A follow-up to my post from last night. These are in the order we tried them, with a ranking at the end. Warning, massive write-up after the jump.
Scorecard: Color is purely observation. Straight and Mixed are graded based on my opinion. Aging is a prediction based on past experiences and gut feelings.
Kiwi - Good. Really good actually. Very sweet to start, doesn't even hint at being vodka until you've swallowed. The endnote is a weird one. The only way I could describe it was the feeling you get after eating a bunch of caramel. Yes, I know how weird that sounds. It's kind of like you forced the non-sugar tastebuds to taste sugar anyway so they're not quite sure how to do it. Not bad, just odd. Would completely disappear if mixed with anything. Easily the sweetest of the bunch.
A cloudy white, with the slightest tinge of green.
Chilling in a tumbler full of ice, this could probably pass itself off as a mixed drink. I'd guess late summer would be its stride, though the sweetness might prove a little much for really hot days.
If it can be had straight, this is kind of a no brainer. Use it in place of the sugary ingredient, leaving more space for different flavors. I already know it goes well with strawberry, but I'm not sure where else to put it.
Aging: Aging will likely not change the flavor much, but should result in the loss of the green tinge.
Kiwi Fruit - The kiwi is the only one I saved the fruit from, 'cause I figured it had the best chance of not being absolutely terrible. I was wrong. First bite was okay, but as soon as you started chewing it just went downhill. It had lost pretty much all of the kiwi flavor, tasting somehow worse than straight vodka. Kiwi-vodka, good. Vodka-kiwi, terrible.
Anjou Pear - Really, Really good. I'm not a huge fan of pear regularly, so this one was a little off to me, but it was still quite good. Flavor was stronger than expected after only 6 days (pear normally takes about 2 weeks). Didn't have a distinctive endnote; basically it was there, and then it wasn't. The apple, the pear and the banana all had issues with the process; I didn't totally remove the air from the jar (1/4" or so at the top of the jar) due to the quantity of vodka available to me. A number of the pieces I pulled out of it were completely brown. This doesn't seem to have adversely affected the pear, but next time round I'll remove all the air and let it sit a bit longer. Probably the smoothest out of the group.
Mostly clear, with a very slight yellowing.
Not my cup of tea, but was well received overall. Much like the kiwi, could probably pretend it was a mixed drink with some ice.
Again, this should mix exceptionally well. And again, I'm not sure with what.
I suspect the color will deepen with age, assuming it is kept out of direct light. Given time, it will mellow out, and I wouldn't be surprised if I ended up liking it more than the kiwi.
Orange - I've never been a big fan of oranges, always been a bigger clementine fan (I think it may be the acid, whatever). That said, this is pretty damn good. Very strongly orange flavored, also very strongly vodka tasting. You could smell it from about 2 feet away. There was no mistaking the base of this, mostly due to the way it is made. Orange (and most other citrus) is made using the zest, not the fruit, meaning there isn't really any juice added, and nothing for vodka to get soaked into. This means it retained the highest ABV of any of these, and it showed. The most alcoholic/least sweet of the bunch.
Deep yellow. Even given a longer initial infusion, I don't think it'll go orange. Adding the fruit might cause a color change, but that'll throw off the flavor.
Not a sipping vodka. Not for me at least. The orange flavor is very strong, but so is the vodka bite.
Will need to be mixed with the right flavors. Exceptional flavor, but could quite easily overpower the other ingredients. Being the least sweet of the group, it'll probably do best playing opposite something with some sugar. I have plans to make a vanilla vodka somewhere down the line, which will likely have this made concurrently, because creamsicle.
Aging could take the flavor either way really. I've had citrus mellow out, and I've had citrus sharpen up with age, so I'll have to keep my eye on this one. The color is likely to stay about the same.
Apple - Granny Smith infused vodka. Wasn't too sure what to expect with this one. Was hoping for some sour notes. Sour flavors are much less common in infusions, as most fruit is on the sweeter end. Tasted like straight apple juice. Which is too bad, since apple juice doen't really taste like fresh apples. This is likely the result of that bit of air I mentioned earlier oxidizing the fruit (the slices were brown by the end). Another round with better quality control might help, but I probably won't do that for a while. Overall, probably the most neutral of the group. It might get recycled into something else later.
Slightly yellower than the pear, still majority clear.
Flavor isn't the apple I was hoping for; and even if it was, it would be pretty bad straight. Something's just off about it. Infused into Whiskey instead, I suspect it would be much better received.
Alright, but kind of an oddball flavor for mixing. Would go well with cinnamon; in fact the next round might see them infused together.
Aging is likely to brown out the color (again, oxidation) to something closer to apple juice. I'm not really sure where the flavor will go. Hopefully it will change for the better, but I'm doubtful.
