I wanted to make raspberry vodka this weekend, but neither the local farmer’s market nor the supermarket had any nice ones. I also wanted to make rhubarb and vanilla vodka and some chamomile vodka – both recommended by my friend Steve. No rhubabrb to be found and no chamomile growing in the vicinity (it needs to be fresh). I was also wanting to make elderflower vodka.. guess what?
Some days, you just have to accept that the Shopping Gods and the Foraging Gods are down the pub together and ignoring your pleas.
I did manage to find some lovely plum blueberries., very cheap, and bought 1kg – 750g for vodka, 250g for umm.. quality control 😀 I had to check they were good enough, right? (they were, nom!)
Fruit flavoured vodkas are *really* easy to make, and not that expensive either. You can also make fun ones, or herb and spice ones. I’ve made vodkas flavoured with gummi bears, refreshers, skittles, vanilla pods, ginger, chillies and so on. All you need is some plain, non branded vodka, fruit and sugar. Don’t waste your lovely Stoly on this, it won’t taste of it after. The only time I would use a more expensive one is with very delicate flavours like rose or elderflower, and even there I would try it out in a miniature bottle to start with.
For 750g fruit I used 750ml vodka and 250g sugar.
Check the fruit over for stalks, mouldy or under-ripe fruit.
Weigh the dry fruit
Wash it thoroughly and drain
Decide how much sugar you want to use. Blueberries are fairly sweet, so I went for 1/3rd sugar. You can in fact leave out the sugar entirely but I think it tastes much nicer with. I wouldn’t use more than 50% though or it ends up tasting like an alcopop
Attack the blueberries with a fork, lots. You don’t want to mash them, but you do want to break them enough to release their flavour. Once you have taken out any bad mood you have on the blueberries, add the sugar and mix well. Cover the bowl of fruit mix and leave for a few hours, stirring occasionally.
After a couple of hours, take a teaspoonful of the mix and put it in a glass, add vodka, stir thoroughly and make some sort of excuse that you’re testing how it will taste later. Continue to do this regularly – it’s delicious.
Once all the sugar has dissolved and you’re a little tipsy from tasting, pour half the fruit into a large glass jar – like you might have gherkins in. Make sure the jars are thoroughly clean and do not smell of anything or you will ruin your vodka. Top up the jar with vodka, shake vigorously and put in a cool dark place
You can do the same with the other half, or you can make it a little different. I added some vanilla extract (never essence, it’s nasty and bitter) to mine – two teaspoonfuls, then added the vodka and shook as before.
I’m going to need to wait 6 weeks for the first taste – in the meantime I will shake the jars twice a week and then after 6 weeks taste it to see. If it’s ready then I will strain it through muslin, if not I can leave it another 6 weeks but will test every 2.
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