Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Homemade Infused Vodka

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This post is not to be read by anyone related to me by blood or marriage.




Alrighty then, this is a gift for the adults in your life.  Unless you're into sedating your children - I'm not here to judge.  

We did this last year for gifts and it was a super hit, so we're doin' it again.  And really, who doesn't like to open a box with a bottle of booze in it?

I did vodka, but any liquor works.  Tequila would be fun, if you're not me.  (The smell alone will have me running for the toilet.)  Rum, gin, whiskey...you get the idea.  You can also use anything as a flavor, as long as it's something you'd actually want to consume.  I did vanilla for one and hot peppers for the other.  If I had found lavender that was safe to consume, I would have tried that this year, but I never came across any in my travels.  Cucumber or ginger would be fun.  Really, the possibilities are endless.

Here's what you need:

Vodka - no need to buy the good stuff.  I got gallons of HRD
Flavoring of choice - I used a vanilla bean for one and a habanero and jalapeno for the other.
Bottles - I had some from Ikea, as well as screw top wine bottles that I cleaned the labels off of.
Labels of choice





Pour your vodka into a large container.


Add your flavoring ingredients.




Put them in a cool, dark place and give them a shake every couple days.  After about a week, you can start tasting.  The peppers go pretty quick.  Depending on how hot you want it, you can bottle it up after a week.  Mine went for about two.  The vanilla is pretty flavorful after two weeks, but if you have the time, the longer the better.  Mine went for three.  But, again, start tasting after a week.  Different ingredients and different environments will create different results.

If necessary, put the vodka through a strainer or cheesecloth before bottling.  

For labels, last year I cut scrapbook paper and used double-stick tape to adhere it around the outside of the bottle.  Like a to-go coffee cup sleeve.  Then, on a tag for around the neck of the bottle, I hand wrote the flavor on one side and a drink recipe on the other.  Even though last year's was pre-blog, I have a ton of pictures.  Unfortunately, they're on my dead hard drive.  Booo. 

To make the labels this time, I used Centsational Girl's tutorial that uses Picasa.  There are also directions for using Picnik, if you want to get really fancy.  Click here for her link.

I used an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of label paper and printed four per sheet.




I used my paper cutter to cut and trim them.


You could do the same thing on any kind of paper and use double-stick tape to adhere it to the bottle.

Next is just a matter of filling the bottles and putting the labels on.  You can fill two wine bottles plus about a pint with one gallon of vodka.  Use smaller bottles - or jars - and you can spread the love even further.

Here's this year's Homemade Flavored Vodka bottled up:




And just in case you need some motivation, the vanilla is AMAZING in a Simply Grapefruit Martini, and the pepper vodka kicks a Bloody Mary up to the next level.
Cheers!



6 comments:

  1. What a great idea! I think it'll be great for some of those 'hard to buy for' family members or as a neighbor gift. And, um....I think I want to try that vanilla vodka for myself :)

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  2. Oooh,....the pepper vodka in a blood mary. Yep, that sounds good.

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  3. Ohh the labels look soooo professional!! Love them!

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  4. This sounds delicious! Vanilla vodka sounds great...any ideas for other flavors?

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  5. I had no idea you could flavor vodka with peppers. Your labels are beautiful and look very professional. Thanks for sharing.
    Traci

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  6. Booze never goes out of style. :) Thanks for sharing at our party.

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