Three Infused Vodkas: Persimmon, Lemon, and Pear/Ginger

December 14th, 2007  |  Published in All, DIY Food Projects, Fantastic Fruits, Ginger, Lemon, Most Popular, Pear, Persimmon, Succulent Spices, Weekend Projects  |  12 Comments

Infused VodkasLemonVodkaPearGingerVodka

Three Infusions: Persimmon Vodka, Lemon Vodka, and Pear and Ginger Vodka

Note: The amounts given are just approximations. The amount of fruit and vodka you will need will depend entirely on the size of the jars you use. You don’t need any special bottles, jars, or containers either–I used an old juice bottle (persimmon), an applesauce jar (pear/ginger), and a honey jar (lemon). Also, a mid range vodka will work just fine for this (i.e. Smirnoff). Save the Grey Goose for the dirty martini.

Persimmon Infused Vodka:
-5 Fuyu persimmons, tops with stems cut off, cut into 1/2 inch slices, and then cut in half again
- approx 1/2 liter vodka

Lemon Infused Vodka:
- 2 lemons, sliced lengthwise into eighths
- approx 1/4 liter vodka

Pear and Ginger Infused Vodka:
-2 Bartlett pears
-2 inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
-approx 1/4 liter vodka

Tightly pack infusion ingredients into a clean glass jar. Pour enough vodka over the top to cover. Seal with lid. Place in a cool dark spot and allow to infuse for about 2-3 weeks. At this point, you might want to strain the vodka, and add simple syrup (sugar and water heated until sugar dissolves) if you’d like the vodka to be more like a liquer or after-dinner drink (optional). Enjoy!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Lazy Sundays can’t be beat. There have been times in my life when the day of the week didn’t matter too much and time was a very fluid thing–for good or bad though, now is not one of those times, and I savor my lazy Sundays.

This past Sunday I awoke on the early side, 8:30 or so (we’re talking weekend time here), made myself a cup of coffee, sat on my couch, and just looked out the window for a little while. How often does one do that? Or a better question, when does one possibly have the time to do that? only on a lazy Sunday, I suppose.

Staring out the window my mind wandered to a culinary adventure I’d seen in a blog post I’d read the previous day by ‘The Baklava Queen‘, a regular contributor to, about non-traditional, non-consumerist, home-made food-related gifts (that sure is a lot of hyphens!). Even before reading the entry, I had decided that this year for the holidays I was going to give edible gifts. I’ve been feeling the proliferation of ‘stuff’ this year (this short video also made me want to avoid more ‘stuff’), and instead of filling my favorite people’s lives with more ‘stuff’, they will instead eat home-made, delicious treats.

One of the holiday tasties I decided to make is an array of fruit-infused vodkas. So, Sunday morning I jumped in my french fry-mobile and headed to the farmer’s market to pick out some infusing fruits. Persimmons are practically falling off the trees right now here in the Bay Area, including my favorite–the crunchy and firm Fuyu persimmon. Lemons too are starting to come into season, as are mandarins and other winter citrus. Apples and pears have been making appearances during the last month or two, and will continue into the winter and early spring. Due to their abundance (and the fact that all were less than $1/lb), I settled on persimmons, lemons, and pears (to be combined with ginger).

Infused vodkas are sooooooo easy to make. The steps are:

  1. cut fruit
  2. put fruit in jar
  3. pour enough vodka over fruit to cover
  4. put a lid on the jar
  5. wait

seriously, that’s it.

The waiting part is a little bit gray. I found a source saying that three days is enough infusion time, but I found another that said wait at least a year! I think that 2-3 weeks is probably a good amount of time to infuse.

Instead of giving these as gifts, I’ll probably just take them home to Seattle and make holiday cocktails for my family. I’m thinking a simple combination of fruit-infused vodka, seltzer, and one accent ingredient to compliment the flavor of the vodka is the way to go, for example:

- Persimmon vodka, seltzer, and a tiny dab of home-made cranberry sauce
- Pear/Ginger vodka, seltzer, and 1T. of pear nectar
- fresh mint leaves muddled with sugar, Lemon Vodka, and seltzer

… but really, let your imagination guide you.

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  1. Mind Your Decisions Blog » Blog Archive » Food Fridays: Kick Your Vodka up a Notch says:

    December 20th, 2007at 10:12 pm(#)

    [...] [...]

  2. uknowho says:

    December 21st, 2007at 7:50 am(#)

    “…and one accent ingredient…”

    are you sure it’s wise to add MSG? They sound good, but I’d skip the accent. ;)

  3. Jen says:

    January 2nd, 2008at 3:56 pm(#)

    ha ha! that’s the difference between Accent and an accent…

  4. sugarlaws says:

    January 7th, 2008at 6:30 pm(#)

    oh yum!!! what a cool idea! i’m definitely going to have to try this.

  5. Jen says:

    January 8th, 2008at 10:07 am(#)

    Hi Sugarlaws, I hope you enjoy your infusions! Oranges are really coming into season now, so I’m thinking I might try an orange/vanilla combination… feel free to report back your results!

  6. Moroccan Salt Preserved Citrus: Blood Oranges and Meyer Lemons | Modern Beet says:

    March 6th, 2008at 11:26 pm(#)

    [...] like the fruit infused vodkas I featured back in december, making preserved lemons and oranges requires some patience (a month or [...]

  7. emma says:

    May 9th, 2008at 5:20 am(#)

    What a lovely Christmas idea. I’ve done ginger-infused bourbon, with just a touch of ginger, which was delicious. But I love your idea of using these infused-vodkas as a basis for cheery holiday-ish cocktails for the whole family!

  8. Kimberly says:

    January 2nd, 2009at 11:33 pm(#)

    Did you find a way to keep the pears from almost immediately turning into brown mush? Or am I supposed to keep replacing the fruit in order to keep it looking pretty. (I was going for the beautiful infusions seen displayed on bars at clubs—their fruit never looks brown! How do they do that?) Thanks

  9. Jen says:

    January 4th, 2009at 9:31 pm(#)

    Kimberly — Thanks for leaving a comment on Modern Beet. To answer your question, I think it’s inevitable that the pears turns to brown mush… if you want something nice for display you might consider a citrus infusion using only the zest of the fruit; these don’t break down and generally are bright and attractive. Also, though I’ve never done it, you might try using some fresh mint leaves or other herb — I doubt they would break down in the alcohol.

  10. Cygnetgirl says:

    September 10th, 2011at 6:22 am(#)

    To Kimberley,
    I have talked to a few bar owners about the same thing. The specific one I spoke to was in Hawaii. He used pineapple, and I think the acid seemed to keep it ok. He stored it for a week or so before using. Another bar owner in Colorado used raspberries, and the red juice was a beautiful color even after th fruit had emulsified. For me, I think the best is going to be to simply strain it really well and then put int a more elegant bottle. Save the jars for my next batch!

  11. The Blind Bride says:

    October 14th, 2011at 8:05 am(#)

    Can I hot water bath this? Will that harm the ingredients at all?

  12. Georgi says:

    November 29th, 2012at 10:43 pm(#)

    Talking about infusion time… 3 weeks is the general optimal. One can slightly shorten (regarding soft fruit) or rather lengthen the time (regarding almonds…let`s say).
    I have como to this conclusion reading various suggestions and experimenting.
    Since we have persimmon trees in our garden I wont miss to try and make persimmon liqueur this season…

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