Flavored vodka is available in a multitude of varieties. From classics like lemon or vanilla vodka, to bacon flavor (yes, really - ugh) - many of these can be made at home.
Homemade flavored vodkas make a perfect gift idea, or are ideal for cocktail aficionados.
Always use good quality vodka as your start point â adding flavor to poor quality vodka won't help improve the taste. Flavored vodka will take anything from a few hours for tea infusions, to 2 weeks for some ingredients to develop.
Add your vodka and your flavour additives to a clean, sterilized and airtight jar. Be sure to keep your vodka in a cool, dark, dry place and shake from time to time, to infuse the flavors. The longer you leave it to steep, the stronger the infused flavors will come through. Be sure to check taste regularly. Strain well before returning to the original (sterilized) bottle. If you do leave the flavors too long and it's too strong, dilute down with plain neat vodka until you reach the desired taste.
Here are some flavor suggestions to try:
Acai berry: 15 acai berries. Alcohol that's good for you! Should take 3-5 days to develop.
Blueberry: 15 blueberries. 3-5 days.
Chili: Add 5 red birds eye chilies. (These are the small variety used in Thai cooking). 3-5 days.
Cinnamon vodka: Add 3-4 snapped sticks of cinnamon. A lovely winter warmer. Leave for 5+ days.
Coffee: 10-15 whole roasted coffee beans. Keep an eye on this, as, depending on the beans, this can be ready in as few as 2-3 days.
Cranberry and Orange: 250g (2 1/2 cups) of fresh or frozen cranberries - pierce well with a fork. Add the zest of 2 oranges, and 1 cinnamon stick, and 175g (1 3/4 cups) sugar. Takes 7-10 days.
Lemongrass: Add 1-2 gently bruised stems to a sterilized bottle and top up with vodka. This is a great, refreshing lift, ideal for Asian-inspired cocktails. 3-5 days.
Mint: Add 8-10 fresh leaves to the sterilized bottle and top with the vodka. You could also use basil instead. 2-3 days.
Raspberry: Add 15 whole raspberries. 3-5 days.
Strawberry: Add 6 sliced strawberries. 3-5 days.
Tea: Buy some good quality leaf tea, such as jasmine or earl grey. This does not need long storage. Simply add the leaves to the vodka and leave for 1-2 hours to infuse before straining.
Vanilla: Add 2 vanilla pods, sliced lengthways down the middle. 3-5 days, maybe more.
Watermelon: Add 10 good chunks. This is really refreshing and perfect for summer cocktails. 5-7 days.
Please be sure to drink responsibly and to adhere to local rules pertaining to alcohol in your area.