I do enjoy the process of fruit-infused vodka and I have had great success with apple and cinnamon, jalapeno, pineapple, South American limes, etc. But of all the different types of fruit that I have tried, perhaps one of the easiest and tastiest is infusing vodka with a citrus-based fruit (lemon, lime, etc.). And it can be done with just a few simple steps.
Making your own fruit-infused vodka at home is a delightful and rewarding experience for several reasons. Firstly, it allows you to customize flavors to your preference, from zesty citrus to succulent berries, creating a unique drink tailored to your taste buds.
Secondly, it’s cost-effective. Homemade infusions are more affordable than store-bought options, and you control the quality of ingredients used.
Moreover, crafting your own vodka infusions eliminates artificial additives and excessive sugar common in commercial varieties, ensuring a healthier, purer beverage.
Lastly, it’s a creative and fun DIY project, perfect for personal enjoyment or as a thoughtful gift. Homemade fruit-infused vodka embodies flavor, economy, and creativity in a single bottle.
STEP 1: Pick your fruit.
Today, I am using an etrog. (Etrog is a type of citron cultivated primarily in Israel. This citrus fruit has a yellow, faintly ribbed, thick peel and very little juice. The etrog is similar to a lemon in appearance, color, scent, and taste. From http://kosherfood.about.com/od/glossaryofjewishfoods/g/etrog.htm).
Tip: There is no rule as to how much rind you will need. I generally use the principle that the more you use, the stronger the flavor.
Step 2: Remove the rind
The challenge here is to remove as much of the rind as you can, and not to take any of the pith (which will add a bitter taste to your infusion).
Tip: Get a good peeler. I first struggled and hated this part of the process, but after finding a peeler that worked well and did not remove any of the piths, the process took much less time.
Step 3: Add vodka (and sugar)
Place the rind into a jar, add the vodka (enough to cover all the rind), and add two tablespoons of sugar. Shake the mixture enough to dissolve all the sugar, then place it into a cool and dark cupboard.
Tip: Use a high-quality vodka. I first tried several cheaper versions hoping that the infused flavor would improve the quality, but that never happened.
Cover the rind with vodka
Step 4: Store then Drink
Store the vodka with the rinds in the cupboard for two weeks. A little longer if you want a particularly strong infusion. Strain the vodka into the original bottle. While many recipes call for you to remove all the rinds, I like to keep some of the longer ones in the bottle for decorative purposes. There are great articles you can read about the science of infusing vodka.
Tip: Store in the freezer. It will not freeze.
No further instructions for fruit-infused vodka are needed.