Cocktail DIY: How To Make Your Own Flavored Vodka

Cocktail DIY: How To Make Your Own Flavored Vodka

Vodka has the uncanny — and rather well-known — ability to leech flavor and color from anything steeped in it. And flavored vodka is good for a great many things, from cocktails to cooking to generally just impressing your friends. To make your own, all you need is a little imagination! (Ok, you’ll need a few other things, too.) But seriously, if you can make sangria, you can make infused vodka.

Cocktail DIY How To Make Your Own Flavored Vodka

How To Infuse Vodka, Plain and Simple

Just about any spice or herb you can think of can be steeped in vodka, to excellent results. The same goes for most fruits and vegetables, meaning the possible flavor combinations are virtually limitless. Some of our favorites include lavender, cucumber, lemon, coconut, raspberry, and tea. (Our least favorite is banana, and we will silently judge you if you disagree.)

The basic process is simple: Place washed and cut ingredients into clean jars, pour vodka over top, and seal. Let it sit anywhere from several hours to several weeks, shaking the jar at least once a day. The length of steeping time depends on the ingredients you use and how strong you like your flavors, so don’t be afraid to take the lid off and taste your vodka now and then.

Once the flavor is to your liking, pour the vodka through a fine mesh strainer and into a new jar (or the original vodka bottle if it’s still hanging around). It will keep as long as any other vodka — in other words, indefinitely.

A word on vodka: Go ahead and use the cheap stuff. I mean, you can use an expensive spirit if you want to, but it’s not really necessary. I’ve found that a 3-liter bottle of $12.99 vodka works perfectly well for flavorful infusions. As long as it’s 80 proof or higher, it’ll do just fine.

Below, we share some of our favorite infused vodka combinations, but we encourage you to play around and come up with your own. Wouldn’t a raspberry-lime vodka be delightful? Doesn’t vanilla bean and cinnamon sound heavenly? You get to decide.

Cocktail DIY: How To Make Your Own Flavored Vodka

Bloodiest Mary Vodka

Use this savory veggie-infused spirit to make perfect Bloody Marys or a delicious vodka cream sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 stick celery
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary OR 3 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 medium onion, peeled
  • 1 liter vodka
  • 1-quart jar with lid

Preparation:

Cut tomatoes, celery, and onion into large chunks and place into a clean quart jar. Add in garlic cloves, peppercorns, and rosemary. Make sure none of the ingredients reach above the neck of the jar.

Pour vodka over ingredients in jar, making sure everything is submerged in liquid, and seal tightly. Give the jar a shake, then set it in a cool, dark spot for at least 3-4 days.

Cocktail DIY: How To Make Your Own Flavored Vodka

Cucumber Basil Vodka

Paired with tonic water and a wedge of lime, this makes for relaxed sipping on a weekend afternoon.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 10-12 basil leaves
  • 1 liter vodka
  • 1-quart jar with lid

Preparation:

Wash cucumber and basil, then cut cucumber into spears. Place in a quart jar, making sure nothing reaches above the neck of the jar.

Pour vodka over ingredients, making sure everything is submerged in liquid, and seal tightly. Give the jar a shake and set it in a cool, dark spot for at least 4-5 days.

Cocktail DIY: How To Make Your Own Flavored Vodka

Triple L Vodka

These three “L”s — lavender, lemon, and lime — make the perfect complement to lemonade or even a mug of hot tea.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons dried lavender
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • zest from 1 lime
  • 1 liter vodka
  • 1-quart jar with lid

Preparation:

Place lavender, lemon zest, and lime zest into a quart jar. Pour vodka over top, making sure everything is submerged in liquid, and seal tightly. Give the jar a shake and set it in a cool, dark spot for at least 3-5 days.

Photos are courtesy of the author.

Cocktail DIY: How To Make Your Own Flavored Vodka

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