I saw this post on Real Simple and thought it might be the solution to a problem I have. When I first started making homemade extracts, I knew nothing about vodka. The first one we used (from several large bottles) was quite cheap and then we got a better vodka at a good price. All of a sudden, I understood that not all vodka’s were made the same. The older extracts are really hard to use because they don’t taste all that good. Could using olive oil help improve the extracts?
This is an orange extract – you can see the orange zest still in the vodka after all these years. When I strained out the zest, I had just under 3 cups of extract. The infusion recipe has you use 2 tablespoons oil for 1 1/2 cups vodka so that’s the ratio I went with and added 4 tablespoons to my almost 3 cups.
I should note that I saved a small sample of the original extract to compare at the end.
The process was simple and I was able to infuse while cooking breakfast. I used a pot to infuse my vodka and then poured it back into the original canning jar.
Once I had all the liquid in the jar, I set it in the freezer and let the oil freeze. I did this in the morning so by the evening it was ready to be strained. I was worried at first about scraping the oil off when I realized that the vodka would be perfectly liquid so I just poured out the vodka into a new jar over a tea strainer. The frozen olive oil was too large to escape so I left it in the jar (to thaw and then be poured into our waste oil for soap making).
The end result – my husband felt there was no difference between either sample. It was still a bit rough but I thought it had gotten a little smoother. Might make a difference when I use it. Either way – not a horrible experiment and I’m thinking I may do it again or I may get a brita filter and see if I can get it to remove some of the harshness without ruining the flavor.
Moral of the story is to never buy really really cheap vodka for homemade extracts.