How to Make Infused Vodka
CREATIVE MULES SERIES
The Moscow Mule is a classic cocktail that has upheld the sands of time. It’s full of refreshing flavor and stays icy cold in its trademark serving vessel: the copper mug. But every once in a while it’s fun to mix things up and experiment with different flavors and combinations to really take our mules to the next level.
Which is why today we’re excited to announce the launch of our Creative Mule Series! Over the next few weeks, we’ll be giving you all the tools you need to create your very own take on the Moscow Mule. We’ll cover everything you need to know to put your own personal spin on America’s favorite cocktail with exciting flavor combinations and techniques.
Here’s a sneak peek at what we’ll be covering in this series:
- How to Make Infused Vodka
- Make-Your-Own Flavored Simple Syrups
- The Low-Down on Garnishes
In just a few weeks’ time, you’ll be able to elevate your mule to the next level by following just a few simple steps.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into our first lesson: How to Make Infused Vodka!
Infused vodka is, perhaps surprisingly, incredibly easy to make. Even though there is quite a bit of time spent waiting for the flavors to do their thing, the hands-on time is minimal. Spend just 10 minutes adding your chosen ingredients to the vodka, and in a few days you’ll have a deliciously flavored liquor to spice up ANY cocktail you make, not just your Moscow Mules.
We’ll get to some of our favorite flavors in a moment, but let’s first talk about all you’ll need to make your vodka infusion project a smashing success:
- Your favorite vodka
- Your chosen flavoring
- Mason jars (or any airtight glass jar)
- Fine mesh strainer, coffee filter or cheesecloth
That’s it! We’d venture to guess you already have most of these tools on hand in your kitchen.
Next comes the technique, which is easy for any level of mixologist to master. Simply pour the vodka into your Mason jar, add the flavorings and let everything sit (depending on the chosen flavoring) for anywhere from a couple of hours to a week, shaking occasionally. Ingredients like jalapeños will infuse on the shorter end of the time spectrum, while more mild flavors, such as pineapple, will take a bit longer.There’s also some subjectivity involved, so be sure to taste your vodka frequently as it is going through the infusion process to determine when the flavor is at a point that you really enjoy. You’re the one drinking it, after all!
Once your vodka gets to the perfect point of infusion, you’ll want to strain out the solids so it doesn’t infuse any further. Finally, be sure to refrigerate your infused vodka if you used any perishable ingredients (fresh fruit, herbs, etc.) If you used a shelf-stable flavoring such as dried herbs or vanilla beans, you can store the vodka at room temperature.
Being the cocktail lovers that we are, you can bet we’ve spent some time experimenting with infused vodkas in the MoscowMule.com test kitchen. Here are some of our favorite infused vodka flavors for adding to Moscow Mules:
GINGER-MINT (3-4 days infusion time)
PINEAPPLE (7 days infusion time)
JALAPEÑO (2 hours infusion time)
We find that all these flavors add a refreshing twist to our mules and make them a cut above your average cocktail. Give them a shot the next time your whipping up some drinks for friends and we can guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
Depending on how much flavor you’re looking for (and how much infused vodka you want on hand,) the recipe for infusing your own vodka can be highly variable, but if you need just a little guidance, here’s a general recipe to start from so you can take it from there.
Makes approximately 2 cups infused vodka
- 2 cups flavoring if using fresh fruit, herbs or vegetables, 1/3 cup flavoring if using dried herbs, spices, etc.
- 2-3 cups vodka
- Place flavoring in Mason jar or whatever glass vessel you are using. Larger fruits such as pineapples should be cut into wheels or chunks (without skins) while citrus fruits should be cut into wheels with their rinds still on. Fresh herbs can be added as they are, jalapeños should be cut in half (seeds and membranes removed if you want a milder flavor.)
- Add vodka to Mason jar and seal tightly. Let sit for desired amount of time, less time for stronger flavors such as jalapeños (only 1-2 hours) and more time for milder flavors such as pineapple (up to a week.) If the item you are infusing with is perishable (fresh fruit, herbs or vegetables,) refrigerate the vodka during the infusion process. If the item you are infusing is not perishable, just keep it in a cool, dry place.
- A few times every day, be sure to give the jar a little shake to blend all the flavors. Also, be sure to taste your mixture every so often to judge how far the flavor infusion has come. You can stop infusing whenever the flavor is to your liking.
- When the vodka has finished infusing, strain it through a fine mesh sieve, coffee filter or cheesecloth. If it still looks cloudy after straining, strain it one more time. It’s okay to reuse the jar you used for infusing, just discard the solids and rinse the jar first.
- Once the vodka is strained, store it in the same manner you infused it in: refrigerate if perishable, do not refrigerate if non-perishable. Your infused vodka is ready to enjoy in your next Moscow Mule!