We Made: Caramel Infused Vodka!

My mom posted a really yummy-looking recipe for Caramel Apple Mimosas from Delish on Facebook, and Andrew and I had to try it out some weekend, because we are all about fall flavors. Basically, you pour some salted caramel vodka, apple cider, and champagne in a flute and it’s supposed to taste very much like a candy apple.

For some reason, finding salted caramel vodka is incredibly difficult in the city of Chicago. I don’t know if it’s because Andrew and I mostly do our liquor shopping at grocery stores or what, but we absolutely could not find a bottle of this — ridiculous. But, I’ve infused vodka before, so we decided to make our own caramel infused vodka. We got the recipe from Mix That Drink, which has really great step by step instructions for infusing it.

Shaking the bottle so all the caramels dissolve faster!

Pro tips for people wanting to infuse their vodka:

Straining is important. We didn’t strain before making our first drinks and while I’m sure it won’t kill you, there’s tons of white gunk stuff that’s left over from the caramels dissolving and it’s not very pleasant to drink. We found that we were able to strain the vodka through a coffee filter twice before it became impossible for the liquid to get through the gunk that collects — if you want a faster experience, you can use a coffee filter each time. And we used a clean old vodka bottle to pour the filtered stuff back into so that the residue didn’t affect anything.

The finished product (before straining)

A couple of weeks after we infused our vodka, we went into a specialty store and lo and behold: pre-made salted caramel flavored vodka! We bought some and decided to test out the differences. Personally, we both prefer the infused vodka. The taste starts like vodka, but finishes caramel, while the pre-bought flavored stuff starts caramel and finishes vodka. So, I’m glad we were forced into infusing our own.

We Made: Simple Syrup

Simple syrup always used to sound so fancy to me. My mindset used to be: Making a real Tom Collins? How in the world are we supposed to make that simple syrup stuff — it’s so complicated! And I don’t want to spend money in the store on buying sugar. Whatever, Gin and Lemonade is the same, right?

So, imagine my embarrassment when Andrew and I actually bothered to look it up and saw that you basically just boiled 1 part water to 1 part sugar and let it cool for 20 minutes. Yeah. Simple syrup is actually super, super simple. Who knew? And the difference is incredible. Everything we’ve made with the stuff tastes like restaurant/bar-made cocktail that you’d normally pay $8 for. So good! Here are my favorites so far:

Tom Collins – Gin, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, club soda

Fake Sprite (non-alcoholic) – Club soda, lemon juice, lime juice, simple syrup

Lemon Drop – Vodka, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup

I can’t wait to branch out and try more fancy cocktails. We’ll keep you updated on new favorites when we discover them!