July 20, 2011

How to Make Fruit Vodkas at Home {Naptime Simple Tips}

Fruit Vodkas

Last month we did some mega strawberry picking and one of things I made was strawberry infused vodka. It is not that we are big vodka drinkers, it is just that the store-bought strawberry vodka is so gross and it is nice to have one or two mason jars of the real stuff around during the year. It will take us quite a while to work through the two jars I made. The funny thing was, the technique I used to make the strawberry vodka was so easy and delicious I decided to apply it to other fruits. I mean, why limit it to strawberries only? As you can see above, I ended up making two jars of strawberry vodka, one jar of peach vodka and one jar of citrus vodka. All so simple, and so delicious!

During naptime I cleaned the strawberries and packed two mason jars full of them. Then, I filled each jar to the rim with good quality vodka and a tablespoon of sugar. The jars were stored in a dark corner on our kitchen counter and over the course of the few days, during naptime, I swirled the jars a bit to circulate the sugar and alcohol. The sugar extracted all of the juice from the berries until they were almost completely white. (I left them in my picture to show you how they looked!) Then, after about 4 to 5 days of swirling I strained the vodka through cheesecloth into fresh jars and removed the berries and all the seeds. I used this exact same method for the rest of the fruits!

The resulting DIY vodka was absolutely stunning. Full of fresh berry flavor without any awful chemical aftertaste, it was totally the real deal. In fact, we loved it so much we immediately celebrated with a beverage, these sweet and tart Strawberry-Vodka Lime Coolers! The peach vodkas and citrus vodkas worked just as well, I am pleased to say. We plan to try our hand at blueberry and raspberry vodka next.

Strawberry Vodka Recipe

Recipe

 Homemade Strawberry Vodka

Ingredients

Fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and gently patted dry

Good quality vodka

1 tablespoon granulated sugar per mason jar

For Peach Vodka use peeled, sliced peaches

For Citrus vodka use one medium lemon and one small orange, sliced into rounds and stacked in the mason jars

Instructions

Pack the strawberries into each mason jar until the jar is filled to the rim. Pour in one tablespoon of sugar and fill the jar to the top with vodka. Screw the lid onto the jar tightly and gently shake the jar to agitate the berries and the sugar. Store the jars in a cool, dry place and agitate them every day for about three to four days. Strain the liquid through a few layers of cheesecloth to remove the berries and seeds. Serve.

 

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

Mixed drinks galore!

 

Naptime Stopwatch

Several days, about 10 minutes of which is active cooking time.

 

Naptime Reviews

These were a hit with our friends! They would also make excellent housewarming gifts or holiday gifts. Next year I might make a lot more and give it away at Christmas!

 

  • Astrid E.C. Hedbor Lague

    I’ve made spiced vodkas before, but the fruit ones look lovely!  I think I am going to have to try this.  thanks!

    • Kelsey

      I’d love to hear more about spiced vodkas, that sounds yummy!

  • http://www.namelymarly.com Marly

    How fun! Love this recipe!

    • Kelsey

      thanks Marly!

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Definitely gotta make this. Do you think it will work with other kinds of liquor as well?

    • Kelsey

      Hi Mike! I think it would work with clear liquors like rums, gins or vodkas. personally, I think it would taste strange with dark liquors like tequila, dark rums or brandy. Let me know what you try!

  • Anne-Marie Miller

    I see blueberry vodka in our future…I already can’t wait til the blueberries are in, and now I have something else to look forward to.

    • Kelsey

      Blueberry vodka would be so good!

  • http://twitter.com/gourmandeinthek Sylvie

    I’m thinking of all the fruit I could try this with!  Great idea.

  • Anonymous

    yum! this bar i go to makes their own fruit-infused bourbons, vodkas and tequilas in the summer and charges a RIDICULOUS amount for them. glad to know it’s so easy to make yourself! thinking about apricot or plum bourbon right now. i really want to make blueberry vodka too, would you leave the blueberries whole or would you want to cut them in half so they release their juice easier?

    • Anonymous

      Hi! I might cut blueberries in half since they are less porous than strawberries to make sure the juices are released!

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  • Alyssa Lugbill

    Um… really dumb question- does this keep indefinitely? How/ where do you store it?

  • Alyssa Lugbill

    Um… really dumb question- does this keep indefinitely? How/ where do you store it?

    • Anonymous

      Hi Alyssa, Alcohol by nature doesn’t spoil quickly. I’ve only made small batches but I believe it will keep for a quite a while in the refrigerator!

