Infused vodka

I’m making infused vodka for Christmas presents this year. This is my first attempt, and I gotta say the results are pretty damn tasty! I have a really aggressive pepper vodka - so good I’m making a second bigger batch - some to give, some to sip! I also have a lovely pineapple-mango batch and a basil batch I’m going to add some simple syrup to so I’ll have a digestif - thanks SDMB poster whose name I can’t remember to give proper credit to.
Since the Cafe Society is filled with talented and experienced cooks of all kinds, I have some questions. I have a lovely, albeit mild, cucumber vodka, which I thought would be great for martinis. I was reading the Gin thread, and someone mentioned a gin having a cucumber flavor, but it was also infused with rose petals. Could I add some rose petals to the cucumber gin and allow it to infuse for a few days, or do I need to make a new batch and add the rose petals at the start? How many petals should I add, and for how long? I let the cuke infuse for a week originally, and it is a very delicate flavor.
Also, I have a fresh coconut in the fridge - can I add that to some pineapple for a tropical mix? The pineapple-mango was heavenly, but coconut has such a different texture - I’m not sure it would work in an infusion.
Also, I’m open for new combinations - share your infusions here!

I make cherry vodka every year, that sits for 6 months. The secret is to crush some cherry stones and suspend them in a muslin bag along with the stoned cherries, for a nuttier flavour. I usually add sugar at the start rather than simple syrup at the end. I’ve made real vanilla vodka too, which is num. But vanilla-chocolate is nummier (whole beans, of course). One I still want to make is a dried citrus peel one with 5 different kinds of citrus peel.

I’d say, BTW, that you should feel free to add the rose petals now rather than make a new batch, it shouldn’t matter. The flavours will mingle anyway.

Coffee infused vodka makes a stellar White Russian. I’m just sayin’ is all. Reminds me - I might need to crank up a new batch.

Oooo, MrDibble, that sounds good! How do I infuse chocolate? I’ve been having a hard time finding vanilla beans, but I’ve got a neurosurgeon appointment this afternoon, and of course there’s a Whole Foods in that neighborhood. Too bad I don’t have a Trader Joe’s near my new address.
Coffee sounds good, too - I used to make Kahlua with vanilla beans and instant coffee about 20 years ago. I think I’m going to have to try it again.
I’m heading to a local antique mall for funky containers - I already wiped out the local second-hand store.

Do you still use the Kahlua and milk/cream?

Wouldn’t the addition of sugar technically make it a liqueur? I made some arancello (orange liqueur), which turned out okay but a bit bitter. I made blueberry liqueur which is strained and awaiting a taste but it smells great.

The only vodka I’m adding sugar to is the Basil, which makes it a digestif. I don’t have sugar in any of my other recipes.

Three Olives brand vodka makes a chocolate version that is quite sublime. Quite.

You need to get whole cocoa beans (also known as “nibs”). You should be able to find that at Whole Foods, according to this threadon a food board.

This actually sounds wonderful. More details man, I’m a terrible cook but I’d love to try this out.

I’ll once again link to a decent site, Infusions of Grandeur.

Yep. The coffee infused vodka makes the drink more coffee-like and less chocolate milk-like, if you can follow me. It’s really outstanding.

Oh, certainly. It’s really pretty easy.

Get yourself a bottle of vodka. I’ve only done it once, and that time I used Smirnoff. Since you’re flavoring it and presumably going to use it as a mixer, it’s probably not worth getting anything too expensive or top end.

Get yourself one or two large-ish bottles, with lids. I think I used some canning jars or left over (washed and rinsed out!) spaghetti sauce bottles.

Get yourself some whole coffee beans. My husband’s the coffee drinker, and grinds his own, I simply used whatever we had about.

Unfortunately, I can’t remember the ratio of coffee beans to vodka, but it’s a pretty forgiving infusion. You can probably Google for tons of recipes, if you need something exact. I don’t think it’s a ton of coffee beans, though - maybe 1/4 cup? A few spoonfuls?

Take some of the beans (maybe 1/4 to 1/2 of them) and roughly crack them - you can do this with a ziploc bag and rolling pin, with the bottom of the glass, between two spoons, whatever works- but don’t totally crush them. Place your coffee beans in the bottles (spread them equally if you’re using a couple), pour in the vodka. Refrigerate. (Cracking some of the beans helps get more coffee-flavored goodness into your vodka. Apparently it doesn’t work as well if you leave all the beans whole.)

To make the infusion go a little faster, you can shake the bottles every couple of days. Otherwise, just leave them in the fridge - you’ll see the vodka start to darken into a coffee color and the beans will start to sink to the bottom. Let the vodka infuse for about a week.

Strain the infused vodka back into another container (or into its original bottle). You can strain it through coffee filters; I think I used a couple of layers of cheesecloth. Bingo! Coffee infused vodka!

I did some Googling myself, and a number of sites recommended adding sugar, too. I didn’t - you can always sweeten your finished drink later with simple syrup or whatever, if it’s needed. With white russians, I don’t find any sweetening necessary as the Kahlua’s sweet enough as it is. I mean, you don’t sweeten the plain vodka you make them with, right?

Ginger infused vodka is pretty damn good. Just buy a hand of ginger, peel, slice and toss in.

Nomnomnom. These all sound so good! I think I’ll need to make some infused vodka before my bachelorette party so I can have nommy mixers for people… and myself!!

Perhaps a cucumber vodka with a little grapefruit juice? Very refreshing, I would guess.

Or grapefruit vodka with orange juice, and a dash of cranberry? Tart & tasty!

I’ve had this made with plums. It was really simple: fill a large canning jar 1/3 with whole, washed fruit, add a spoonful or two of sugar, then top up with cheapo vodka, cap tightly, and stick in the back of the cupboard til christmas, which will be about six months. Give it a shake once a week if you remember.

The fruit is pretty good over ice cream, or by itself. The vodka, 'nuff said.

I discovered that a standard bottle of vodka will dissolve a large box of red hots (candy). I don’t drink myself, but I’ve been told it’s a pass around at the party concoction rather than something you want to sit and savor.

If you’re looking for something for Christmas, it doesn’t take six months to infuse. More like a couple of weeks. You have to mix it up at least twice a day.

Mmm, skittlebrau.

That sounds amazing! It would probably be fantastic with hot cider or cocoa, too!

There’s a recipe for making Skittle-infused vodka that’s winding its way 'round the internets too - I’m dying to do this with a friend of mine, but we just haven’t gotten to it yet. I’ve heard the resulting neon colored brew is sweet (as you’d expect, I reckon).