Monday, January 19, 2009

Infused vodka: the short version

Two Decembers ago I got all fired up about do-it-yourself infused vodka. I made eleventy-three flavors and promptly gave them all away as Christmas and Hanukkah presents. Now, with the holidays safely past, I’m making some for myself!

Infusing vodka is very easy. You can use pretty much any combination of fruit, herbs, spices, vegetables or candy, although some ingredients require several weeks to produce the best flavor. But here’s a quick trick: use tea. You have to steep it longer than you would to make your afternoon cuppa, but an hour or two should give you some deliciously flavorful booze. I made up a pint this evening and let it sit while I prepared some fruit-infused versions. In no time at all I had a tasty drink to go with my dinner. Because nothing complements a cheese quesadilla like rooibos peach vodka on the rocks, right?

The other flavors currently infusing include blueberry vanilla, blood orange, and cucumber. I'll post recipes for them once they're done. In the meantime, try the tea!

Tea-infused vodka
  • 1 pint middle-shelf vodka (I used Svedka)
  • 1 tablespoon loose tea
  • an airtight glass jar
  • a secondary glass container
  • something to strain with (cheesecloth, coffee filters, or a tea strainer will all work)

Simply pitch the tea in with the vodka in a clean glass jar. Seal and give it a good shake. If you are using an herbal tea, shake occasionally and do a taste test after 30 minutes. I used
rooibos peach bloom tea from Teavana and let it sit for a total of 90 minutes. If you are using black tea, test every 10 minutes. For green tea, test compulsively -- things can turn bitter after just a few minutes -- but try to let some make it past the testing phase, okay?

Once the flavor is to your liking, just strain out the loose tea (here’s where the secondary container comes in handy). Store in the airtight glass container in the fridge, freezer or even at room temperature, but keep it out of the sun.


  1. Ooh you're still infusing vodka! Thank you for the tip about using tea.

  2. I recently discovered sweet tea vodka. There are several commercial brands on the market but the ones I've tried all have one thin in common. They are a bit to sweet for my taste. I experimented with brewing my own and after a few batches I devealoped a formula that suits me to "tea".

    You'll need a quart "mason jar w/lid, a funnel, coffee filter, a second quart jar or decanter.
    One quart of medium quality vodka ( use Platnium), a heaping tablespoon of Lipton loose black tea leaves, 3/4 cup sugar. Put tea leaves and sugar into the jar and fill the jar with vodka. Screw the lid on securly and shake 'till sugar is completely disolved Let stand for 3 hours. Strain through the cofee filter into decanter or seccond jar. Serve over ice. Add water and it tastes exactly like iced tea.

  3. Cool, I'll have to try the sweet tea recipe. It sounds perfect for a hot summer day!

  4. better yet, instead of water, add lemonaid and call the drink a John Daly.

  5. I always called half lemonade & half tea an Arnold Palmer.

  6. half lemonade and half iced tea is an arnold palmer. when booze is added it's called a john daly.

  7. How long does the vodka sweet tea keep for?

  8. this is where a french press comes in handy.... you can make this in one then press down the leaves and easily strain!

  9. Im a Southerner who recently moved to Australia. I cannot find my usual sweet tea vodka and would like to introduce the Aussies to this wonderful beverage. Thank you, I will make this today.


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