Citrus-infused vodkas are one of the most versatile when making cocktails. Easy to make at home, or on vacation in my case, one can quickly enjoy local, seasonal flavors of Key Lime infused Vodka!
Is it weird to arrive on vacation, find the most locally well-known produce available and infuse it in liquor?
Of course not.
I had never heard of a Key Lime until I began to travel to Florida on business more years ago than I care to mention. I had my first slice of Key Lime Pie in South Florida and was hooked. I bought some key lime juice with the intention of recreating the pie at home but of course never did (and it would not have been the same certainly at that stage of my nubile culinary life).
When I travel I love to explore local foods and ingredients. My first trip to the grocery store in outside of Ponce Inlet Florida where we are staying was daunting at best. It was the night of a very long day of travel to stock our vacation home for a few days before taking off for a three day excursion. I am used to a small neighborhood market. Stepping into a Publix was like moving to the big city; massive, with everything one could want (including gluten-free brands which I greatly appreciated) but a vast amount of real estate to cover. It took awhile to get my shopping sea legs but when I arrived at the produce department and discovered fresh bags of round key limes I was thrilled.
I had many ideas of using key limes in recipes I might make while settled into our Ponce Inlet retreat and took a few bags home. Key limes are smaller than regular or ‘Persian’ limes. They are round with a smooth, thin skin and are about the size of a ping pong ball. They yellowish when ripe and have a distinct tartness creating their easily recognized signature flavor.
There was a large bottle of vodka chilling in the refrigerator and the idea of infusing key limes into vodka itself instead of just squeezing a bit of juice into a cocktail seemed perfect. I decided on a smaller batch, densely packed with sliced limes to expedite the infusion (put it on ‘vacation speed infusion’) worked perfectly. Providing greater surface area of the produce being infused into the liquor imparts the greatest amount of flavor and more quickly in my experience. I sliced the limes into 1/8 inch slices to expose the fruit more greatly to the vodka and it infused perfectly overnight leaving plenty of time for waterside sipping during our vacation.
Citrus vodka is easy to infuse and one of the most versatile in cocktails. Key Lime Vodka gives a taste of the tropics in a quick infusion! This batch was 'vacation size' and can be easily made larger by doubling or tripling the ingredients keep the proportion ratio the same as in this recipe.
- 1 cup non-flavored Vodka
- 5 Key Limes, sliced into 1/8 inch slices
- Place the vodka and lime slices into a pint sized Mason jar (or other glass container with a lid). Place in a cool spot overnight or for 24 hours. Taste. If the depth of flavor is strong enough for your liking, strain and discard limes. If you prefer a stronger lime flavor continue the infusion tasting daily until it meets your liking. Note: citrus peel can make the vodka taste bitter over time which is why limes should be discarded after infusing is complete. Store in a cool, dark spot.