“I went out with a guy who once told me I didn’t need to drink to make myself more fun to be around. I told him, I’m drinking so that you’re more fun to be around.”
― Chelsea Handler, Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea
I have been making my my own fruit vodkas for years. As the spring and summer approaches I make whatever fruit comes into season and then leave the fruit steeping in the vodka until at least Christmas. It makes a great gift and you always have something special on hand if someone stops by for a cocktail. I have made some that I have left for as long as 1 year and they are all good. You can make so many different kinds. They are better than the store bought variety because they are made with two things fruit and vodka, not full of artificial flavours. I try to make something new every year. Last fall my neighbour Shelley gave me a huge box of apples she brought from the Okanagan Valley. Her son said “why don’t you make some apple vodka?” and I thought…..why not. It was the breakout hit of the year!! I love to serve it like a liqueur in a shot glass with a couple of the same fresh fruit in the glass. I put a few fresh raspberries in the glass then pour over the raspberry vodka. This is fantastic with raspberry/blueberry and the pomegranate is really fun. It gives you a pop of fresh flavour at the end. You can also use them in your favorite martinis.
I have made:
- pomegranate- put seeds in jar (this is made in Nov/Dec when in season)
- blueberry/ strawberry
- orange/vanilla/coffee- you stick coffee beans in slits cut in the oranges and add a fresh vanilla bean
- clementine- peel them and stick them in the jar whole
They are really so easy to make.
You will need:
- vodka (lots!) I start a pot with one bottle, then add more fruit and vodka as the pay checks get deposited. That way you don’t feel the pinch all at once. They also don’t look at you like you are a complete drunk at the liquor store.
- fruit (lots) when something is in season go to a farm and buy a flat of fruit
- a large container with a lid that will seal the fruit and vodka mix.
- strainers/ coffee filters once completed- some fruit has sediment on bottom and needs to be poured through a coffee filter or several to make it clear.
Step 1: gather your fruit, your vodka and a clean glass jar with a lid. If you can use organic especially with something like apples which are typically a fruit on the “dirty dozen” list of fruit that is high in pesticides do it.
Step 2: wash and core apples. I use a melon baler. I then remove stems and chop into quarters. I do not peel the apples because the skins give the vodka a nice amber colour. Put in as many pieces of apple as you can fit into the jar.
Step 3: fill jar with vodka.
Step 4: seal jar and leave in a dark place for at least 2 months. If you have soft fruit like raspberries or strawberries I would leave it for at least 6 months – 1 year. This works perfectly if you start the vodka in the Spring when Strawberries are ripe then keep it until Christmas when you would serve it. You can make apple vodka at any time because they are available year round but, normally you need lots of fruit so you buy it when its at it’s best and also cheapest.
This is after about 1 month-you see the fruit at the top of the jar is starting to get brown but the bottom is not yet.
After approx 2 months or when all the apples are brown. I strain out the fruit (make sure you put a bowl under that strainer-you don’t want to let your precious hooch go down the drain!) and disgard.
I then fill with another bag of apples and return the vodka to the jar and leave it another 2 months and strain.The apple vodka needs to be strained through coffee filters a few times to make it clear. The apple vodka is very smooth and similar in taste to Ice cider (not the hard cider you buy like a cooler) this is like “Neiges”- which is an iced cider made in Quebec and very similar to Ice wine where they pick the fruit after the first hard frost and it is sweet and concentrated. (Neiges is a gorgeous product if you haveb’t tried it it is excellent!)
This was my collection from last Christmas. I like to save my favourite Prosecco bottles that have great resealable lids for my moonshine! I also buy small vinegar bottles from the Dollar Store for gift bottles, they come with a nice little spout and they cost a buck! I try to pretty them up with labels and ribbons etc…
They are great served in a shot glass with the fresh fruit and really are like a liqueur or you can add them to a drink like a martini. They are so much nicer than the artificial flavoured vodkas in the store.
Drink it cold.
Make a lovely Martini like the Apple Martini or the Raspberry Martini shown here. Go to my other post called Raspberry and Apple Martinis for the exact recipe.