proof vodka to make fruit-flavored vodkas. 80-proof is easier to find in stores, and I prefer it in cocktails. 100-proof vodka will extract better fruit flavor, but I find that it can tend to taste a little hot or raw in cocktails. I like using 100-proof if Im planning to add simple syrup to make the vodka into a liqueur . You can also cut the 100-proof with a little water to taste.
You dont need to get fancy with the vodka either. The fruit becomes the dominant flavor, so I recommend skipping the fancy artisan vodkas and picking up something basic. I used Seagrams Extra-Smooth 80-Proof Vodka for this tutorial.
Vodka isnt the only liquor you can use, either! I love the idea of infusing other spirits with fruit what about a fig-infused bourbon? Or a grapefruit gin? Or a strawberry tequila for making daiquiris? This is a DIY rabbit hole: Embrace it.
How Much To Make
Heres the standard ratio that I like to use:
2 cups chopped fruit + 2 to 3 cups vodka, infused for 3 to 5 days
This will give you a nicely balanced, fruit-forward vodka. Using more fruit will give you a stronger flavor, just as using less will add a light flavor. At minimum, you want enough vodka to cover the fruit to prevent it from spoiling during infusion.
You can also scale this up and down. If you only have a cup of fruit to use up or if you have a whole basket just use a proportionate amount of vodka. This is more of a method than a strict recipe, so you can adjust to the amount of ingredients you have and how much you want to make at any given time.
How To Make Fruit Vodkas
Its no pretty jar of jam or row of canned tomatoes, I know, but I suspect that making your own fruit-flavored vodkas might just be the most fun way to preserve the season! This is also perfect for when youre not in the mood for a big preserving project, but want a quick way to make sure that handful of juicy berries, plump purple figs, or last peaches doesnt go to waste. Because a bottle of jewel-colored, summer fruit-infused vodka will never go to waste. Trust me on this.
I had always thought of fruit-infused vodkas as a Big Project requiring specially sourced liquor and months of waiting. In fact, it barely requires a tutorial like this one! Its as simple as choosing some ripe fruits, covering them with vodka, and waiting for a few days until the vodka tastes good to you. Once strained, this vodka can go into cocktails or pitcher drinks, or you can gift it to lucky friends in the months ahead.
I love single-fruit vodkas youre guaranteed to love the end result, and they tend to be the most versatile for crafting cocktails. But heck, you can get as fancy and crafty as you like! Combine fruits together, add spices or fresh herbs, and let out your inner mad scientist. You can also start with a single fruit, taste it, and then add another fruit or other spices. High-proof vodka will never go bad, so you can continue layering on more flavors until youre happy. If you can imagine it, you can make it.
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How Do I Use Fruit
Think of these vodkas as adding another layer of flavor to your favorite cocktails. They can be shaken with ice for a very simple martini or combined with other liquors and bitters for more complex cocktails. Or, of course, use them to make grown-up jello shots!
Little bottles of fruit-flavored vodkas are also one of my favorite hostess gifts so much more fun and special than a bottle of wine, especially when it means giving a taste of summer in the middle of winter. You can use any bottle or jar with a tight-sealing lid , so get creative with your gift-giving!
What Is 100 Proof Vodka Called
In the United States, the system which dates to 1848 is a bit simpler: Proof is the same amount of vodka as alcohol. An 80 proof vodka has a 40 percent alcohol by volume ratio. A 90 proof vodka has a 45 percent alcohol by volume ratio. Proof spirits have an alcohol by volume of at least 50 percent.
Also Check: What Drinks Go Well With Vodka
How Do You Make Vanilla Extract From Scratch
Recipes To Use Your Delicious Homemade Vanilla
Now that you know how to make vanilla extract at home, you need a recipe that will really let that vanilla shine! One great idea is my Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies recipe. It’s a simple, 4-ingredient shortbread recipe that gets all of its flavor from brown sugar and vanilla. But together, they create an amazing rich flavor that is just incredible.
Another great option is one of the most popular recipes on my blog, my mini vanilla cake. It’s a super easy, small batch cake recipe that is perfect for celebrations or just to satisfy a sweet tooth! And vanilla is the star of the show!
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California Residents: Tap Here For Proposition 65 Warning
|WARNING: Drinking distilled spirits, beer, coolers, wine and other alcoholic beverages may increase cancer risk, and, during pregnancy, can cause birth defects. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/alcohol|
|WARNING: Many food and beverage cans have linings containing bisphenol A , a chemical known to cause harm to the female reproductive system. Jar lids and bottle caps may also contain BPA. You can be exposed to BPA when you consume foods or beverages packaged in these containers. For more information, go to: www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/BPA|
What You’ll Need
Before we learn how to make vanilla extract, we need to know what we’ll need! And it only takes two ingredients!
- vanilla beans – you’ll need Grade B vanilla bean pods, which are also known as “extract beans”. You’ll see Grade A as well, but Grade A vanilla is more for baking with the bean pod, like if you were scraping out the beans to add directly to a recipe. Grade B beans have less moisture and are sometimes brittle, so they’re not great to cook with. But they’re perfect for making homemade vanilla extract, since we’ll be drawing the vanilla flavor out over time!
- vodka or bourbon – some recipes detailing how to make vanilla extract call for vodka as the alcohol that literally extracts the vanilla flavor from the pods. Vodka is a great option, since it has a neutral flavor and is easy to find. And if you can get your hands on 100-proof vodka, that will work even better! But my favorite method for how to make vanilla extract is to use bourbon. It adds a bit of a flavor boost to the finished product that really shines through in everything you bake.
- glass bottles or jars – to store your vanilla, I’d recommend one of these 8-ounce swing-top bottles. They look great, seal tightly, and work great when using your vanilla in baking. You can also divide your vanilla into two 4-ounce bottles for gift giving, or make a double batch in one 16-ounce bottle.
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