On Saturday, my mom went to a light and tree festival. She said that looking at it from an outsider’s perspective, you would think that Christmas is all about toys and alcohol, at based on all the decorations and gifts at the festival. While alcohol is not something we have very often, and it certainly isn’t what Christmas is all about, it does make a popular gift during the holidays. I wouldn’t want to just buy someone a bottle of something they could get in any ordinary store, though. Oh no! If I got alcohol as a gift I would want it to be something creative, something fun. Something like this cranberry orange infused vodka!
Infusing vodka is basically done by storing ingredients in the vodka to impart their flavor. You can use fruits, herbs, vanilla beans, cinnamon; I’ve even heard of people using skittles!
This is one of those recipes that are ridiculously easy to make. It can last a long time because a little goes a long way. I made a few jars in different ways last month. This one ended up being my favorite. When I opened the jar one week after sealing it up, the tangy scent of orange and cranberries set my mouth to watering as soon as it hit my nostrils.
In the contiuation of my recipe tasting, I started experimenting with the infused vodka to come up with some favorite recommendations for how to use it. Since I’m so careful to limit my alcohol consumption, I made sure to share my experiments with others. Yes, I’m very popular right now!
A few favorites include:
-Pour an ounce of cranbery orange vodka into a mug of steaming hot cider
-Mix an ounce of the flavored vodka into a few ounces of fresh squeezed orange juice and stir in some orange simple syrup (I have some left from making candied orange peels)
-Mix an ounce with some lime juice, cranberry juice and a little simple syrup (simple syrup is just sugar melted into water)
No matter how I tried it, I always garnished the drink with fresh cranberries and orange peels. They’re so beautiful!
Okay, I need some more suggestions for my gift tags. How would you use this infused vodka?
Cranberry and Orange Infused VodkaPrep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 5 minutes Total time: 15 minutes Yield: 1 pint (15-16 servings)
- 1/2 cup
fresh or frozen cranberries
- 3 TBS
- 1 TBS
- 1 inch
strip of fresh orange peel
- about 1 cup
- Mix cranberries, sugar and water in a small saucepan. Heat on high until sugar dissolves.
- Pour contents of the pot into a pint jar. Add orange peel and pour vodka to within 1/2 inch of jar rim.
- Let sit one week before using.
Approximate cost/serving: The cost depends on how much your bottle of vodka is. I got a bottle for $13 that has enough to make me more than 4 batches. It cost about $3 a batch to make. If you reuse a food jar that you’ve cleaned, this can cost just around $3 for an edible gift!
Vegetarian/Gluten Free: Yes and yes, vegan too!
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Nutritional and cost information is for estimating purposes only, and subject to variations due to region, seasonality, and product availability.