Sunday, December 23, 2012

Vodka Infusion... take two

What to get guy friends for Christmas other than booze? I mean really?? I can't just gift a bottle of liquor... The crafty side of me just cringes at the thought of that. So... the husband and I decided to give it a kick. We read that infused vodkas are really easy to make... so a few months back we gave it a shot. We both like sweet and spicy (which is why we love Thai food), so we decided to make a crushed red pepper flake and blackberry infused vodka. Sounds great, right? Well, the math teacher of the pair (not to name names or anything) thought the directions said to allow the flavors to absorb for 2 weeks... um, no, they were only supposed to infuse for 2 DAYS! The infused vodka is still in our freezer... and we only bust it out for the rare occasion of a bloody mary. Some days we volunteer ourselves for immediate infliction of pain by just curiously allowing the liquid to hit our lips once again (it MUST NOT be as spicy as I remember...) It always is.

Our vodka fail was a joke among our friends, so we thought we would redeem ourselves with a little Christmas inspired infusion.

Vodka infusion Take Two...
Candy Cane Vodka

We bought a one liter bottle of Smirnoff (you don't want to go too cheap because the burn of the vodka will mask the flavor that you are trying to infuse). Next time... because this one WAS successful (wahoo), we will spring for an even pricier bottle. We have class (most of time... we do live on the Westside afterall).

One bottle was enough vodka to fill two pint size mason jars.

We bought one box of peppermint candy canes and used all but two in the infusion (saved two for packaging-- this wasn't even my idea... I think my craftiness is starting to rub off).

We took about two or so shots out of the bottle so that we would have enough room to add the candy canes. Just enough to make a stiff screw driver for the mixologists. We added the candy canes and put the bottle in the refrigerator for two days. Every time we opened the refrigerator to get something we would give the bottle a little shake. The candy canes dissolved after about a day, so we knew it was ready to be packaged.

I had some craft paper left over from when I packaged the Homemade Hot Cocoa, so I busted out the Cuttlebug machine and used the largest circle die to make the labels for the lids. I used mod podge to adhere, hemp to adorn decorative candy cane and gift tag, and voilĂ ... a booze gift that One Smart Cookie is proud to give.

The boys that were on the receiving end of this vodka infusion were also my taste testers for the Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix. My husband and I had about 1 shot of candy cane vodka left over, so he made a Hot Cocoa with Candy Cane Vodka... let's just say he finished the cup in about two minutes flat.

Score two for the O'Briens... DIY Christmas success!

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