The benefits of infusing Vodka
The primary benefit of infusing vodka is so that you can experiment with making fun flavors of booze without all of the hoop jumping of opening your own distillery. And believe me, I’ve done all the research (2 mins on the Google) and it’s an arduous chore. Licenses, labeling, liability, registrations, taxes, you name it - opening a distillery just isn’t worth it.
So, that is where infusing your own vodka comes into play. You can experiment with various sweet fruit like pineapple or pear, or, use candy like Skittles or melting down Gummy Bears to make your own “boutique spirits” and cocktails. And, you can do so without signing over your life to the man (ATF).
For this experiment, we are going to infuse honey and oats into some cheap, store-bought vodka (the best kind of vodka!). Here is what you will need.
Note: you could buy a vodka infuser, but it seems like a waste of money. For one, there is a ridiculous amount of flavored vodka on the market. Two, it’s much more fun to do it yourself.
- a mason jar, old milk jugs, some other sealable container
- metal strainer (optional)
- glasses for serving
- 750ml to 1L of (inexpensive) vodka
- For oats, a 1lb package of organic rolled oats
- honey (or maple syrup)
- nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, vanilla (optional garnish)
Why avoid premium vodka?
Because you are adding your own flavor to it. You don’t need the smoothest vodka that money can buy to get a great result with this recipe. So forget the Grey Goose and forgo the Ciroc. Plus, you don’t need to further pad Diddy’s wallet.
I’m sorry, “Brother Love”.
Selecting a more expensive vodka might be a waste of money. But if you feel so compelled, try the Bully Boy or the Triple 8. The Cisco Brewery tour is a delight.
- add vodka and oats to container
- seal the container
- shake it up, repeating 1-2x a day over 4-5 days
- first strain out the oats with a metal strainer, it’s quicker and less messy
- then strain it repeatedly through the cheesecloth (until the mixture is less cloudy)
- add the honey / maple syrup
- blend for a few minutes
- serve, on ice preferred
- nutmeg or cinnamon is optional
Detailed instructions for making your honey infused vodka
For starters, you only need two pieces of equipment to make your infused honey oat vodka: a sealable container and a something to strain the mixture with. I used a half gallon milk jug, but you could just as easily use an equal sized mason jar. As for straining, I prefer to use a metal strainer before employing some cheesecloth, it really helps reduce the amount of cheesecloth you will need.
Now, to make the homemade honey infused vodka, start by pouring your liter of college grade spirits, I chose Smirnoff, into your mason jar, milk jug, red snowblower gas can, etc. and then add your (preferably organic?) rolled oats.
Seal the container and shake it up vigorously. You will want to repeat this process a couple of times a day over the next four to five days as you let the oats infuse, creating your flavored vodka.
It should start to look a bit cloudy like the picture below.
Note: If you have young children, be careful what kind of container you infuse the vodka in.
When the oats are done infusing their flavor into the vodka, it’s time to strain the mixture. This is where the metal strainer will come in handy as well as the cheesecloth.
Use them to separate out all of the solids from the liquid. One to two times should do the trick.
After that, give it a few minutes to settle. Then, it’s time to use the cheesecloth for further refinement. Strain more or less depending on how long you left the rolled oats infusing the vodka
The longer you left the oats in, the more times you should strain, let’s call it three to five times.
After you have strained the mixture, it is time to add the sweetener. In my experiment, I used a half-bear (technical measurement) of local, Massachusetts honey. You can use maple syrup or pure agave if you like. I prefer syrup.
While this is about infusing vodka with honey, if you want to keep the drink vegan-friendly, opt for the syrup.
Since I lack patience, I skipped right to using my Vitamix instead of shaking the mixture by hand. The bubbles were a delight to watch.
The honey infused vodka is ready to be served
Congrats. It’s now time to enjoy your homemade honey infused vodka. If you want, you can serve the drink after the mix settles. Or, feel free to chill it first.
If it’s the holiday season, feel free to sprinkle in some nutmeg or cinnamon, or some allspice if you are really feeling it.
And if you get tired of the infusing vodka with honey, oats, pineapple, or whatever, grab a two buck chuck that you have lying around and hyperdecant it (aerate it in a blender).
Let me know if that works for you.