Vodka serves as the ideal choice of spirits for fruit infusions. Its neutrality of flavor allows the essence of fruit to transfer unimpeded and, unlike dark spirits, lacks the oak-like notes that arise from barrel aging and mask supplementary flavoring. Infused vodka originated as a method of making the drink more palatable when used for medicinal purposes in the 16th century. It has since carved a niche in the spirits industry, and prompted professional and amateur mixologists alike to create interesting options for the drink.
Things You'll Need
- Wheat- or grain-based vodka, distilled a minimum of four times
- Tall circular glass jar with spigot or dedicated infusion jar
- 5 lbs. to 15 lbs. fruit
- 1 tbsp. white granulated sugar
- Fine-mesh sieve
Choose a tall, circular glass jar, preferably a dedicated infusion jar or one with a spigot located near the base of the bottle.
Rinse the fruit thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels. Cut strawberries and citrus fruit into 1/4-inch slices. Peel large fruits, such as pineapples or melons, and cut into 1-inch cubes. Leave small fruits, such as blueberries, raspberries and cherries, whole.
Fill the jar to the neck with fruit. Do not pack the fruit in the jar.
Pour the vodka over the fruit until it fills the jar. Sprinkle 1 tbsp. of white granulated sugar over the top of the fruit in the bottle.
Seal the jar and allow the fruit to infuse the vodka at room temperature. Citrus fruits require three to four days to infuse; small fruits require a minimum of one week to infuse; pineapple needs two weeks to infuse.
Taste the vodka daily to gauge the potency of the fruit infusion. For example, if after two days you feel the lemon has adequately flavored the vodka to your taste, proceed to the next step. If after a week of infusing cherries in vodka you taste it and feel it is not yet strong enough, allow another one to two days before proceeding.
Strain the vodka through a fine-mesh sieve lined with four layers of cheesecloth to strain any particulates or fruit fibers. Pour the vodka in a clean bottle for dispensing and storage.
- Photo Credit Paul Katz/Photodisc/Getty Images
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