Blueberry-Infused Vodka, aka My First MoFo Fail

Oh dear. We’re only three days into MoFo and I’ve already experienced my first fail. I had such high hopes, too. A few weeks ago, I made a basil-infused vodka that turned out really well—after just a week of infusing, the vodka was super flavorful. High on my success, I put some of my frozen blueberries into another glass jar of vodka and eagerly watched as the liquid turned a surprising and stunning shade of ultraviolet. Yesterday, I made myself a drink with the infusion, a simple concoction of simple syrup, the blueberry vodka, and club soda. I imagined a light, fruity, fizzy spritzer, perfect for the 90˚F Labor Day holiday. It certainly looked the part.

Wine glass full of a fizzy pink-purple liquid, with blueberries floating at the top. In the background is a glass jar with a darker pink liquid.

Looks promising!

Alas! Like a vapid pop star*, its looks were really all this drink had going for it. It was dull and tasted mostly of the club soda, with no discernible blueberry taste at all. Crushed and not wanting to waste the vodka I’d already infused, I went back to the drawing board. I muddled another handful of blueberries in a mortar and pestle, then added some sugar and let them stew in their juices for a half hour or so. Then I added that liquidy mess back into the vodka and put it all back on the shelf to infuse some more. Here’s hoping that next week, I’ll taste the infusion and come back triumphant, with a post about my success. If you don’t hear anything, assume the worst.

Have you ever made an infused alcohol? If so, what’s the secret?!

* That was a cheap shot; I know a total of zero pop stars and shouldn’t disparage the ones I don’t know personally.

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15 thoughts on “Blueberry-Infused Vodka, aka My First MoFo Fail

  1. I get so sad every time I have a kitchen failure – but if you don’t have a failure now and then you aren’t honing your skills, right? So congratulations on your first MoFo fail! (Fingers crossed for next week. )

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  2. So sad! I make infused liquors and tinctures on a regular basis. I’ve never done frozen, though. Maybe try fresh and infusing for longer? You could always try a quick smush to impart flavor before you add the vodka, and adding a bit of cardamom and lemon peel for a little something something (I have a jar of the same going on 3 weeks now for liqueur, but I’ll be adding a simple syrup at the end). Sorry to blab so much – and good luck!

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    • Thanks for the tips! I think letting the second batch of blueberries thaw and then mushing them up in some sugar should help. But I love the idea of adding lemon peel; that’s a great touch!

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  3. I think you need more time and more berries. Every year at Thanksgiving my family makes cranberry-infused or pear-infused vodka, and it’s usually not ready until Christmas day. It’s a cup of simple syrup, a liter of vodka and three cups of chopped fruit. Mix it together and shake every few days, and you’ll have a flavorful, alcoholic treat in just a few weeks. I love the blueberry idea, and I bet it will be wonderful!

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    • Thanks for the tips! I did make some simple syrup this weekend, so maybe I’ll add it to the infusion and let it sit. (The cranberry-infused vodka sounds amazing, by the way!)

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  4. I like that you posted about a failed attempt. It’s important to remember that when you experiment/try new ideas, they’re not all going to work out. That’s the way it goes! I’m looking forward to reading about more of your kitchen experiments this month.

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  5. I’m a bartender and have infused many many things. First is fresh ingredients, although you can infuse candy. I’ve done skittles, mambas, sour patch kids, hot tamales, lemonheads, and twizzlers…the last was the only fail lol. The rest turned out good. I don’t have exact recipes, but I know you need to put a lot of fresh ingredients in, depending upon how much vodka or whatever liquor that you’re infusing. Also, I usually put simple syrup on my fresh fruit and let that marinade for two to three days, then add it. It is also important that you let it sit about two weeks to a month for max. benefit. I’ve done pumpkin clove, jalapeno pepper, watermelon (this one was hard) and mint, basil and cucumber, etc. The possibilities are endless and yes, sometimes I screw up too =) I think it’s a good idea, but alas…

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    • Wow, thank you for the tips! I definitely needed to let it sit for longer. I’m excited to see how it turns out at the end of the month!

      (A watermelon infusion sounds amazing, by the way!)

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  6. Pingback: Seasonal Fruits Gone Savory: Pumpkin Fauxsage | la vida vegga

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