Monday, September 19, 2011

Infused vodka

I often get an itch to be "creative".   My "itch" led me to infusing vodka.  It was surprisingly simple and things turned out remarkably well. 

First you need to decide what flavor of vodka you want.  If you hate lemons, don't make a lemon vodka.  If you like lemons, make a lemon vodka.  It's really that easy.  I decided to try a few different flavors and see what would be good enough to repeat.  My goal in the end was to be able to give the "homemade" vodka as gifts to people.  In my extensive Internet research I found there is really no exact science to the process, and there's no limits to what you can attempt to infuse.  I found more than one blog where they infused bacon into vodka.  Why you would want to do that, I have no idea, but they did.  And apparently they liked it.

That being said, I did not choose bacon.  I chose more traditional flavors:  lemon, apple cinnamon, green apple, and jalapeno.  The jalapeno was the weirdest but my husband likes bloody Mary's and I figured you'd get spice without having to add much Tabasco.  I also opted to make a lemoncello.  I've never had lemoncello before but I thought, what the heck. 

The end results? 
Green apple was not good.  Although I filled the entire mason jar with apple, there wasn't enough flavor to even identify after 2 weeks.  I let it sit longer (4 weeks total) and the apples started fermenting/rotting.  I threw that batch away.
The lemon was very lemony.   If you like super sour it was ok.  I found that most people would drink it if I mixed in a few tablespoons of sugar to the sprite mixer.  This defeated the sprite zero/ zero calorie angle most people were going for. 
The jalapeno was HOT and you could definitely tell it was flavored like a jalapeno. Initially I had cut up and filled the entire jar with peppers but my husband talked me out of it.  In the end only about  1/2 the jar was full of peppers and that was probably more than plenty.  It was good and it left that jalapeno burn in your mouth. 
The lemoncello.  This one took 90 days and was more complex than the others.  You let the lemon only vodka sit for 45 days then add a homemade simple sugar and let it sit for another 45 days.  It is sweet.  Very sweet.  I serve it straight from the freezer but it's just too sweet for me.  I let a co-worker try it and she loved it.  I will be giving the rest to her soon.
The winner-  The apple cinnamon.  This was the favorite  of all the flavors but only because of the cinnamon.  The apples contributed no flavor.  The cinnamon colored the vodka a beautiful red color and we mixed it with apple juice so it tasted like spiced apple cider.  We liked it so much I made another entire bottle of just cinnamon to give away. 

I found and purchased bottles on and I will be making my own labels so I can give the cinnamon vodka away.  I'll post an update with the finished project at a later time.

from left to right- green apple, lemon, apple cinnamon, lemoncello, jalapeno

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