Monday, April 9, 2012

Infused Vodkas

Infusing Vodka

Step 1: Gather the essentials

Ingredients: It can take under a week for citrus fruits or strongly flavored ingredients to infuse. Softly flavored or fibrous ingredients such as strawberries, pineapple or fresh ginger, can take between one and two weeks.

Infusion Jar: Basic, tall or round glass jars with tightly fitting lids, preferable complete with pouring spouts are the only initial outlay required for your new in-house vodka infusion center.

Base Vodka: Choosing a suitable vodka base is key to effective flavor infusion. The more times vodka is distilled, the cleaner and purer it becomes. So try choosing vodkas that are distilled more than three times. 
More about vodka's taste & quality  

Step 2: Choosing your flavor

The choice is almost infinite and stretches as far as your imagination. You can choose between either fresh fruit, or more alternative ingredients.

Mellow flavors include cantaloupe, peach, strawberry, cherry, blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, pineapple, mango and vanilla beans.

Lemon, lime or grapefruit flavors offer a sharper bite to the palate.

If you're seeking more darling flavors, look to fresh ginger, lemon-grass, herbs, garlic or chili peppers and mix them with tomato juice for
B loody Mary  with a difference. 

Step 3: Time to infuse

Fresh fruit and produce should be washed thoroughly to ensure they are free from pesticides and any unwanted party guests. Berry-like fruit, such as blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, should be left whole. Fibrous fruits like pineapple or mango should be chopped into small chunks and strawberries or citrus fruit, cut into thin slices. Thin-skinned juice oranges or Meyer lemons work best, as excess pitch quickly creates a bitter taste. Vanilla beans should be cut length-ways and herbs left on their stems. Chili peppers can be left whole, or cut i half if you want to increase the rate of infusion.

The glass jar should be filled full with the infusion ingredients and the remained with vodka. Tighten the lid securely over the jar and place in the refrigerator or at room temperature, away from direct sunlight.

Infusion time:
Approx. 3 - 4 days: Vanilla beans, lemons, oranges, grapefruit, limes, mint, garlic, tarragon, basil, oregano, dill & thyme

Approx. 1 week: Cantaloupes, strawberries, peaches, mangoes, pitted cherries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries

Up to 2 weeks: Whole chili peppers, pineapple, fresh ginger and lemon-grass

If you want to speed up the flavor infusion process, or deepen the flavor, sprinkle a layer of sugar over the top of fruit. Occasionally stir the mixture to dissolve any settled granules.

These are only guidelines. Just remember that stronger flavored fruit and herbs/spices take less time to infuse, whereas softer flavor and fibrous fruit take longer. The most accurate method is to continually taste them, adding more or diluting, until the flavor reaches your preferred intensity.

Infused Marshmallow Vodka

  • 1 750 ml bottle vodka
  • 1 16 oz bag marshmallows
  • large clean jar with tight fitting lid
Put marshmallows in a jar and pour vodka over.  Seal and let sit at least 24 hours!  When ready to use pour vodka through a cheescake cloth to strain.  I usually wet my cloth so it doesn't soak up any of the vodka.  Remember you don't have to use this right away.  You can let it sit up to several days.

Cranberry Spice Infusion
- 1 bottle (750 ml) Fris Vodka
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- 5 whole cloves
- 1 whole nutmeg, cracked
- 1 teaspoon whole coriander seed, cracked
- 1/2 a whole vanilla bean
- 1/2stick cinnamon, cracked
- 6 whole allspice berries, cracked

Place cranberries and spices in an infusion jar and top with vodka. Let infuse for 2 - 3 days, then strain and place infused Fris Vodka in an attractive container. 

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