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Favorite neutral, relatively inexpensive vodka for infusing/infusing suggestions?

Dax Apr 9, 2008 02:13 PM

Any favorite vodkas to use? Something like Skyy maybe, or even cheaper?

Also, do you use organic fruits/vegetables when infusing spirits?

I am thinking a simple blueberry to start, using Grolsh bottles, letting them sit in my dark cool utility closet. This will be my first attempt at infusing. I reviewed some of the older threads but finally got bored with searching. Any other thoughts are welcome.

Thanks,

Dax

  1. c
    chazzerking Apr 10, 2008 03:14 PM

    I've been doing infusions for 7 or 8 years now and I've tried using everything from Smirnoff's to Stoli. I now use Smirnoff's all the time. It works great. you can't tell a difference in the finished product and it costs a lot less. My most successful infusions(the ones liked the best by the most people that have tried them) are Pineapple/Vanilla, White Peach/ Raspberry, and India spice(ginger,cardamom,nutmeg, allspice, cumin,mustard seed,coriander and black pepper). There are so many great infusions that you just need to experiment. only your imagination will limit you.

    1. mcmachete Apr 10, 2008 02:18 PM

      Seagram's vodka.

      Or take some well rum and run it through a carbon water filter 5 or 6 times - takes out a lot of impurities for a poor-man's distillation.

      5 Replies
      1. re: mcmachete
        JK Grence the Cosmic Jester Apr 10, 2008 02:28 PM

        The only problem with doing the carbon filter trick is that the filter is pretty much shot by the time you're done doing your own filtration, and those filters don't come cheap. Once you add in the costs of the filter, you might as well just get the good stuff the first time.

        1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester
          mcmachete Apr 10, 2008 04:01 PM

          This is somewhat true, but it's not a crazy amount.

          3 brita filters @ <$20 = <$7 each and I believe you can run 5 passes about 4-8 times per filter (about $1.50 per infusion).

          I'd rather use better stuff from the gate too, but it's an option anyway.

        2. re: mcmachete
          JMF Apr 11, 2008 05:08 AM

          I've spoken about this before but will mention it again. DO NOT USE Britta or other water filters. They are made for water, not spirits. They are plastic and also have other stuff that will leach chemicals into the spirit. There are only a few types of plastic that are chemically inert to use with spirits and the ones in those filters are not that type. I am a distiller and just came back from a conference where this subject came up and someone mentioned they had lab tested spirits run several times through a water filter and the spirits had picked up some nasty chemicals.

          1. re: JMF
            mcmachete Apr 11, 2008 03:20 PM

            Interesting. I heard Mythbusters called it a myth, but these guys swear by it: http://www.infusionsofgrandeur.net/

            I've never done it, but had considered it...

            1. re: mcmachete
              JMF Apr 12, 2008 05:39 AM

              Those guys at the website you mention have no scientific credentials and admit it. They just use pseudo science and wear lab coats for the fun of it.

              At lest the Mythbusters attempt a real study with a hint of validity, (and intelligence.)

        3. Dax Apr 10, 2008 08:50 AM

          Thanks all. Since I live in Birmingham, AL now I am a little limited by the fruits available at Whole Foods and the fru-fur markets since the farmers markets are not open yet. And ABC runs most of the liquor stores (not sure Costco here can sell booze) so everything is higher priced. I will look into the Smirnoff or Gordons 1.75.

          Anyone tried Blood Orange infusions?

          3 Replies
          1. re: Dax
            q
            quazi Apr 10, 2008 01:13 PM

            blood orange is the best. really. better than lemon better than any of the other orange varieties. The orange flavor comes through perfectly. My only tip would be let the peel sit in the vodka for as long as possible. I usually do 90 days total. I use smirnoff 100 prooof and 80 prof vodka

            1. re: quazi
              JMF Apr 10, 2008 02:00 PM

              With Blood Orange I first zest just the colored part of the peel, then juice them and freeze the juice. Then add the zest to the spirits and let sit for a few weeks and then add the defrosted frozen juice and let sit another few weeks to infuse.

              As for the best... when it comes to citrus Buddhas Hand, sliced super thin and put into wide mouth mason jars. Then let sit for as long as possible, it just gets better. One month is good, two are great, six even better. the spirit stays clear and almost perfectly colorless except for a hint of yellow. the taste is so light but penetrating. Really great. Also the jars with the paper thin slices look great too.

               
              1. re: quazi
                Dax Apr 10, 2008 03:17 PM

                Whoah. Ninety days? What is the average infusion time?

            2. jspear Apr 10, 2008 07:48 AM

              Smirnoff, cheap but great for infusing.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jspear
                s
                soupkitten Apr 10, 2008 02:40 PM

                2nd the smirnoff (pref 1.75 on sale). i use organic fruit--same rules as for pickling (use fully ripe, not soft, not blemished fruits). i have also successfully used frozen whole unsweetened raspberries.

              2. JMF Apr 10, 2008 07:24 AM

                I used to use Gordons which I got at the NH state stores when it is on sale for $13 for a 1.75 liter. Whatever fruit you use, preferably organic, make sure it is super fresh and ripe, and well washed. Remove any bruised or blemished parts. they can cause off or rotten flavors. It's all about using quality to get quality. Although out of season I have used the frozen fruit sold for making smoothies and it has come out great.

                Wild blueberries like those available in New England in late summer come out completely different from farmed ones. Both are good but I like the result with wild better.

                1. JK Grence the Cosmic Jester Apr 10, 2008 04:25 AM

                  In general, not the super-premiums. It's like putting high-octane gas into a Honda. You can, but you're going to get pretty much the same end result. Beyond that, whatever is on sale tends to work best for me. An excellent bang for the buck can be had from the house brand vodka at Costco, around 30 bucks for the 1.75 liter.

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