One very easy way to spice up home cocktail making is by infusing your own vodka.
Awhile back, we provided a handy How to Infuse Vodka guide so you could get mixing all sorts of fruit and veggie flavors into your liquor. Now, we’re ready to take things in a different direction. A crazier one. Below are five vodka flavors that you’re unlikely to find at your local bar, and you can make them using the same steps in our how-to guide above.
Take dessert cocktails to the next level with your favorite candy. If you’re in a crowd that likes sugary drinks (and we’re talking VERY sugary), grab some Skittles, Starbursts or Jolly Ranchers at the candy aisle and go to town. Any of these three candies work for adding flavor to the vodka – put at least two handfuls of the goodies in for each bottle that you use (and more if you want to speed the process along). Just one tip here – be sure to separate the candy by flavor before you throw them into the urn – while sweet is surely good, a mishmash of rainbow colors can be a bit overwhelming.
Why would you want to fill a bottle of liquor with your favorite breakfast meat? Because bacon makes everything better. A good conversation starter at your next party, bacon vodka works well in a bloody mary or as a shot to pair and serve with a meaty barbecue spread. Since it is so savory, a small shot can even make an interesting amuse bouche at your dinner party before you start the meal. To make a batch, cook up about 10 – 15 strips of bacon and stuff them in your bottle for two to three weeks. You’ll want them to be cooked well but not crispy – little bacon bits in someone’s glass is never too attractive.
Want to clear those sinuses when you sip your drink? Try infusing your liquor with wasabi – the green stuff will add a major kick to your glass. Though it may seem weird, wasabi vodka goes great in a bloody mary or in any other savory cocktail where you want to add a bit of spice. When making this one, remember the cardinal rule of wasabi usage – a little bit goes a long way. Try a spoonful for every two cups of vodka to start off and adjust to taste.
You don’t have to let this one sit for a long time either. Mix the wasabi in cocktail shaker with the vodka, strain, and voila, your nasal passages will be cleared. Oh, and be sure to strain this one before you serve it, because a hunk of wasabi going down your pipes is never a good thing.
Key Lime Pie
Want a key lime pie martini? Do not bake a pie and put it in a bottle of vodka! It’s actually much easier than that. You can make a bottle of key lime-flavored vodka by cutting up four or five key limes into wedges and sticking them in a jar with your favorite brand. After a wait, all you have to do is shake over ice and pour for a tart treat (if you like your pie a little sweeter, feel free to add sugar or simple syrup before you mix it up). It’s a liquid version of your favorite dessert with way less calories than the original.
You may think this one is as simple as sticking your favorite candy bar into a vat of vodka, but hard chocolate won’t impart the flavor to the spirit. Instead, use your favorite cocoa powder to mix yourself some chocolate liqueur. You’ll want to use about three-quarters to one and a quarter cups of cocoa powder per bottle of vodka, depending on how much chocolate you can stand. After a couple weeks in an urn (you should stir it a few times while you wait), strain the remnants of the powder out of the mix (pouring it through a coffee strainer should do) and you’re all set.