Vodka Infusions Part I

23 Mar

A few weeks ago, for no reason I can readily recall, I decided to try infusing vodka with some of my favorite things.  I read no less than 3 internet articles on how to do this and then started my journey.  I recount it here for you.

Step 1: Acquire the booze.  Clearly, better vodka makes a better finished product, but because this was a test run, I went for Smirnoff. Not undrinkable, but I won’t cry if the infused product winds up being poured down the drain.

Step 2 (and 3 and 4): Chop, pour, and store.  Basically, you can infuse vodka with anything porous and edible that can fit inside a bottle or jar.  Whatever you choose, coarsely chop it if you can to increase the surface area for faster infusion, but you don’t have to go crazy.  I chose 4 infusions: tomato basil, bacon, apple ginger, and chile.  Here they are, in that order:

So you stuff the ingredients in the jar, pour some vodka in, and then let them sit in a cool dark place (a fridge or freezer works, but infusion goes slower in cold temperatures) for 3 days – 3 weeks depending on how much vodka you’re infusing and which article you read on the internet.  I let my chile infuse for 3 days because they were pretty potent and let then others infuse for about a week because they were such small batches.

Step 5: Filter

Once your vodka is adequately infused, you’ll want to filter out all the bits and pieces, as chunky vodka is anything buy appetizing. If you’re infusing the vodka with anything meaty and/or fatty, you’ll want to stick it in the freezer for at least a few hours to let the fat separate from the liquid. This will make for easier filtration.  To filter, I used the old rubberband-a-coffee-filter-around-a-cup trick.  Just make sure not to pour too fast, especially with bacon vodka, because the copious amount of fat makes it filter very slowly.

Step 6 (and 7): Chill and Drink!  That’s it.  Here we have the final vodkas, ready for the tasting.

 

Left to right: Red chile, Bacon, Tomato Basil, Apple Ginger.

Left to right: Red chile, Bacon, Tomato Basil, Apple Ginger.

Check back tomorrow for Part II: Vodka Tasting!!!

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