Making infused vodka isn't exactly difficult — it just requires patience. Patience to let your vodka sit somewhere for days, weeks, even months with your herbs, zest or fruit in it in order to extract every drop of flavour you can get before straining and serving. If you're more of the instant gratification type, America's Test Kitchen has a method for you that will take a fraction of the time and — hopefully — give you the same results.
The process is similar to the standard infusion method we've discussed in the past, but instead of just adding your herbs or zest, bottling it up and walking away, ATK walks you through the process of first blanching your herbs or zest and drying them before adding them to your vodka, and then blending the mixture of vodka and herbs, fruit or zest for about 20-30 seconds — just long enough to break it up, not liquify the mixture. That's the clincher — instead of naturally letting time handle the diffusion, you're using a blender to break down the zest so the vodka picks up its flavour more quickly.
Store the vodka and broken-up zest or herb mixture for a few days — a far cry from the weeks or months you can spend with traditional methods — and then strain it through a funnel lined with a coffee filter or another super-fine strainer, right back into the original bottle. When you're finished, you have a delicious infused vodka, ready to serve, in about three to four days, well short of the two to three weeks we last discussed. What do you think? Would this shortcut sacrifice flavour, or is it a great way to get to the point a little faster? Let us know in the comments below.
How to Make Infused Vodka [America's Test Kitchen]