Homemade Fruit Infused Vodka

If flavored vodka makes you think of the drunken mistakes of your twenties, then it’s time to get reacquainted. Fruit infused vodka (or spirits like rum or bourbon) are an easy way to customize or even dress up a cheap-o bottle of something. It’s also a great way to get an extra mile out of fruit trimmings (like the pineapple pictured) or overripe or bruised fruit. It’s super easy and really all you need is time, because they are better the longer they sit. I would recommend a week at least, but you’ll get the best flavor if you let them sit for about a month. The two pictured are favorites of mine. Pineapple in vodka and strawberries and mint in rum. Since this isn’t much of a recipe, let me walk you through it.

For the pineapple vodka:
I just used the trimmings that I would otherwise discard. This is great because you can just throw these in a jar the next time you break down a fresh pineapple. If you prefer, you could use the actual fruit because vodka soaked fruit is also delicious. Anyway, I layered them in a mason jar and filled with vodka (Tito’s, if you’re wondering) and left it in the back of the fridge for about a month. Once it was ready, we used it for vodka sodas by the pool. The vodka took on a strong pineapple scent and made a really refreshing drink with lemon soda water. But you can make anything with it; like a pineapple cosmo, fruity martini or moscow mule.

For the strawberry and mint rum: 
We went strawberry picking at the end of strawberry season here and ended up with three pounds of super-ripe, fresh strawberries. I took some of the over-ripe mushy ones and layered them with fresh mint leaves in a jar and topped with rum. I trimmed the tops of the strawberries and sliced them into halved and quarters. Opening them up allows more of the strawberry flavor to seep into the rum. I bruised the mint slightly to release the oils into the rum as well. The rum was a light, spiced rum (like a Captain Morgan style rum) – you wouldn’t waste your fancy, dark rum here.  I used a couple teaspoons of raw sugar (about 3), the sugar will just disappear into the rum after it sits. I let this one sit for almost 2 months, and it was so good almost all by itself (strong, but good), it’s basically a mojito. Mix this with some soda or ginger beer and garnish with that rum-soaked fruit and fresh lime and mint.

Most fruits would work here so experiment with what you like. All this fresh fruit means nothing artificial in your booze, because let’s face it, strawberry flavored vodka tastes more like lip gloss than actual strawberries. Plus it’s an easy way to make something special for your next pool party, bbq or picnic. Below are some combos to experiment with.

Try these:
blueberries + vodka
peaches + bourbon
pineapple + rum
cucumber + vodka
jalapeno + tequila

Add these:
smashed cinnamon sticks
sprig of rosemary
split vanilla bean

Mix with these: 
ginger beer
light beer
flavored soda water
fresh watermelon juice
lemon-lime soda

Fruit infused vodka

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