In our never-ending quest to stock our newly assembled bar (and cart), W and I found ourselves at our local county liquor store one evening perusing the selection of fancily-flavored liquors. We thought, “Pay $25 for a bottle of Absolut Pear Vodka? We have to be able to do it ourselves for cheaper!” And thus, our vodka infusing was borne. (editor’s note: unfortunately, it cost us just about the same amount to infuse the vodka when you consider all the materials, but I (would like to) think our choice of fresh ingredients and vodka make it a better choice)
• Two 1-L bottles of Tito’s – Texas-based sextuple-distilled premium vodka, for our infusing target. Might as well have something smooth, silky, and easy to drink if you are going to make it for yourself. We also like the classic look of the Tito’s bottles, and they were perfect for pouring in our infused vodka back for storage.
• 10-12 Seckel Pears – These are the best for infusing, given their relatively firm flesh, and their small-ish size. I thought that the firmness might enable them to stay a bit more consistent while infusing, rather than turning into a mush. Something like a Bartlett pear may be softer and riper to use, and might turn out sweeter – but we discovered the Seckel was plenty sweet enough.
• 6-8 Gala or Fuji Apples – again, I don’t think it makes too big a deal what variety of apple you use, but I’d stay away from some of the darker flesh types, as the infusing process will add a bit of golden brown color to your vodka already.
• Two 1L Infusing Canisters – these can really be any air-tight container that has a large enough opening to fit your fruit in. We found the glass barrel-looking ones for about ~$7 each at HomeGoods. Air-tight is the only requirement.
• Cheese cloth – for straining the fruit out after your infusing period
1. Cut the pears and apples into quarters; if you want a more golden color to your vodka, you can try peeling the skin off the fruit – we left the skin on, and I think that contributed to the darkening of the infusion to its golden-brown color.
2. Put the fruit into their respective containers, and fill with vodka until all the fruit is covered.
3. Seal and tighten your containers – air-tight!
4. Place in a cool, dark area, and let sit for at least two weeks. Check every week or so and give the containers a shake or turn to stir up the mixture.
5. When you’re ready (or tired of waiting), put the cheese cloth in a funnel and pour the mixture through, into the original Tito’s bottles. You can eat the vodka-soaked fruit, use it in a dessert recipe, or discard.
The result – pear and apple infused vodkas! Need recipe ideas for your infused vodka? Check out our upcoming post on the Stod-tini!