We’re not convinced that anyone likes plain vodka… but why have plain when you can add your own flavours? Flavoured spirits are great for using in cocktails and, with Christmas right around the corner, now is the best time to learn how to make infused vodkas. Unlike sloe gin, which takes at least 2 months to mature and infuse before it becomes a smooth liqueur, vodka only needs to be left for a week in order for the flavours to infuse!
Step 1: Choose Your Vodka
You don’t actually need to choose a very high quality vodka to infuse with, as the flavours that you will add will mask most of the original flavour. The best vodka to choose is a mid-range brand that is packaged in a glass bottle, as any vodka that has been placed in a plastic bottle can impart a ‘cheap’ taste that you won’t want in your finished spirit.
Step 2: Choose Your Flavours
The most common ingredients used to infuse with any type of spirit are fruits, as they impart a sweet, tangy flavour that is great for cocktails and simply to drink on their own. But you don’t have to limit yourself to these flavours; why not try out some more experimental flavour combinations that could include herbs, vegetables, sweets and even bacon? Take a look at the section at the end of this post for some great recipes for infused vodkas to get inspiration.
Step 3: Prepare Your Ingredients
If you’re using fresh fruit or vegetables, you will need to throughly wash them to remove any grit or dirt that might be lingering on the skin, then slice them quite thinly in order so that they can release the flavour quicker and make sure to remove any pips or pith that can ruin the final flavour. If you are using berries, do not slice them but just give them a small squeeze to burst the fruit slightly to it can release the juices. Herbs need to be washed, then crushed sightly to release flavour.
Step 4: Pick Your Infusing Vessel
The best item to infuse your vodka in is a large glass preserve jar, large glass juice bottle or large glass swing top bottle that has an airtight lid. We have a huge variety of choices available here at Ideon that are ideal for infused vodkas, including those shown below.
Our Le Parfait Jars feature a distinctive orange rubber seal that will lock in all the flavours of your vodka while it infuses, and they also have a large opening so that you can use larger ingredients that wouldn’t necessarily fit into the opening of a juice bottle.
Step 5: Fill Your Jar Or Bottle
Make sure that your jar or bottle is clean, then place your flavouring ingredients at the bottom. The amount you use depends on the volume of vodka that you are infusing, but a good rule to go by is to use around ‘2 apples worth’ of fruit, apart from berries where you’ll need to use around a cup. For herbs, you’ll need to put in at least 2-3 fistfuls in order for the flavour to impart into the vodka. Once you’ve put in your flavour ingredients, fill the jar or bottle with your plain vodka.
Step 5: Infuse & Wait
Seal the jar or bottle tightly with the airtight lid, give it a shake, then leave in either fridge or in a cool place (not in direct sunlight) for around 5 days. Make sure to give it a good shake at least once a day to speed up the infusion process. After 5 days, taste your vodka and see if it has enough flavour for your liking. If not, leave it for a few more days until it has developed the perfect flavour for you.
Step 6: Strain Your Mixture
In order to make your infused vodka ready to serve, you will need to strain your mixture to rid it of any fibres of your fruit, vegetables or other flavouring ingredient. If you have used large pieces of fruit, simply pour the mixture through a sieve to separate it, but if you have used smaller ingredients then you need to filter your mixture through a cloth to make it as smooth as possible.
Now it’s time to serve!
Infused Vodka Recipes
Fancy having a go at making your own infused vodkas? We’ve found a few tasty recipes online that you can try out at home. Be warned, one recipe does sound like a very strange flavour for a drink, but don’t dismiss it until you’ve tried it!
This infused vodka has become very popular in the past few years, as it develops into a very sweet drink that is almost a syrup and you can create many different versions into the many colours of Skittles. Find a great recipe at Pop Sugar.
This is the weirdest vodka recipe we’ve seen, but apparently it does taste amazing when used in a Bloody Mary cocktail! To make this infusion, you will need to fry some smoked bacon and use the fat, not the meat, to infuse the vodka. Don’t worry, you won’t end up with globules of fat in your drink – just make sure to strain the mixture through a cloth before serving. Find the recipe at Betty Crocker.
This botanical vodka is for a more sophisticated pallet and is quite similar to gin in taste. Make sure to use fresh herbs for your infusion as they will impart the most subtle flavour. Find the full recipe at The Spruce Eats.