Infused Vodka – $ varies
I have been making infused vodkas for Christmas for years now and it always goes over well, naturally. While the options are endless, there are some tips I have that will help you get started.
1. Choosing the right vodka is less about how expensive the bottle is and more about how well it mixes. Cheap vodka will always taste crappy no matter how much fruit you put in it so go with a mid-range brand. I find Absolut to be priced well for making large batches.
2. The right vessel to package the vodka in depends on who you gift to, but I recommend something with a lid that closes tightly (as opposed to corking). Bell Mason Jars are cheap and easy to come by in most craft stores and have a fun, I’m-too-lazy-to-buy-a-real-glass feel.
3. Let it sit. You will be tempted to drink that vodka a few days after you make it. This is not wise. You will want it to sit in your fridge for about 2 weeks with random shakes mixed in before you sip straight for the jar. Even better: let it sit for a year. We have a 2yr old bottle of cranberry vodka in my fridge that you can drink straight from the jar…just make sure you are staying in that night!
Cranberry & Lemon Zest Vodka
1. Take a bag of cranberries and pour in a large saucepan with about a cup of sugar.
2. Reduce the cranberries for 10min, about when they soften and begin to bleed.
3. Take a few tablespoons of the reduced cranberry and place in the bottom of the a mason jar.
4. Take a lemon and zest on top of the cranberry goup in the mason jar.
5. Pour vodka over fruit and seal the jar tightly.
Keep the vodka in your fridge for about 2 weeks with daily shakes. You can strain the vodka into another container if you don’t want to drink the fruit bits but they don’t bother me. Mix the vodka with ginger ale for a seriously smooth cocktail.
Party on, kids! Drink responsibly and with great enthusiasm!