As we all know the big brands sell all sorts of flavoured spirits, starting from common fruits that we can purchase at the supermarket to more elaborate combinations of botanicals and flavours that will give a twist to any cocktail recipe that you may desire.Of course, you could easily purchase like everyone else flavoured spirits or you can make your own.
The perks of making your own infused spirits is that there is no risk of having artificial additives, chemical flavouring or compounds, therefore it’s healthier and, because the flavour is embedded in the alcohol, you don’t have to worry anymore about the fruits going to waste. Rum, Whisky or Cognac already have complex flavours because of the barrel ageing. This is why Vodka will be the subject of this topic.
The process is fairly easy. First we choose a main spirit and decide what it is that we want to infuse it with. Bare in mind we can add flavour from pretty much anything from berries, exotic fruits to spices and bacon! You can actually combine some of them in the same batch which is a bit more complex, but if you get it right, the results can be very rewarding.
The Infusion itself can take from 24 hours up to 15 days depending on what the ingredients are, keeping in mind that the bigger the ratio botanical/spirit is, the more intense the flavour will be.
In some recipes you might find out that there would be a suggestion to add sugar into your vodka mix. My recommendation would be not to do so as it make it harder the balance the drink appropriately.
Here is a simple example you can try at home:
700 ml bottle of vodka,
600g of raspberries.
Muddle (squash) raspberries into a pulp to get the most of its flavour.
Using a funnel pour the pulp into the bottle and then fill up to the top with vodka put the cap back on and shake. (Make sure to shake the bottle to mix up the pulp and vodka several times during the infusion process.)
Now begins the wait, 24 hrs should be the minimum time for infusion but the longer the better, for this particular infusion upto 72 hrs should suffice. Be sure to store in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight during infusion. Once you are satisfied with the infusion time, filter the vodka through a fine strainer into a large enough container to separate the fruit pulp and then pour your raspberry vodka back into the bottle and enjoy responsibly.
Baring in mind this isn’t an exact science but relatively a simple process, with a pinch of creativity the results will be very rewarding.