Here in the Delectable Darlings kitchen, we love to experiment. Sometimes our experiments go awry and sometimes they knock peoples socks off. Our most recent experiments did the latter so here we are to share.
We made 6 different vodkas using fruit, herbs, fluff and bacon and peppers! Yes, bacon and peppers! It was actually one of our favorites. It made for a mean Bloody Mary…but that’s a whole different post (coming soon!).
A Simple Guide to Infusing Vodka
The first thing you need with any infusion is a clean container. Our favorite containers to use are simple canning jars. They hold about 12 oz of fluid and keep a tight seal. You can go an extra step and sanitize the jar if you are worried about contamination. To sanitize, first wash jars and lids with soap and water. You can place them in a large stock pot and cover with water then bring it to a boil. Allow to boil for several minutes before removing. Also, if you have a dishwasher with a “sanitize” mode, that works too.
Use a good vodka when making infusions. When we say good, we don’t mean Kettle One or Grey Goose. You could use those if you want to but any vodka will do just don’t use the cheap stuff. No Popov!! We used Absolut for some and Kirkland Six for the rest.
Fruit Infusion: Choose a fruit that is fresh and perfectly ripe. For this post, we chose to use raspberries, an apple and a pear. We cut the apple & pear in half and placed them each in a jar. For the raspberries, we added a 1/4 cup to a 12oz jar and used a spoon to lightly mash the fruit. We wanted the flavors and juices to be exposed without making the fruit mushy. You would do the same for any other type of berry. The apple and pear turned brown (oxidize) after being cut but it doesn’t effect the flavor so don’t be scared. (allow to infuse for at least 3 days or up to a 2 weeks)
Mint Infusion: As with fruit, you want to use fresh herbs. Place the herbs in a jar and use a muddler or spoon to lightly grind or bruise herbs to expose the flavors. (allow to infuse for 3-10 days)
Marshmallow Fluff Infusion: We used fluff for this post. We just paced a big dollop of fluff in a jar then covered it with vodka. Shake a couple times a day and you’ll notice the fluff dissolves. Same goes for regular marshmallows. Just place them in the jar. No smooshing necessary but they won’t dissolve. You’ll end up with drunken marshmallows. (allow to infuse for 3-10 days)
Bacon and Hot Pepper Infusion: For this, we used Tabasco Peppers. I had a million growing in the garden so we just used those…ummm…they were really freakin hot! We took out most of the seeds to tame it a little.You could use any peppers though. Cut the peppers in half lengthwise and then pop ’em in the container with a nice crisp piece or two of bacon. Shake lightly everyday then strain out the peppers and bacon and remove any fat that is sitting on the surface. After straining, we let it sit in the fridge for a few hours to let any more fat from the bacon rise to the surface then skimmed it out with a spoon. (allow to infuse for 4-5 days)
All infusions need to be kept in the refrigerator and shaken lightly a couple times a day. After the infusion time has elapsed, use a fine mesh strainer to remove any fruit, herbs, etc. Store in refrigerator.
After just one day the color of the berry vodka has changed completely.
Label them so you don’t forget which is which.
The whole process is super easy and quite fun once you do it. The cocktail possibilities are endless. Here are some of the ones we created using our own infusions (recipes coming soon). Check back or subscribe to our blog (find in right hand sidebar) to be notified when we add a new post.
We would love to know how your infusions turned out and what you used. Let us know in the comments!