The sunshine season is in full swing and that means it’s high time for vodka cocktails. And what’s better than a homemade vodka infusion to perk up that mixed drink?
Pinnacle Vodka recently partnered with partnered with Spike TV’s Bar Rescue mixologist Mia Mastroianni to give bartenders a few tips and tricks to crafting homemade, custom infusions.
1) Choose an Infusion – For the best infusions, start with a clean base vodka. From there, decide how you want the cocktail to taste. Ingredients such as fresh fruits and berries are a good idea for a sweet base. Peppers, herbs or spices are the perfect spicy and savory infusions
2) Preparation is Key – Before beginning the infusion process, be sure to wash all fresh ingredients thoroughly. Remove any pits, seeds, or stems and cut any fruit into large chunks. Berries can be halved, and any herbs should be gently crushed, as it will help to release the flavor
3) Understand Proper Infusion – Mason jars work perfectly for infusions as they provide a clean, airtight container. A good rule of thumb for infusion proportions: two parts fruit or vegetable to one part spirit. Timing isn’t specific; infusions can take anywhere from three days for some small batches to three weeks for larger batches, so be sure to taste as you go
4) Ready to Serve – Once the vodka has reached a desired flavor, strain the contents through a mesh strainer and gently press on any fruit. To clarify the liquid, strain the remaining liquid a second time through the mesh strainer lined with a coffee filter
Keep these tips in mind when making your own infusion, or create Mia’s homemade infused cocktail, the Cinnamon Grapefruit Gimlet.
Cinnamon Grapefruit-Infused Vodka
24 parts Pinnacle Original Vodka
2 large pink grapefruits
2-3 cinnamon sticks
Using a vegetable peeler, peel the outer zest off the grapefruits. Do not get any of the white pith on your peels that will add bitterness. Load a mason jar with the grapefruit zest and the cinnamon sticks and cover with vodka. Store in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight, for three days, shaking daily. Begin to taste. Once it reaches desired flavor, strain through a mesh strainer. Strain a second time through a coffee filter. Bottle and store your infusion in a cool, dark place
Cinnamon Grapefruit Gimlet
2 parts Cinnamon/Grapefruit Infused Pinnacle® Original Vodka
1 part Fresh Pink Grapefruit Juice
½ part Simple Syrup
In a mixing glass combine all ingredients and top with ice. Shake and strain into a martini glass or coupe. Garnish with a grapefruit wedge.