  • Alyssa Lugbill

    Um… really dumb question- does this keep indefinitely? How/ where do you store it?

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  • http://www.thingsforboys.com Ohbabylee

    We love making flavoured vodkas here! We always have some raspberry in the freezer. It’s great!

  • Celestemoon

    Did you use the fruit?  Maybe as a marinade for chicken?   Or a flambe over vanilla icecream?

    • Anonymous

      Hi Celeste! Once the sugar has done the job the fruit is pretty much leached of all flavor so there really isn’t much left to use in other dishes. Of course, you could try add the citrus rinds and white berries to a marinate to see what flavor is left. It might enhance sauces and desserts!

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  • Anne-Marie Miller

    blueberry version of this is currently underway at our house. :)

    • Anne-Marie Miller

      And it was a success. Very tasty.

      • Anonymous

        I am so glad Anne-Marie!

  • Marjo Steentjes

    I’m going to try this. It’s spring here but as soon as I can get my hands on pump fresh summer fruit all my friends will be getting them for Christmas. Now it is time to feed all my lambs (spring means lambs). Marjo in New Zealand

    • Anonymous

      Hi Marjo – thanks for writing. Your friends are lucky to have you thinking of their Christmas gifts already. I hope the lambs are doing well!

  • Curt D

    Awesome! I like it.

  • Aggie

    This is genius!!! Love! We are heading into strawberry season in a couple months here in FL, can’t wait to try this!

  • Kimber

    OMG what a wonderful idea and gift!!  I can’t wait to make these for all my neighbors!!!  Thanks so much – VERY HAPPY to have found your blog!!! 

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  • sheena roche

    could you use strawberries after…Do you squeeze them thru the cheesecloth?

    • Anonymous

      Hi Sheena,
      The strawberries lose their flavor after marinating in the vodka for so long. i don’t think they’d be great to use again. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/ttaylor87 Tara Taylor

    I love strawberrys… and vodka although I rarely drink vodka is my choice of poison lol…. this sounds SOOOOO good… now all I need is an event to require this haha :)

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  • Connie

    You never say if the jars are pints or quarts.  In The picture they look like pints

    • KelseyTheNaptimeChef

      Hi Connie,

      Yes, those are pints but it is really a method you can use with any size jar you have on hand!

  • Brian_bajas

    just made some cherry vodka used fresh cherries pitted and cut in half let you know result in a few days

  • Tim

    I just got through infusing a variety of peppers four 4-5 days.  It is great for bloody mary’s but not so practical for other drinks.  But it turned out great.  Just cut the peppers into strips and remove the seeds.

  • Snow White

    When you make citrus vodka is it better to peel the fruit or not?.

    • KelseyTheNaptimeChef

      Hi! It is best NOT to peel the rind away, that is what contains all of the delicious oils that flavor the vodka. Enjoy!

  • pj

    do you need to refrigerate the end product?

    • KelseyTheNaptimeChef

      Hi PJ – It definitely lasts longer if you do. And I think it tastes better too!

  • Icy

    Do you add sugar to all fruits?

    • KelseyTheNaptimeChef

      Hi! Yes- sugar to all fruits, but just a small amount!

  • Nay

    Hi, what ration of strawberries and sugar to vodka do you put in?

    • KelseyTheNaptimeChef

      Hi Nay,

      As many strawberries as you can fit into one mason jar with 1 tablespoon of sugar. It can vary depending on the size of the berries!

  • Dharmesh (Dodo)

    i love strawberry but i want to try something different.. what about adding Grapes? will i need to cut it? and how much grapes and sugar in a bottle of absolute?

    • KelseyTheNaptimeChef

      Hi! Grapes would be interesting. I would definitely halve them and use seedless grapes. Follow the proportions in the recipe for the jar – adding enough grapes to fill the bottle and then the amount of sugar stated above in proportion to the bottle of absolute you are using!

  • Lisa

    hey there! would it be possible to make sugar syrup (boil sugar + water) add the strawberries to the pot, and then pack them in the jars afterwards?

  • Green

    I know someone who does this with cherries … She insists this process takes months .. And she makes it in huge jars using 1.75 liter vodka bottle per jar. When it’s done she saves and uses the cherries to make a topping for ice cream or cake. The vodka gets bottled into several pretty bottles for gifts. When it’s done, it is a deep red.

    • KelseyTheNaptimeChef

      That sounds delicious!

  • Saskguy

    Drink er straight or what you mix it with ?

    • KelseyTheNaptimeChef

      HI! You can do either. It is great straight up over ice!