12 Days of Holiday Gifts: Infused Vodka

by in 12 Days of Holiday Gifts, Healthy Holidays, December 5, 2011

flavored vodka
Trying to keep alcohol consumption modest this holiday season? Make the most of your celebratory sips with these sweet, tangy, spicy and even herbaceous homemade vodka infusions.

Smart Sipping
Spiking vodka with seasonal flavors makes a festive and creative gift.  A 1.5 fluid ounce “shot” of vodka contains about 100 calories and most infusions add no additional calories. Those made with sugar will add 15 calories per teaspoon.

To infuse, combine vodka and desired flavorings in a sealed container and allow to steep in a cool, dry place for at least 1 week. The longer it sits, the more flavorful it will be. When mixture reaches desired potency, strain and it’s ready to serve.

Turn up the volume with these flavor-bursting combinations. Each of the measurements below is enough to infuse a 750-milliliter bottle of vodka (that’s just over 3 cups).

•    Add the zest of 2 tangerines and 1 lime
•    Serve on the rocks or mixed with tonic or club soda

Chili Pepper
•    Add 3 to 4 hot chilies (or more to taste), using a sharp knife make a slit down the middle of each pepper
•    Perfect for a spicy Blood Mary at a post-holiday brunch

•    Check out Michael Chiarello’s recipe
•    Add a splash of cranberry juice and orange liqueur for a batch of festive cosmos

Lavender -Vanilla
•    Add 2 sprigs of fresh lavender and 1 large vanilla bean, split
•    Shake with ice, lemonade and splash of lemon-lime soda for a taste of summer

Red & Green
•    Take this Food Network Kitchen’s recipe for Orange Vodka and swap in red or green candies
•    Serve on the rocks or in a martini

To package flavored vodka as a gift, re-purpose a wine bottle. Wash an empty bottle well to remove labels. Top with a cork or wine stopper. For an extra special twist, paint the front of the bottle with chalkboard paint and write a message.

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Comments (1,488)

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    As a personal chef, I make vanilla extract by filling an XL mason jar with 30 to 50 Madagascar vanilla beans + 1 quart of Abosolut Vanilla Vodka + 1 Tablespoon corn syrup. Shake well and let it sit in a dark, cool place for 1 year, shaking every 2 weeks. It becomes rich, dark and delicious! When this homemade vanilla extract is dark and ready, pour into small bottles to give as gifts. Refill the mason jar with more vodka and corn syrup as needed, and shake well every 2 weeks. It always becomes darker and delicious with time. I also place vanilla beans into mason jars of granulated sugar, to make vanilla sugar. Both are fantastic for baking, and the extract taste exactly like the expensive William's Sonoma vanilla extract. This idea is from Barefoot Contessa on the http://www.foodtv.com web site. I get the best (and most reasonably priced) Madaskar vanilla beans on eBay, and I have been making it for years.

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