How to Infuse Your Own Vodka

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Blood Orange Vodka and BlackBerry Soda

Vodka is a complex mistress. One minute she’s lovin’ up on ya, and you’re the suave, classy chick drinking vodka martini’s and charming strangers. The next morning you’re on your bathroom floor with eyeliner gobs in the corner of your eyes, wearing one shoe and hating life. However, vodka’s a perfect summertime drink because she plays well with such a grand variety of mixers. Got juices (Cranberry, Grapefruit, Orange)? Vodka. Soda (7-Up, Ginger Ale, Grape Drink)? Vodka. Veggie Juice? Vodka. Milk? Vodka. And, as if that wasn’t already enough to make Miss V a VIP, vodka can be infused with a variety of flavors which is not only sorta fun but also ridiculously easy to do. How ridiculously easy? It really only requires three steps:

– pick a flavor
– stick it in a jar with a lot of vodka
– stick it somewhere cool and dry for a few weeks.

Now, drink.

I can never stay away from you long, baby.

Seriously, it’s not a lot more complicated than that. I myself tried out the idea after seeing it in an old issue of Bust (April/May 09 I believe, but I can’t bloody find it anywhere because, of course, I’m looking for it). So, you’ll need to pick a flavor (grapefruit? vanilla-plum? jalapeño? berry-cinnamon?) and wash any fruits. Obviously the more ingredient, the stronger the flavor but the more space in the jar filled with say' apples, the less space you have for vodka.

I found online references that said to aim for about two large apples worth of material for things like apples or apricots, with 2-4 fist-fulls for things like berries and 1-2 fist-fulls if you’re using herbs (half as much with dried herbs). Fruits gets sliced (remove pits, seeds, stems), berries get bruised, and herbs get crushed gently to release flavor. Grab a clean mason jar (hardware store or grocery store if you don’t already have a few laying around), toss your ingredients in, fill ‘er up with vodka and then seal it. Put it somewhere dry and cool and away from sunlight, like a cabinet or closet. Now leave it the eff alone for about a week. Stronger flavors like citrus may infuse sooner (2-5 days) but softer things like ginger or vanilla will take longer. I used blood oranges and did a taste-test at about 7 days; I wound up putting it back into the closet for another week or so.

After it was done infusing, I stuck it in the freezer. Done-zo! Added bonus: the mason jar makes for extremely easy carrying to movies, parks, bbq’s, rooftop parties, bingo nights at church and bonfires.

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Amber Bouman - Crafty & Cashless

Amber Bouman - Crafty & Cashless

A freelance writer, blogger and poet based in San Francisco, Amber has written for PC World, InfoWorld, and the 16th & Mission Review. She has performed at City Hall, Litquake, the Brainwash, 16th & Mission, BlueSix, and SFSU among other places. Amber is also consummate fan of swearing, organizational freak, yoga practitioner, music geek, caffeine addict, and tattoo enthusiast who enjoys platform shoes, making out, thumb wrestling and fighting the good fight. She owns a bicycle named Gretel, a motor scooter named Elroy and a cat named Simon. She can be found in various virtual locations all over your interwebs.