Introduction: Infuse Vodka, Rum or Gin.

Picture of Infuse Vodka, Rum or Gin.

How to infuse vodka with herbs and stuff.
This is a one step guide.
All you do is get a bottle of inexpensive vodka that you'd rather not drink 'as-is' either because it's beneath you or it's boring, and put anything you want in it.
I'm really into Bloody Marys at the moment so I shoved a few stems of Asian or Greek basil (with leaves obviously) into a bottle of Absolut. This should lend a beautiful spiced basily (duh) flavour to my nice tomatoey drink.

Step 1: What?

Your vodka should at least be something like Absolut or possibly even Smirnoff, but I wouldn't buy that. I recommend Wyborowa, it's cheap enough to infuse but you wouldn't mind drinking it anyway. Infusing started whenever it did to mask the impurities of badly made vodka, so keep in mind this is not something like Kettle One or Belvedere.


Commonly added ingredients are:

Whole red chilli - Very easy, just make a vertical cut up the chilli to let some of the flavour out but you don't want seeds getting out, and leave for a week. Looks good too.

Black pepper corns - Nice earthy spice compared to chilli, use about a cup. Works well infused with Gin instead of vodka.

Vanilla pods - Fresh pods normally come in a vile of two, drop them in the bottle and 1 or 2 weeks later, delicious.

Fruits and Vegetables - Can be nice, but not really my bag. They go mushy probably.

Star Anise - Very powerful. Up to a week, try it after 2 days though and use your own judgement. Try infusing with rum.

Dried Bananas for rum. yum.

Or Anything you want!

Step 2: How Much?

My bottle is a 1 liter bottle so I put more basil in than I would for a 750ml bottle (as most bottles are sized). But to know how much to put in is just a matter of experience, like cooking. Just do what you think. But don't be shy.

Step 3: How Long?

Depending on the strength or intensity of your added ingredient you want to leave in the bottle between 1 and two weeks. But I have heard of people just leaving it for 1 or 2 days so it's best to just try it every day and see for your self. My basil is starting to look a bit brown and I'm not sure how much flavour the leaves have at this stage. If I could be bothered or had more basil I should decanter it and put fresh basil in.

Step 4: Decanter

Pour your infused vodka through a sieve and funnel into another bottle, make sure you get all the little bits out. Drink!

Comments

Phoghat (author)2008-01-10

To turn cheap vodka into expensive tasting vodka: Buy a Brita water filter pitcher. Filter at least 2-3 times (the more the better) Fact: Vodka is just diluted ethanol, and cheap crappy vodka has impurities that give it a cheap crappy taste, ergo, the purer the better. Finally some very good vodkas are infuse commercially. Russian vodkas in particular are flavored with buffalo grass.

jbuddha (author)Phoghat2012-11-27

Mythbusters busted this myth. Filters have no effect on Vodka.

Simplex4051 (author)2011-02-11

I don't drink, but I do cook a lot, and I infuse my own homemade vodka for cooking a lot, and a great combo is apple slices, star anise, cinnamon, and nutmeg. that'll make a GREAT apple pie-like flavour. also, dried banana chips are good, pecans and vanilla beans make a pecan-pie flavour, and (I realize I must sound like a lunatic for this, but...) sencha green tea and oolong "blue" tea make an earthy, almost spooky and woody flavour.tea infused vodka is amazing (I don't drink excessively, but I'll take a sip every now and then. my parents drink it, though.)

radioeyes (author)2006-09-22

I tried this a while back and here are two recipes I suggest: Try licorice, thyme, and cinnamon to get a clearer equivalent of the famous Jägermeister Try cinnamon and nutmeg to get a taste like the Czech liquer, Becherovka. Put tea bags in the vodka. I've had good luck with green tea and French vanilla. If you can get your hands on it, wormwood. The Czechs like this one... they call it absinthe.

Renquist (author)radioeyes2009-04-03

Czech (or 'Bohemian') absinthe isn't actually absinthe. Real absinthe is made from distilling wormwood, which gives it a green colour. Czech absinthe is just alcohol with wormwood and food colouring added, and was pretty much invented in the 1990s. Compared to the real stuff it's pretty nasty.

Becherovka is a great drink, but a bit sickly sometimes - this sounds like a great alternative, thanks for the tip.

PKM (author)Sebastian Tonic2007-07-26

If you don't like Becherovka straight up, try it with good, cloudy pressed apple juice- if you have Copella or something similar that works a treat. Nothing on earth will ever make Absinthe taste good, but then it's not really drunk for the taste :)

skafeu (author)2008-03-08

Not Russian but Polish. The vodka is called Zubrowka and nobody will convince me that Russians use bison grass in any of its brands.

mattface (author)2007-09-05

Some pals of mine, inspired by the bottles behind a bar, tried to make 'skittle vodka' by dissolving a bowl of skittles in our favourite spirit.
The barman had recommended sealing the sweets and vodka in the bottle and placing it in a dishwasher - the heat from the water causes the skittles to dissolve faster than if just left to stand - however, in their hurry to imbibe, a pan on a low heat was used instead (despite my pointing out this could evaporate the alcohol. they put on the pan lid and sent me to the corner).
the result was a smooth cloudy liquid that had a slight kick and a sweet after taste (or the other way round, i'd been at the untreated stuff for some time when they finished).
I'd be interested if anyone has had similar results with different methods* or sweets (i'm told haribo work well).

*i began to speculate materials needed for a condenser that would fit on top of the saucepan but was told to get a life and go back to the corner.

Wheezybear (author)2007-06-05

A friend of ours from Moscow bought some of the cheapest, nastiest vodka available (from Happy Harry's) , put in a sliced red pepper (long thin slices) and let it sit on the counter for 3 days. The resulting vodka was awesome enough, but the slices of red pepper were to die for (especially amazing considering that I *hate* raw red peppers!)

footle (author)2006-10-17

keep vodka pure. say No to additives. Ban basil. You know it makes sense.

radiorental (author)2006-09-21

Very nice, a great tip for making cheap vodka less likely to give you a headache is to run it through a water purifier (such as a 'Brita' or similar carbon filter jug that resides in your fridge)

ferndave (author)radiorental2006-09-24

Save your money on the filters and just buy better vodka in the first place. There might be a slight increase after numerous filtrations (4-6), but by then you've already wasted your money and time filtering.

radioeyes (author)2006-09-22

Someone might also want to try to get something like Sambuca... I think it has anise in it...

ewilhelm (author)2006-09-21

A housemate of mine once did this using rhubarb with and without sugar. The unsweetened version was unplatable to everyone but my grandmother who loved the stuff!

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