I tried something new this year. I infused my own alcohol – vodka specifically. I tried various flavors and gave them out as Christmas presents. They were delicious and fun!
They are so easy to make, and you can be creative with it. I used vodka for all of these recipes, and I let them sit for 3 to 7 days. I put everything in canning jars, with lids, and shook them 2 to 3 times per day to ensure the flavors developed.
Here are the flavors I made, but don’t stop there. You can put just about anything that sounds good to you in vodka and taste test. If you are unsure of a flavor, here is a tip: do a small sample size, not an entire pint or quart.
Rosemary Lime was one of my favorites. It has a fresh and clean taste. I used fresh rosemary sprigs, and one lime to a little over one half quart vodka.
Tip: remove the lime rind, or the only thing you will taste is rind. I had to remake a batch because I didn’t remove the rind at first.
Another favorite! This is just as fresh and clean tasting as the rosemary lime, but it’s more subtle. It’s dainty and pure. I imagine listening to classical music and reading Jane Eyre while sipping this.
I used fresh rosemary sprigs for this, as well as a few sprigs of dried lavender to a little over half a quart of vodka.
This was a fun one! I dropped 5 unwrapped strawberry Starburst into a pint of vodka. They dissolved completely, and it turned milky pink. Not the neatest thing to look at, but it tastes like what it is.
You have to be careful with this one. I peeled two clementine oranges and added them to just under a quart of vodka. I then dropped in about 20 dried whole cloves.
This will burn your taste buds. I should have gone lighter on the cloves. Five to ten cloves would have been plenty.
The orange taste was good, but it left a very strong clove taste in your mouth for a long time after. It was REALLY good, but a little too strong.
As a huge fan of Fireball whiskey, I was expecting more from this. I know that Fireball has a lot of sweetener in it, and my cinnamon vodka did not. But I was expecting more flavor. I think this is an infusion that you could let steep for a few months.
Also, make sure you use quality cinnamon sticks. I put about 8 sticks in a quart of vodka. The sticks I used had been in my spice cupboard for a while. They were incredibly dried out and didn’t look promising to begin with.
The flavor was good. Just not enough for me.
Epic Fail. Do not use mint leaves in your vodka infusions. Blech. I should have known better. I could have just dumped toothpaste in the vodka and it would have tasted the same. Not to mention the berries were tasteless, so they didn’t shine through at all.
If you want a minty vodka, use peppermint candies. Candy canes would work really well, or starlight mints. Do not actually use mint leaves.
I have to say, I will continue to make these throughout the year. Not only are they fun gifts, but they are delicious to make for personal enjoyment as well! I am really excited to use fresh herbs and berries from my garden this year.