Flavored vodkas are flying off liquor-store shelves but making your own can be a lot tastier and much more fun. Use the colorful glass bottles we featured in our Great Products  section or for smaller portions, make them in jam jars. The ingredients are so pretty in the vodka that they look nice in any glass jar. The basic concept is to marry a variety of choice flavors into a base liquor to create a custom-flavored spirit.
Choose your flavors: Herbs, spices and fruits are most commonly used for infusions. The most popular infusions are fruit-based; however you can use your imagination to create some wonderful combinations.
Process: Choose a clean, air-tight jar. Wash the ingredients, place them inside the jar and fill it with vodka. Shake a few times and cover tightly with a lid.
Infusion Time: You will want to store your infusion in a cool, dark place and shake it 3-5 times a day for the duration of the infusion. On average the ingredients should stay in the liquor for 3-5 days. Some of the more intense flavors will only need 3 days (like peppers or star anise), less intense flavors (like citrus), should stay in the jar for a full week or more.
The Finish: Strain and start sipping. Store in an airtight jar, as you would any other liquor.
Coffee Bean and Hazelnut Vodka
4 coffee beans
2 tablespoons toasted hazelnuts
1-½ cups Vodka
Place coffee beans and hazelnuts in a jar. Cover with vodka and seal the jar.
Infuse for 3 days. Strain if you like, and place in an attractive container.
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- 5 whole cloves
- 1 whole nutmeg, cracked
- 1 teaspoon whole coriander seed, cracked
- 1/2 a whole vanilla bean
- ½ stick cinnamon, cracked
- 6 whole allspice berries, cracked
- 1 (750 ml) bottle vodka
Place cranberries and spices in an infusion jar and top with vodka. Let infuse for 2 - 3 days, then strain and place infused Vodka in an attractive container.
- 2 small ruby grapefruits
- 3 tangerines or oranges
- 3 lemons
- 3 (750 ml) bottles of vodka
Rinse fruit well. Use a large container and 3 large 750 ml bottles of vodka. Make this in a large container and then pour into smaller jars as gifts. Poke each piece of fruit 30 - 40 times with a skewer. Place fruit in an infusion jar and top with vodka. Let infuse for 3 - 4 days, then strain and place infused vodka in an attractive container. Alternatively, slice the fruit and divide amongst small jars, cover with vodka and infuse for 3 -4 days.
Dried Chili and Star Anise
1 star anise
1 dried chili
2 cardamom pods
1-½ cups vodka
Place star anise, chile and cardamom in jar. Cover with vodka and seal. Infuse for 1 day. This is spicy so strain, and place in an attractive container.
Spicy Jalapeno and Lemon
1 jalapeno pepper
Zest from 1 lemon
3 cups vodka
Place pepper and zest in jar. Cover with vodka and seal jar. Infuse for 3 day. Strain, and place in an attractive container.
½ small watermelon, cubed
3 cups vodka
Place watermelon in jar. Cover with vodka and seal jar. Infuse for 5 days. Remove watermelon cubes. Place in an attractive container