I love all the festive drinks you can get at Christmas, but sometimes I wonder what goes in to these products, and whether the flavours are real or fake. This is why I like to infuse my own Christmas vodka, so I know exactly what ingredients I have used!
I think the original inspiration for my Christmas vodka came from the Waitrose Kitchen magazine, which I do like to browse on occasion! As usual though, I tend to like an idea and then go off on my own tangent.
So, here is my Christmas inspired cranberry and vanilla vodka:
To make, you will need a bag of fresh cranberries (around 400g), around 3 tablespoons of golden caster sugar, and a fresh vanilla pod. You will also need a 70cl bottle of your preferred vodka.
A note on flavoured vodkas – now, I wouldn’t recommend you use a really top of the line bottle of vodka in this, but don’t scrimp. The process takes time and effort, so don’t buy cheap vodka that you wouldn’t normally drink and think the flavour will cover it up. Whatever you infuse it with, the aftertaste will be cheap vodka. I would use Russian Standard or Absolut in mine.
Wash the cranberries, add to a large pan with around 150ml of water, the sugar, and the vanilla. Split and scrape the vanilla seeds into the mix, but also leave the pod to infuse.
Once the cranberries have cooked down to a mush, add the vodka and leave to cool. Once cooled, strain through a sieve into another pan. It may take a while for it all to drip through. Once sieved, the liquid should be clear and a lovely ruby red.
You can pour the vodka into smaller bottles to give as nice Christmas presents, or you can keep for entertaining. The vodka is lovely with soda or Prosecco, or can be used in many vodka based cocktails.
Why not experiment with your own flavours? As long as you start with natural ingredients, you should get a lovely natural flavour.
Have a very Merry Christmas, and enjoy the holiday season (responsibly) x