Beginner’s Infused Vodka Guide

Infusing Vodka is Easy with Twenty 2 High Proof Spirit

FACT:  99% of all infusions follow the same basic steps.

Step 1 – Combine it!

Combine fruit, vegetable, meat, dairy, spice, candy, (literally anything) with Twenty 2 High Proof Spirit.  Choose fresh, seasonal, local products for the best results.  Use a non-reactive container that can seal tightly, a mason jar works perfectly.  Your infusion will begin to take on the color and flavor immediately, but most will take between 24 and 72 hours to reach maximum flavor potential.

Step 2 – Dilute It.

This step converts your infused spirit into flavored vodka (~40%ABV) or flavored liqueur (~20%ABV).  Begin by pouring infused spirit through a fine mesh strainer or coffee filter to isolate the liquid.  Soft fruit might need to be pressed to release as much infused liquid as possible.  Add 1 fl oz of filtered water for every 1 fl oz of infused spirit to quickly and easily make it “vodka-strength”.  But why use plain, flavorless, water? Try fresh squeezed fruit juices, fresh brewed coffee, soda pop, chicken stock, or even other infusions to create layers of flavor you can’t purchase anywhere.  The possibilities are truly limitless…

 

How this site flows: The Recipe Cards & Photos

Most recipes posted on this site will include an infusion recipe card graphic.  Clicking on the graphic will download a high-resolution image for printing at home.  The recipe card is designed to provide a base-line recipe for the specific fruit, veg, nut (whatever), as well as a base-line suggestion on how the infusion should be diluted. Use this recipe as a guide, and tweak to your exact specification.  The infographic below explains the layout and flow of our infusing recipe cards.  If you have trouble reading the information, click the graphic to download a high-resolution version.

recipe card infographic

Photos

Recipe posts will accompany a gallery of photos of that specific infusion infusing, so you can get an idea of what the jar will look like.  You can view our complete infusing photo gallery on flickr here http://www.flickr.com/photos/twenty2vodka/sets/

 

Tools of the Trade

Here’s a quick list-in-progress.  More details posted soon. 

  • Non-reactive container that will seal tightly.  Glass mason jars have been my ideal vessel for their cost, availability, volume, and ability to close tightly.  You can do small infusions in big jars, head space will not affect the outcome of your infusion when using High Proof Spirit.
  • Strainer of various sizes.  Most of my infusions pass through a fine mesh strainer.
  • Coffee Filter.  These can take a long time to filter, sometimes as slow as 0.5 liter per hour.  For maximum efficiency (flow), set the coffee filter in your strainer, not a funnel.
  • Titan Peeler for zesting (How to zest citrus)
  • Oxo Measuring Cups (various sizes fro 4 cup to 2 oz)  Oxo’s Website
  • Tablespoons, teaspoons, half teaspoons, and quarter-teaspoons.
  • Non-reactive bowl. Glass or stainless will work fine.  Plastic has the potential to hang onto flavors after a couple uses and should be avoided.
  • Knife and cutting board sized to the meat/fruit/
  • Digital Scale – The best way hands down to measure ingredients (including the High Proof Spirit) is by weight using a digital scale.
  • Notebook and Camera – Document your experiments so you can duplicate successes and improve failures. (yes, there are sometimes failures)

General Tips and Tricks

I will continue to expand on this list over time.

  • Avoid the citrus pith at all costs.  The pith is the white fleshy layer that exists between the juicy citrus fruit and the essential-oil rich zest.  Too much pith may make your citrus infusions unpleasantly bitter.
  • Zest with a vegetable peeler, not a micro-plane (see my post comparing the two techniques)
  • Nuts from a freshly opened can work great.  Use only nuts from a freshly opened can, the essential oils quickly dissipate the longer the can has been open.  Using nuts from a week old can will not result in a fresh nut flavor.
  • Fruit from a freshly opened can tastes like the can. See my Cling Peach Failed Recipe
  • “Junk in = Junk Out”.  Or better put “Quality in = Quality Out”.  If what you want to infuse tastes great before the infusing, it will taste great as the infusion.
  • With the exception of lemon, I’ve had consistent bad luck adding citrus juice to my citrus infusions.  My experiences include orange, lime, grapefruit, clementine, and blood orange.  The juice seems to go fowl after just a couple days.  If infusing a citrus, I’d suggest sticking with only the essential oil rich zest.  Lemon juice however must contain enough citric acid to keep it’s flavor “fresh” (a complete guess, send me a note if you know the science behind why), and happens to an essential ingredient in my Signature Limoncello.
  • Flavors from fats (chicken, turkey, cheese, bacon) will have a shorter general shelf life because of the fats.  Also, the flavor of your infusions will be directly connected to how much you filter the infusion. ie A bacon infusion that is passed through a mesh strainer will have more flavor than the same infusion passed through a coffee filter because of the amount of fat that is allowed to pass through.

Downloads

Infographic Infused Vodka How ToDownload a hi-res Single 2 Step Infusing Infographic Card

Download hi-res Print-at-Home 3X Infusing Infographic Card

 

Infusing Worksheet for Tracking your infusions

Infusing Worksheet – Perfect for tracking each infusion you make to repeat successes and improve failures.

 Infusing worksheet limoncello example

EXAMPLE – Infusing Worksheet – View an example infusing worksheet filled out while performing a lemon infusion to make limoncello.

 

 

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