I accept that one of the easiest ways to add flavor to vodka is simply to add a mixer or juice of some type, but that would be diluting it. I also know that I can add fruits to the vodka itself which would infuse the vodka with a particular flavor. Is there another way, say with some type of essential oil of some variety. Overly sweet flavors should be avoided.
They make the exact product you are looking for. Home Distillers can add flavorings to their neutral spirits with these products. Still Spirits I would look around the website as there are many different types of flavorings if you are interested.
It's incredibly easy to infuse vodka with tea - unscrew the cap, force a teabag through the neck, screw the cap back on, and put it in the freezer until you're happy with it (overnight is fine). Keep the tag outside so it's easy to pull out. Tea vodka is tasty, and also makes a great base for cocktails.
You can also infuse it with horseradish, or ginger, or any other kind of root the same way that you would with a fruit peel - slice it thin, chuck it in, and give it a day. Unsweetened cranberries are great, and cranberry vodka is very popular in Russia and Finland.
With the right infusions, you can turn your vodka into gin.
I know of two methods:
Add some aroma-containing plant-material (herbs, spices, fruit-peel, ...) into a bottle of vodka and let it rest to infuse. Remove when desired taste is achieved. An infusion with bison grass is well known in Poland as Zubrowka. Some examples:
- sage (mix result with lime-juice and sugar)
- juniper (that's kind of how gin is made, i fact just look at a list of gin-botanicals to get ideas)
Dissolve some candy in a bottle of vodka. Where i come from a handful of blue mint cooler candy dissolved in vodka is called "smurf pee". Just use real candy made from real sugar and all the flavours are yours. It tastes awfully artificial, but a lot of people like it.
Simple Syrups can be a great way to infuse other flavors into your vodka. To add other flavors, you would add them into the simple syrup, mashing as you go along. You have to consider the temperature and amount of fruit to add to get the desired flavor. If you are trying to follow the simple syrup recipe and bring the sugar/water/additives to a boil ASAP, you shouldn't really lose any flavor.
From personal experience (and preference), strain the simple syrup with a cheese cloth, or other straining device (chinoise mentioned below). This is especially true when making things like a Strawberry Habeñero Margarita if you add the seeds in during the simple syrup process.
Recipe: Strawberry Habanero Margarita Ingredients
• ¼ cup Strawberry Habanero Simple Syrup
• ¼ cup Fresh Lime juice
• 4 ounces Grand Marnier
• 4 ounces Tequila
• Strawberry Habanero Simple Syrup:
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 cup water
• 1 cup strawberries
• 1 habanero with seeds
Instructions for Strawberry Habañero Syrup:
1. Bring everything to a simmer and let cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat.
2. Strain the syrup through a chinoise and reserve juice. Discard the berries and pepper.
3. Chill the syrup.
Making the drink
1. Combine ice, the syrup, the lime juice and the liquor in a cocktail shaker.
2. Shake vigourously and then pour into a chilled ice filled glass.
Preparation time: 5 minute(s)
Cooking time: 5 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 2
Granted - you're asking about Vodka infusions... This is my relevant experience with infusions and simple syrups. 10/10 will make this margarita again.
I actually use skittles to add flavor to vodka.The process takes a while to complete the process and get all the flavor. I found instructions that seem to be the equivalent to what I do(except I use coffee filters). Separation of the skittles is key in my opinion but whow knows you may come up with a combination that you really love. I personally just buy a large bag from Amazon.