Introduction: Plum Infused Vodka

Here is how to make almost five gallons of plum infused vodka. The resulting liqueur is fragrant, bright pink and smooth. This recipe was inspired by the infused plum brandies famous in the Balkans.

Ingredients:
9 - 1.75 liter bottles of vodka
20 lbs fresh-picked plums
2 lbs turbinado sugar
8 inch peeled, sliced ginger
1 vanilla bean (optional)
2 cinnamon sticks

Materials:
2 large, heavy bottomed pots
9 - 68 oz. bottles with wide mouths (you could do it with smaller ones, but make sure they have wide mouths)
Colander
Large bowls

Step 1: Locate Plums Nearby (June-July Only!)

Fairly inexpensive way to get a hold of a 20 pounds of fruit would be to pick a fruit tree in your neighborhood. You may use Neighborhood Fruit to locate plums on public land. Take note of the tree address and good luck with your fruit picking adventure!

Step 2: Pick the Tree

When picking plums, you may want to put a plastic bag into your fruit picker to keep the tiny fruits from falling out. It's also a good idea to use a hard-sided bucket or basket to carry your plums home in (especially if you're on a bike!) to keep them from getting smushed.

We used three types of plums: Santa Rosa, Kauter Vesuvius Cherry Plums, and these little red ones.

Step 3: Wash the Plums

Wash them really well: fill the sink with water and drain using colander. Repeat three times.

Step 4: Sort the Plums and Smush Them

Take the clean plums and sort them: the hard ones set aside to eat fresh later, the soft ones get de-pitted and put in a pot. It's fun to have a lot of friends to help split the labor.

Step 5: Prepare the Pot

Prepare the vanilla bean by splitting it lengthwise. Add one pound of sugar, a cinnamon stick and half of the vanilla bean and ginger to each pot. If it's not juicy enough, add some water (we didn't need to).

Bring the mixture to a boil and then turn down and simmer uncovered.

Step 6: Stir and Cook Down

Stir the pot, scraping any sugars that build up in the bottom of the pot to prevent burning. Simmer slowly, cook down for 15-30 minutes or until the mixture is reduced by 2/3.

Step 7: Filter and Combine

Put the colander in the large bowl. Pour the contents of the pot (don't burn yourself) into the colander. Pull out the cinnamon stick and compost it. Find the vanilla bean and cut it up and divide it between your storage jars. Add the filtered plum solids to the jars and fill up with vodka. If there is more room at the top, add a little of the syrup that you filtered out. Once full, seal all the jars.

If there's extra syrup left over, put it in bottles. The syrup can be stored in the fridge for a month, and can be added to seltzer to make soda, put on pancakes, or added to cocktails.

Step 8: Did You Find More Trees? Register and Share Them! (optional)

Do you find more trees trees on public land that aren't showing up on the Public Tree Map when you were out fruit picking? Please register it so that others can enjoy them too!

Step 9: Filter the Solids Out of the Liquor and Enjoy!

After a month or two, filter the plum solids out of the liquor, put it into bottles, and then enjoy. Delicious chilled and sipped.

Comments

author
dogeatscat made it!(author)2013-06-25

just wanted to say thanks for the great idea! My mother in law has two plum trees and more plums than to know what to do with… being the part time alcoholic, I googled plum infused vodka and yours was the most interesting i saw. Needless to say, a lot of fun work later, WOW… this is DELICIOUS and i still have not added the five handles of vodka. Thank you for your recipe.

author
goodforcatfish made it!(author)2013-06-07

I have also made plum liquor, using yellow and red plum trees on my grandmother's property, but used 91% grain alcohol and let soak for several months in a cool dry place. After cheese-cloth filtration I cut it with purified water, or not sometimes. :)

author
goodforcatfish made it!(author)2013-06-07

I have also made plum liquor, using yellow and red plum trees on my grandmother's property, but used 91% grain alcohol and let soak for several months in a cool dry place. After cheese-cloth filtration I cut it with purified water, or not sometimes. :)

author
DamiaWinters made it!(author)2009-07-23

Interesting! I'll have to try this method next time. My first go was with mangoes and white rum. I let it soak for a couple of weeks in rum and eventually made a simple syrup to put it all together. It was quite a mild taste but it turns out that I really dislike rum, much to my sadness. I'm going to try it your way.

author
mweston made it!(author)2009-07-22

interesting instructable; I'm not legally allowed to drink, but my parents have recently tried some different fruit flavored vodkas and this is right up that alley. I am assuming that you could do this with other fruits, correct? More specifically would blueberries work or do you think that there would be some other side effect? The idea is great, hope to see some more!

author
neighborhoodfruit made it!(author)2009-07-22

I have no idea if you can do it with blueberries, but I imagine you could. You could look into traditional Northern European recipes!?

author
mweston made it!(author)2009-07-23

ok, i'll give it a try

author
gjm made it!(author)2009-07-23

I've done something similar to this with blueberries. I say similar because all I did was put a pint of cleaned fresh bluberries in a jug with a half gallon of vodka for a couple weeks. The blueberry taste was very mild but real nice. I didn't add any sugar so it was more of a blueberry infused vodka than a liquor. I've also done it with strawberries. It's quite nice and doesn't get any easier.

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