Infusing spirits is a fun way to add your own unique twist to cocktails! This Cranberry Infused Vodka is especially great for holiday gifts and cocktails!
So, I'm not a huge cocktail drinker but I have been known to indulge in the occasional martini or two! Craft cocktails are still having their moment in most big cities and I've been hearing a lot about infused spirits lately, so I thought it would be fun to experiment with making my own! When I do drink cocktails they typically involve vodka or tequila, so I decided to make my first go at infusing using vodka to create this Cranberry Infused Vodka. You can use it in all of your holiday cocktails and it also makes a great holiday gift for some lucky friends or family members!
How do you make infused vodka?
I always thought making infused vodka was a "big project" that might require special gadgets and lots and lots of time. It turns out it's not really that complicated. You just need some basic ingredients and a bit of time. speaking of time, don't panic when you get to the total recipe time, the infusing process takes a while - at least 4 days, ideally about a week - so you'll need to plan ahead a little bit to ensure your vodka is ready on time.
The start of this process will sound a little bit like making cranberry sauce - you cook the cranberries with sugar than add a vanilla bean and some orange. Once the cranberries are cooked you'll need a big mason jar or a similar airtight container that will hold 750ml of vodka plus the cranberries. Everything goes in the jar and then it's a matter of patience!
Once the infusing process is complete you'll need a strainer, a funnel and another 750ml bottle. Something like this hermetic bottle from the Container Store works well. Just strain the vodka and use the funnel to pour it into the new bottle. You're ready for cocktails or gift giving!!
Cranberry Infused Vodka
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ of a vanilla bean
- 2 long strips of orange peel
- 750 ml of good vodka, use your favorite brand
- Place cranberries and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 6 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Add cranberries, vanilla bean and orange peel to a large jar. Pour vodka into a large jar. Seal jar and store in a cool dry spot for 4-7 days.
- Once the vodka is infused, pour vodka through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl or measuring cup. If desired, you can reserve the cranberries for garnish or other uses.
- Use a funnel to pour strained vodka into a large, sealable bottle. Vodka will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.