To some, infusing your own fruit vodka seems as complicated as making origami in the dark. But, it’s really quite simple and the delicious results make an excellent addition to summer parties. We’ve broken the process down into this very easy to follow, vodka-infusing guide.
Select Your Vodka
You can use either 80-proof or 100-proof vodka to make fruit-flavored vodkas. 100-proof vodka will do a better job extracting the fruit flavor, but some find the taste of the100-proof to be a little raw in cocktails.
Vodkas we recommend
Something simple like Ketel One will work for this, as the fruit will be the dominant flavor in this infusion. You could also use Seagrams, or my personal favorite, the crisp Ivanabitch from Holland.
Determine How Much To Make
Here’s a good go-to ratio:
2 cups chopped fruit : 2 to 3 cups vodka
This provides very balanced, fruit-forward vodka. Like your drinks fruitier? Add more to taste, or less for a lighter flavor.
Decide What Type of Fruit (and Herbs) to Use
This is really up to you! You can keep it simple and go with one fruit per jar for a basic infusion, or you can really let your inner mad scientist out and experiment! The combinations of herbs and fruit vodka infusions are endless.
Here are some suggestions to inspire you
Strawberry + Basil
Blackberry + Thyme
Peach + Mint
Pomegranate + Apple
Orange + Cranberry
Mango + Chili Pepper (unless you like it super spicy, between 1-3 peppers is plenty)
Next up, is the best part— actually making it!
How-To Make Fruit Infused Vodka
2 cups chopped fruit, a single fruit or a mix of fruits
2 to 3 cups 80-proof or 100-proof vodka
Optional extras: citrus peels, minced ginger, fresh herbs, split vanilla beans, whole cloves, whole star anise, whole cinnamon sticks, peppercorns, and other whole spices.
1-quart canning jar or other container with lid
4-cup measuring cup
Small funnel (optional)
Glass bottles with caps — empty liquor bottles, swing-top bottles, cleaned glass soda bottles, or canning jars
1: Prep the fruit: Wash and pat the fruit dry. Then, chop the fruit into small pieces. Be sure to trim away any stems, cores, seeds, or blemishes. Peels can be left on or peeled off — some people like the extra flavor and richer color the peels add, but leaving them off gives a sweeter, purer fruit flavor. Berries and other very small fruits can be left whole.
2: Transfer the fruit to the canning jar: Transfer all the fruit to the jar, along with any extra herbs or spices you want. Pour any juice from the cutting board into the jar. If you’re using berries, muddle them with a wooden spoon to break them up and release their juices.
3: Cover the fruit with vodka: Pour the vodka over the fruit. Use enough to completely cover the fruit and fill the jar, about 2 to 3 cups in a 1-quart jar. Seal the jar tightly and put it somewhere out of direct sunlight.
4: Infuse for 3 to 5 days (or longer): Shake the jar of fruit and vodka daily. You’ll see the vodka gradually take on the color of the fruit. Taste it after 3 days and continue infusing to your liking. Most fruit vodkas are finished in 3 to 5 days, but you can continue infusing the vodka for longer.
5: Strain the fruit vodka: When the vodka has been infused, separate the fruit and the vodka by straining it into a measuring cup. If your fruit had a lot of seeds or sediment, line the strainer with cheesecloth before straining. Throw away the fruit after straining.
Transfer the fruit vodka to bottles: Pour the vodka into clean glass bottles — a small funnel helps here. The bottles don’t necessarily need to be completely filled. The important thing is to make sure they stay sealed otherwise the vodka will evaporate. Store the vodka out of direct sunlight; and it’ll keep indefinitely!
When you’re ready to serve your creation, a fruit-infused vodka works great in a cocktail, by itself, or in an adult gelatin shot!
For more liquor recommendations, be sure to ask the helpful masters of mixology working at your local Spec’s.