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Sep 4, 2008

Social Prowess: How to Infuse Vodka!

Entertaining has become an important part of developing yourself as a successful individual and leader. Not only must you be able to adapt to the interests of others to build on relationships, but you should also have a few tricks up your sleeves to ensure that people remember you.

So, what do you do if your peers at work are out one night and you all decide to congregate at your place for some much needed R&R? Well, one thing you can do is whip out your special batch of infused vodka... always a special treat! Wait... you say you don't know how to infuse vodka? No problem... just follow the steps below and show how suave you are with your cocktail knowledge and become an instant hit!

How to Infuse Vodka -- From my past experiences as a frequent bar-hopper in Manhattan, I happened upon some truly tasty infused vodkas at places like Punch Lounge and the notorious Russian Vodka Room.

Some of the infused vodka flavors I've tried range from peach and apple to black currant and chili pepper to chocolate and licorice. Each of them were delicious in their own right... except for the licorice infusion (because I really don't like licorice to start with).

So if you're interested in trying vodkas that depart from the norm, visit a local, somewhat trendy bar/lounge and sample any of the concoctions available. Or you can infuse your own vodka:

Gather Your Desired Ingredients. In terms of choosing a flavor, you can use almost anything. Some of my suggestions would be chocolate, apple, berries, and peach. You can also experiment with herbs, but citrus fruit like lime or orange are the easiest to start with.

Use a potato peeler to shave the peel into an airtight jar filled with a mid-priced vodka. Take note that about 1 liter of vodka needs approximately 2 to 3 limes or oranges. Store the jar in a cool, dark, place.

Taste test the stuff! Shake the jar once a day to ensure that the ingredients are distributed throughout the jar. After about three to four days take a sample from the jar and test its taste; also check the smell. According to one mixologist that I spoke with at Punch Lounge, flavors usually peak after 7 to 10 days, after which the vodka pulls too much of the undesirable flavors out of the ingredients.

Cold Filter your creation. When the vodka tastes like you want it to taste, take a funnel and a bottle and pour the infusion through an unbleached coffee filter. The concoction should come out to be clear and flavorful, or if infused with darker ingredients like chocolate or wild berries, should turn out delicious and tinted. And, there you have it... fancy, infused vodka to impress your friends and associates!


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