Pomegranate - The one I was initially most excited for, and it didn't disappoint. This will enter my usual rotation of infusions, probably every second or third round. A little front-tongue burn, but very little after that. Ends rather peacefully, if perhaps with a slight spice on the tail. Less sweet than any of the berries and kiwi, slightly more sweet than the anjou. Its closest profile is probably the raspberry, which is initially the least sweet of any of the berries.
A pinkish red, somewhere between raspberry and strawberry
Would probably do quite well on ice, the cold should bring up the pomegranate flavor while stepping the vodka bite down a bit. I have a pretty strong sweet-tooth, so not quite my ideal.
Time will tell if I can nail a good mix for it, but there should be a good one out there. It is a summer drink for sure, doesn't give off quite the same warmth that you get from the more sugary ones, lends itself to cooling off better than warming up
The color should stay about the same (red's retain quite well), although sunlight will bleach it if left out. The flavor should only improve with time, taking out the front end bite and strengthening the pomegranate presence.
Banana - basically, Nope.jpg. As with the pear and apple, air was present. When strained, it was a cloudy brown-yellow, and had turned solid brown within about 2 hours. It is possible to keep it bright, but my quality control wasn't quite good enough for this. I couldn't even trick anybody else into trying it for me, drunk as they were XD
Straight: Error, not willing to collect data
Mixed: Error, not willing to collect data
All indications point to bad. This is probably going straight down the drain, so I'm not going to find out.
Raspberry - This was the seventh flavor this time round, and I've made it a number of times before. Always a crowd pleaser, raspberry is my second most infused vodka, although I'm quickly starting to like it more than Strawberry. Initially very tart, it mellows beautifully.
You will likely never find me drinking vodka straight in any form other than a shot. That said, this would certainly perform the task admirably.
Exceptional. I find that it makes a better summer drink than strawberry does, because it is so much less sweet. It tastes, for lack of a better word, cooler than strawberry.
The color stays pretty much the same. The odd part of raspberry is just how much it's taste changes after aging. I let a jar sit for about 3 months once. Complete 180 from tart to sweet. Seriously, like freeze-and-pour-over-ice-cream kind of sweet.
Strawberry - I didn't make it this time, but I figured it warranted inclusion. Strawberry has been my go-to since I started making infused vodka. It is easy to make, only takes about 2 days on average (over-ripe strawberries can get it done in a day), and is a consistent hit with the fairer sex.
Prior to making raspberry, I used to think strawberry was pretty red. I now recognize that is actually closer to a pink-orange.
I find that strawberry is oddly affected by the addition of ice. When placed in the freezer, the vodka becomes much more pronounced and the strawberry seems to take a back seat. This makes drinking it straight less enjoyable than others.
As with raspberry, mixed exceptionally well. Much sweeter, lending itself better to the colder times if added to anything that already has sugar.
Aging doesn't really affect the color, and has nearly no effect on the flavor. The very small amount of vodka bite present initially mellows out, but little else happens.
Blackberry - I haven't made this in a while so it won't get a full write up. It is quite good, they just haven't been on sale in a while.
Not as deep a red as raspberry, with a very slight purple
Initially much sweeter than raspberry, less so than strawberry. Doesn't experience the same freezer flavor-separation as strawberry though
Not quite the star that raspberry and strawberry are. Flavor isn't quite as strong, but then the fruit isn't really as strong either.
It does the exact opposite of Raspberry. In that same 3-month period as raspberry, blackberry went from fairly sweet to completely tart. It retains more or less the same coloring, perhaps purpling slightly more.
Blueberry - Fucking terrible. Tastes bad, comes out brown >.<
Watermelon - Hard to get right (cause of all the water), makes a good base for others. I've made strawberry vodka using watermelon vodka, came out really good.
Grapefruit - Did it wrong the first time (used the fruit). Stupidly tart, didn't age gracefully.
Lemon - Fucking gasoline the first time. My brother mixed it with Iced Tea and quite enjoyed it though. Suspect there was some of the pith (the white part under the rind) that got in and screwed up the flavor.
Out of the new ones, my rankings are:
Kiwi, Pomegranate, Anjou Pear, Orange, Apple
Popular vote put them as:
Anjou Pear, Kiwi, Pomegranate, Orange, Apple
My overall, among everything I've made, is the following:
Strawberry, Raspberry, Kiwi, Blackberry, Pomegranate, Anjou Pear, Orange, Watermelon, Apple, Grapefruit
Blueberry, Banana, and Lemon left off simply because I'm not willing to drink the ones I've made. Lemon will be tried again, and banana may get another go, but blueberries just don't infuse well.
Whew, long post. Started writing this at 2:15, its now 4:30. Yay, now I'm sober ;_;
I'm gonna post it up now so the morning crowd can see it, and I'll probably repost it in the evening.
Now bounced to the top for the evening folks
If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
TL;DR - No, fuck you, I'm not summing this shit up.