Thanksgiving Vodka?
November 24, 2009 9:42 AM   Subscribe

Vodka That Tastes Like Fall? Since I do my Thanksgiving a week or so after everyone else, I have time to infuse a massive jug of vodka with seasonally appropriate flavors for the festivities. What infuses well and tastes like fall/thanksgiving/etc?

I was thinking cinnamon/apple but that almost seems too trite. Maple? Nutmeg? Do nuts infuse well(or at all?) if you mash them into a powder?
posted by The Whelk to Food & Drink (21 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

posted by mkb at 9:44 AM on November 24, 2009

Onions work very well. Then drink with fresh tomato juice and a salt rim.
posted by josher71 at 9:47 AM on November 24, 2009

posted by dirtdirt at 9:48 AM on November 24, 2009

On first glance, I thought your post said Vodka That Tastes Like Fail. So, um, don't do that.

Okay: I would totally drink pumpkin vodka. Maybe, pumpkin/fall squash, cinnamon, and whole nutmeg?

An herbal vodka might make really tasty martinis, perhaps with sage and rosemary. Then again, it might just end up tasting like gin.
posted by Tesseractive at 9:49 AM on November 24, 2009

Turkey skin and bacon.
posted by bondcliff at 9:52 AM on November 24, 2009 [2 favorites]

pumpkin pie spices
posted by goethean at 9:52 AM on November 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

posted by neroli at 10:02 AM on November 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

allspice, cinnamon, clove, star anise, and orange peel.
posted by kaseijin at 10:05 AM on November 24, 2009 [2 favorites]

Not really vodka specific, but possibly jumping off points:

I've tried lovely pecan-infused bourbon (just be sure to toast the pecans whole first, if you start with chopped pecans you get too much tannin), which was quite nice. I can't speak for how it'd taste in vodka, but with the bourbon you got the richness of bourbon working with the toasty nut flavor.

Rather than just cinnamon, I could see a combination of whole spices working, like cinnamon stick, whole cloves, and throw in some cardamom pods and even star anise and make a spiced vodka that you then incorporate with other ingredients, like say an egg to make a flip, to add a bit more substantial body or mouthfeel (maybe even a drunken/spiked chai, or a chai hot toddy). It'd work like a spiced simple syrup, just, you know, with booze.

Tailor used to serve a flip using Eben Freeman's fruitcake infused brandy. Made a hell lot of sense flavor-wise since fruitcakes or other seasonal cakes are usually soaked with brandy, and you get all the fruit spice flavors of the cake without having to deal with actually consuming a fruitcake, and it was great ina flip because you had this creamy eggnog-y drink like liquid cake.
posted by kkokkodalk at 10:06 AM on November 24, 2009 [2 favorites]

Pears, a nutmeg, and two or three 2"-3" cinnamon sticks. Put the spices, whole, in a cheesecloth bag. (Okay, crack the nutmeg into big chunks). Peel and cut the pears, as ripe as you can get them, into big chunks over a bowl to catch any juices. Cut out the woody stems, the seeds, and any dark bruises. Put the pears in, pour any accumulated juices in after them, and put the bag of spices in as well.

This ends up very much like mulled perry, and is amazing, especially if you spike cider or punch with it.
posted by Concolora at 10:07 AM on November 24, 2009 [5 favorites]

Cranberry. Bonus is great color.
posted by gingerbeer at 10:08 AM on November 24, 2009

I've had some seriously good homemade plum schnapps that turned out to be just ripe plums, skin and all, infused in vodka. Comes out very autumnal, and I imagine it would contrast well with the rest of the meal. (Cranberry vodka is good, but over thanksgiving dinner with cranberry sauce etc. it might be a bit much.)

The friend of mine who makes it infuses it for a few months, but a quick Google turns up other folks who did a one-week infusion and say it turned out well.

Alternately — go for digestive herbs. That's a big-ass dinner you'll be drinking it with.
posted by nebulawindphone at 10:10 AM on November 24, 2009

Pretty much Chai Vodka will sum it up for you.
posted by watercarrier at 10:44 AM on November 24, 2009

I recommend taking a look at the no longer updated blog Infusions Of Grandeur. They did a number of spiced based infusions. Personally, I would go with a plain cinnamon or maybe a cinnamon/star anise combo.
posted by nestor_makhno at 11:08 AM on November 24, 2009

A friend created this delicious-looking pumpkin-infused vodka.
posted by sub-culture at 12:52 PM on November 24, 2009

allspice, cinnamon, clove, star anise, and orange peel.

this - and add a tiny bit of nutmeg and cayenne
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:12 PM on November 24, 2009

Infuse bourbon with cranberry. It's the infused equivalent of the "Harper Cranberry" cocktail. Actually, try the cocktail first :).
posted by madmethods at 2:44 PM on November 24, 2009

I think you should go for cranberry because it would be easy and fail-proof. This is the only time of year most grocery stores stock whole, fresh cranberries. Plus there is a reason cranberry jams, jellies and relishes end up on the Thanksgiving table-- it is a nice tart taste that goes well with the other heavy, sweet, or creamy flavors of traditional Thanksgivng foods.

The pecan sounds intriguing, but what if it goes wrong? Pumpkin would not be a popular choice for most people. The spices sound pleasant, but they also sound like heartburn-in-the-making and could come out too overwhelming.

Another fall fruit you might consider is pomegranate. Fresh poms-- which are on sale right now at my local store 3 for $5.00-- would be another easily infused drink and have much the same qualities as cranberry-- tart and crisp flavor and lovely red color. In fact, come to think of it, I might go make some pomegranate vodka myself! Thanks for the idea.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:53 PM on November 24, 2009

posted by that girl at 5:16 PM on November 24, 2009


Cranberry-Ginger-Apple, with a hint of vanilla.

Pomegranate however ....that is very ..very ...intriguing.
posted by The Whelk at 5:49 PM on November 26, 2009

Oh sweet apples, to counter the tartness of the (much) cranberry. It's all red and lush looking now.

Cherry Vodka, hmm, I'll try a small batch in a smaller container.
posted by The Whelk at 5:50 PM on November 26, 2009

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