It was my 21st last week, so I decided to try a few different drinks on top of the usual cider, tequila and sambuca. I had champagne (cheap, from valentine’s day – I’m not stupid) and was making cocktails, but I wanted something I’d not had before. The recipe for infusing vodka was simple enough so I decided to give it a go.
It’s individual preference really. You can whack anything in there – from fruit to herbs (although I don’t get why anyone would want to do that!) to peppers (again, why?). Just whatever takes your fancy. I tried two mixes, which have both worked amazingly well, and it’s something I’m going to be trying again. I’ve grown tired of vodka and coke or lemonade and for the first time in ages I’ve been excited to drink vodka again.
To begin with you need some decent vodka (none of this red label or brand rubbish), some air-tight jars or containers and whatever you want to infuse the vodka with. I tried orange and a summer fruit concoction that included strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, grapes and apples, but feel free to go wild.
Sterilize the containers with scalding water; add the fruit and vodka and then seal. The vodka has to be left in a cool place out of direct sunlight and then you have to wait. I shook the jars every day, to mix it up a little.
The infusion process takes different lengths of time depending on what you’ve added – obviously stronger-tasting ingredients such as peppers will take less time to infuse and mild flavours will take longer. You can tell how far on they are from smelling the really – the summer fruit mixture I concocted smelled amazing and after a few days I started tasting them. Like I said it’s individual preference really. If you want the flavours to be stronger you have to leave the ingredients in longer to give them more time to infuse. If you want more mild-tasting vodka, you take the ingredients out earlier.
I found it helped to remove the fruit after a few days and replace with fresh fruit, just to give it an extra burst of flavour. For berries it helps to score or pierce the fruit, just so that the flavours can get into the vodka quicker.
When the vodka is at your preference, strain and bottle it, but don’t throw the fruit away. It’ll make a perfect party entrée, and it’s one of your 5-a-day. Win!
Like I said, go crazy and throw in whatever you fancy. I want to try a green apple one next (the apple will need replacing more regularly I think) and then after that I might go wild.
But remember kids, drink responsibly.