Follow our easy guide to learn how to make infused vodka at home. Vodka infusions are great DIY gifts or a base for your favorite cocktails.
One year, I went through a vodka infusions period.
My cupboards, not unlike an 18th-century apothecary, were full of vials and jars in various stages of the process. Strange fruit and full herbs hung suspended in liquids, and labels with illegible markings covered every surface.
Any visitor who came was subject to a tasting of the infused vodka of the day: vanilla and cardamom, blueberries and lemon thyme, or chilli and honey were some of my favorites. Some of the less successful combinations included prickly pear, toasted buckwheat and pine (that would have worked better as a homemade cleaner.)
I'm happy to say that I've perfected my vodka infusions in the years since. And today, I'm delighted to share some of my favorite tips and tricks for making your own infused vodka, whether to give as a DIY holiday gift or drink in your favorite cocktails.
And now, 'Tis the season to spice up your vodka game!
What Are Vodka Infusions?
Vodka infusions are created by taking vodka and infusing it with various ingredients such as fruits, spices, herbs, and even vegetables.
The infusion process involves placing the ingredients and vodka in a container for an extended period to allow the flavors to blend and create a unique taste.
Vodka infusions are a popular way to add a new twist to traditional vodka cocktails and can be customized to suit any flavor preference. I also use it in rum cocktails to change up the spirit..
Why Infuse Vodka?
Let me ask this instead: why settle for plain old vodka when you can transform it into a flavor-packed elixir to make your taste buds dance with joy? Whether you're a cocktail connoisseur or a budding mixologist, infusing vodka at home is a delightful journey that will leave you with a bottle of liquid gold that rivals the finest spirits on the market.
Say goodbye to the mundane and embrace the extraordinary as you explore a world of tantalizing flavors and endless possibilities. From zesty citrus bursts to seductive vanilla undertones, the choice is yours.
So dust off your bartending shaker, gather your favorite ingredients, and embark on a quest to create the most delectable infused vodka concoctions that will impress even the most discerning palates.
Get ready to take your sipping experience to new heights because, my friend, the realm of homemade-infused vodka awaits, and it's time to uncork the magic!
What to Infuse Vodka With
Infusing vodka is a great way to experiment with different flavors and create unique cocktails. Any herbs, spices and fruits (and even vegetables!) can make for good vodka infusion flavors.
Some popular options to infuse vodka with are cucumber, watermelon, jalapeño, rosemary, and cranberry. These ingredients can add flavor to your vodka and enhance the overall drink.
But you shouldn't stick to only one ingredient! Combining different flavors can also result in an interesting flavor combination that can be used to make a tasty cocktail. For a refreshing summer drink, try infusing vodka with watermelon and rosemary. For a spicy kick, jalapeño-infused vodka is a great option.
With so many options, there's no limit to the tasty concoctions you can create by infusing vodka with your favorite ingredients.
For this infused vodka recipe, I chose two holiday flavor combinations: a Christmas vodka infusion with cranberries, star anise and citrus, and a spicy chilli vodka with honeycomb. The ingredients you need are:
- Lemon or orange
- Cranberries - you can use fresh or frozen cranberries
- Star anise
- Cinnamon sticks
- Whole red jalapeño peppers or chillis
- Whole honeycomb
- Quart-sized Mason jars
How to Make a Vodka Infusion
If you want to make a delicious vodka infusion, it's quite simple.
First, choose the ingredients you want, such as fresh fruit, spices, or herbs, and chop them into small pieces. You can use our recommended ingredients, or come up with your own!
Then, fill a clean jar or an empty vodka bottle with your chosen vodka and the ingredients, following the rule of thumb of using about one cup of ingredients per liter of vodka.
Seal the jar tightly and place it in a dark place, like a pantry or cupboard, for at least three days to infuse, and preferably let it infuse for 2-3 weeks. I prefer to infuse the spicy vodka infusion for about 3-5 days, as it gets spicier the longer it sits. But with a delicate infusion like the Christmas-infused vodka, even a month would do well.
Once the time is up, open the jar and strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove any chunks or solids. Discard the leftover ingredients and enjoy your homemade vodka infusion! After straining, store the infused vodka in a clean bottle or jar.
To mix up flavors, try different combinations of ingredients and experiment with longer or shorter infusion times until you find your perfect blend.
Remember that the longer you infuse vodka, the stronger the flavor. So, if you want a milder flavor, skip the long infusion time and create a quick, refreshing vodka infusion that is perfect for summer.
How to Serve Infused Vodka
Infused vodka is a versatile and tasty beverage that is enjoyed by many people. Here are some ideas on how to serve infused vodka:
- Mix with soda: Pour a shot or two of your favorite infused vodka into a glass of soda water or tonic water for a refreshing and low-calorie drink.
- Make a martini: Mix infused vodka with a small amount of vermouth and serve in a chilled martini glass for a classic cocktail.
- Enjoy it straight up: Sip your favorite infused vodka neat, at room temperature, to fully appreciate its unique flavors and aromas.
- Make a cocktail: Infused vodka can be used as a base for craft cocktails, such as cosmos, screwdrivers, and bloody Marys. Experiment with different mixers and garnishes to create your signature drinks.
- Cook with it: Infused vodka can also be used in cooking and baking, adding flavor to pasta sauces, cakes, and desserts.
Regardless of how you serve it, infused vodka is a delicious and versatile drink that can be enjoyed in various ways.
Other Flavor Combinations
Flavor combinations are endless, and there are plenty of exciting and unique flavor pairings to explore beyond the typical ones.
- Vodka and vanilla bean make a delicious and smooth flavor combination perfect for cocktails.
- Strawberry and pepper are sweet and spicy, making them an interesting pairing for those who enjoy a bit of heat in their drinks.
- Berry-infused vodka - blueberries are my favorite, but blackberries also make a beautiful infusion. I love combining blueberries and sage.
- Vodka with fresh pineapple and coconut
- Fresh rosemary or lavender
The possibilities are endless regarding flavor combinations, so don't be afraid to experiment and try something new. Who knows, you might just discover your new favorite drink.
Tried and loved this recipe? Please leave a 5-star review below! Your reviews mean a lot to me, so if you've got any questions, please let me know in a comment.
More drink recipes:
Holiday Infused Vodkas
Spicy Chili Pepper Infused Vodka
- 3 organic red peppers cut into quarters
- 3- inch piece of honeycomb
- 750 mL vodka
Cranberry Spice Infused Vodka
- 1 pint organic cranberries
- ¼ cup sugar optional
- 3 star anise
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- Orange peel or lemon peel
- 750 mL vodka
- For spicy infused vodka: Put peppers and honeycomb in a large clean glass jar or container.
- For Christmas-infused vodka: Put cranberries, sugar (if using), star anise, cinnamon sticks, and citrus peel in a large jar or container.
- Fill jar with vodka.
- Seal the jar and keep it in a cool, dark place like a pantry.
- Let it infuse for three days, shaking daily. Let the Christmas vodka infusion sit for longer, closer to 3-5 weeks.
- Strain the ingredients through a cheesecloth, mesh strainer or coffee filter.
- Transfer the infused vodka into a clean bottle or container.