Monday, 21 April 2014

Homemade Fruit Vodka

Do you have a surplus of vodka? No? Or do you instead have a surplus of fruit maybe, from a tree in the garden? Or you've bought too much on special offer and it's likely to be binned? That's more likely, I would imagine. One way of preserving fruit and preventing it going to waste is to make fruit flavoured vodka.

Firstly, choose your vodka. The internet recommends a middle of the road one - avoid cheap chemical tasting ones but equally, don't waste money on the high-end ones.

Then choose your fruit. Strawberries, apples, blueberries, watermelon, lemon - whatever you fancy and love! Wash the fruit and remove seeds, pips and stems. For citrus fruits, get rid of the white pith.

Slice the fruit into chunks and place in an airtight jar or bottle and then cover with the vodka. The proportions seem to be a matter of personal preference, so it may be a matter of experimenting until you get the blend that suits you, but a little research seems to point to about half and half, or maybe 2:3 fruit to vodka - the more fruit you use, the stronger the flavour.

And then just wait for about two to five days! If you do want to speed it up, give the jar a little shake each day. And sample after a couple of days, until it tastes how you want.

Once it's ready, strain the mixture into a new bottle for a fabulous fruity drink or a mixer that can be used as the basis for a unique, tasty cocktail - use a coffee filter or some muslin fabric or similar. Another idea is to pour it into nice bottles with pretty labels, and they can be given as gifts. Store out of direct sunlight and it will keep indefinitely.

As an added bonus, the fruit will make the base of a lovely alcoholic fruit salad, so even that is being used again. (Note that this fruit will be laced with vodka - it's not suitable for children and could still make you tipsy so be safe.)

You can also use herbs and spices such as chillis or basil - it doesn't have to be just fruit. You can also combine ingredients; I heard that strawberry and basil is a great combo. I even read that someone has made bacon flavoured vodka with the fat! Basically, experiment with the tastes and flavours you love best and don't let that fruit (or vodka) go to waste.

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