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Na zdarovye!

May 2, 2010

With the snowy Iowa winter reminding me of the time I spent living in Russia, it seemed appropriate to occupy myself with a favorite Russian pastime: infusing vodka.  Russian infused vodkas tend toward the savory (garlic, pepper) or berry flavors (lingonberry, black currant).  I decided to stick with fruit flavors for this batch, settling on fig, grapefruit, and strawberry-pineapple.  For the cleanest flavor, it’s best to use a vodka that is at least triple-distilled, but there’s no need to break the bank on really fine vodka.  The natural sugars in the fruit will help mellow the alcohol’s flavor.  I used the cheapest triple-distilled vodka I could find, which around here is Smirnoff.

The grapefruit vodka was nice mixed (especially with ginger beer and a wedge of lemon) but a little too light on its own.  Next time, I’ll use more grapefruit zest for a stronger citrus flavor.

The strawberry-pineapple vodka was a friend’s idea, so I gave her the bottle for her birthday.  The flavor was pure candy — intense and smooth, but just a little too sweet for my taste.  Of the three choices, I preferred the fig vodka’s rich, earthy, complex flavor, equally delicious straight or mixed in a cocktail.  There are a surprising number of fig cocktail recipes available online, but this one is my favorite. Na zdarovye!

  1. fignatius permalink
    October 5, 2010 9:08 am

    This is brilliant! I wish I’d seen it sooner. Unfortunately, I was pretty lazy about blogging this summer. Fall brings a return to writing, though!

  2. February 26, 2011 10:19 am

    Seriously, the world owes you a big thank-you for this fig cocktail recipe. I certainly thank you!

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