Exotic Vodka Infusions

By clubby | Shady Ave Micro Farm | 25 May 2021


     If there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s those horrible “fruit-flavored” vodkas.  Always made with chemicals (even the ones that say they are made with real fruit it’s always an almost insignificant amount) and packed with high-fructose corn syrup to mask the bad booze flavor from using cheap,  low quality alcohol.  That is not the case with infusions made at home using only the best fruits and high quality spirits.  What’s also nice is using a better grade of alcohol of your choice means much less of a hangover the next day!

     Pictured above are Ataulfo mangoes and Starkrimson pears I decided to use to make these infusions.  The Ataulfo mango cultivar comes from Mexico and goes by many different names such as “honey” and “Champagne” and is named after a Mexican farmer named Ataulfo Morales Guadillo. The Ataulfo mango is quite different from the more popular Tommy Atkins variety that is prevalent in your typical “big box” grocery stores.  It has a very sweet, buttery taste and the texture is reminiscent of custard especially in comparison to the Atkins variety.  Starkrimson Pears are a unique variety of the more common green Klapp’s pear and was discovered in Missouri in the 1950’s.  The skin of the pear turns an amazing  bright crimson color as it ripens and the flesh is sweet and creamy in comparison to the more grainy texture of the common green Klapp pear.  Typically this pear is used in fresh applications such as salads and cut fruit arrangements to showcase it’s amazing color but I love the taste and beautiful rose color that comes from using it in this infusion.

I recommend removing the tough outer skin of fruits like mangoes and pineapples but for fruits with a thinner skin, such as the Starkrimson pear, I’d leave it on to imbue the concoction with the vibrant color. Do not use plastic bottles for this method – glass only!  You can use any glass jar with a lid – even a spaghetti sauce jar – but I prefer canning jars which are readily available and have a wide mouth to fit your ingredients. For larger concoctions, the Bormioli Rocco Fido are my are absolute favorite for this purpose and they are perfect for making liniments as well.

As for the spirits, you don’t have to buy “top shelf” necessarily but keep in mind the lower the grade of alcohol the more “impurities” you get and that can result in a nasty hangover. I go for a decent quality that is on sale most of the time. The choice is up to you and there are ways you can turn a “bargain bin” spirit in to a “top shelf” bottle and that method is similar to how liquor companies do it already! All you need is a water filter. Simply pass the alcohol through it and into the jar you are going to use for the infusion and repeat the process as many as 5-7 times.  That is actually a trick I learned about years ago when I was a bartender in fine dining (we did it home to make cheaper liquor taste “better” and it wasn’t something the establishment we worked for did.)

Ready to infuse? It’s as simple as cutting up your fruits or vegetables, loading them into the jar, and then making sure that you cover the ingredients with enough alcohol to make sure the fruits infuse instead of rot.  A bare minimum of 2-3 days is sufficient to give it some flavor, but I tend to leave it go for at least a week.  Be sure to give it a firm shake at least once or twice a day for the best possible result.  Once your infusion is finished (be sure to taste to see if it needs to go longer or the time period should be shortened) simply strain through some cheesecloth placed on top of a wire mesh strainer and add back into the glass jar.  Some recommend storing the infused vodka in the fridge if you used fresh fruits and vegetables as it will contain more volatile compounds than if you used say, cinnamon and vanilla beans, to make it.

Now you can enjoy the most amazing cocktails at home without having to go out and buy an expensive drink at a bar or restaurant!

*originally published on my blog, shadyavemicrofarm.com


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Father. BMX’er, Organic Gardner, Cook, Cryptoenthusiast

Shady Ave Micro Farm
Shady Ave Micro Farm

Permaculture. Small-space intensive organic gardening. Cooking. BMX Endurance. Cryptocurrency. Straight out of Pittsburgh where I run my website www.shadyavemicrofarm.com

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