Infused Vodkas

James Carrier

Russians are known for drinking vodka straight, but there's also a tradition of flavoring vodkas with herbs and spices. Our infusions range from traditional caraway to updated saffron-orange. Use 2 cups vodka with any of the following. Combine vodka and flavorings in a jar and store at room temperature for at least two days or up to several months. Chill in the freezer before serving.

Recipe from Sunset

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Ingredients

  • Various spices (see below)
  • 2 cups vodka

Preparation

  1. Anise vodka: Add 2 whole star anise and 1 tablespoon anise seeds to vodka.
  2. Caraway vodka: Add 2 tablespoons caraway seeds to vodka.
  3. Ginger vodka: Add 6 quarter-size slices peeled fresh ginger to vodka with 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger.
  4. Hot chili vodka: Halve 1 rinsed fresh habanero or other hot chili lengthwise through stem; add half the chili to vodka. Habaneros are extremely hot; if you are sensitive to heat, substitute a milder chili, such as jalapeño.
  5. Lemon-coriander vodka: Lightly crush 1 tablespoon coriander seeds in a mortar or with the bottom of a heavy glass and add to vodka with 1 tablespoon slivered lemon peel.
  6. Peppercorn vodka: Lightly crush 1 teaspoon single- or multi-colored peppercorns in a mortar or with the bottom of a heavy glass; add to vodka.
  7. Saffron-orange vodka: Add 1/8 teaspoon loosely packed saffron threads and 1 tablespoon slivered orange peel to vodka.
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