Using sous vide to make yummy vodka infusions

Sous vide — not just for steaks — you can make delicious infused vodka for the perfect cocktail too

Sous vide is an amazing technique to get you perfect proteins every time you cook. Want a perfectly cooked tomahawk rib-eye? Check! 4-inch pork chop? Check! Chicken breast that is tender and juicy every single time? Check!

All of this is great when you’re hungry. But what if you’re thirsty? We recommend, vodka. In moderation, of course.

But drinking lots of plain vodka can be boring, sad, and leave you wondering why the Russian national wrestling team is sleeping in your living room. How do we fix that? We use herbs, fruits, spices and whatever else you want to impart flavor to that vodka. This should make your drinks less boring, but no guarantees on it changing who you invite to sleep at your house.

What’s better than plain vodka? Delicious naturally flavored (infused) vodka.

What do I need to get infusing?

 

The basics

Here we’re using simple ball mason jars and cheap Vodka of the Gods vodka from Trader Joe’s.

Time Temperature and plan

Given that you’re using glass mason jars you want to be careful about extreme temperature changes. In some cases, taking a glass object from hot to cold or cold very rapidly can result in the glass cracking or breaking. To avoid this we’re going to make sure all temperature changes are gradual.

So the cooking process will work as follows:

  • Prepare all your infusions, then cap and seal them. Place them in your cooking vessel and fill with water.
  • Set your immersion circulator / sous vide setup to 155 F.
  • Once the water reaches 155 F run at that temp for an hour then turn off the circulator and stop cooking.
  • Let the water cool for an hour or two.
  • Remove the jars, make sure the lids are secure and there are no cracks or leaks.
  • Strain the vodka and separate it from any solids.
  • Put the infused vodka in the fridge or freezer for later use.

 

A few infusion recipe ideas:

Brown sugar butter pear infusion

In a pan roast some pears with brown sugar, a little maple syrup, and cinnamon. If you want an even richer mouth feel add a little butter when you’re almost down reducing the liquid.

Great for holiday cocktails. Gives a chai tea pear flavor to almost any drink. Pears well with milk and egg nog.

 

The danger zone: star anise, spicy red pepper and ginger

Not for the faint hearted, this is a more painful take on other herbaceous spicy licorice digestifs. Star Anise, rushed red pepper, ginger, and salt to taste.

The spicy bloody mary: Jalapeno, cilantro and a touch of ginger

If you don’t love cilantro leave it out because it can be intense. This is a nice spicy kick to a bloody mary. Don’t overdue it with the peppers, a little goes a long way. 

 

The Classic: Apple infused Vodka (the best one by far)

Apple infused vodka is heard to beat. This was the best apple infused vodka I’ve ever had. It tasted very clean and fresh, unlike most of the artificially flavored apple vodkas out there.

Bonus ideas

  • Limoncello (lemon peel infused vodka + simple syrup to taste)
  • Citrus infused vodka – Orange or Grapefruit peels with no sweetener
  • Crushed blueberry infusion for awesome mojitos.
  • Cinnamon infused vodka for that fireball-like shot.

Conclusion

Cooking should be fun. Using fancy kitchen gadgets should be fun. And drinking is, almost always, fun. Infusions are just a gateway to fun, and vodka. Enjoy!

Post some of your favorite infusion ideas below! Thanks!

 

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