Flavored vodkas may be flying off liquor-store shelves, but making your own can be a whole lot tastier -- not to mention more fun. Try these infusions (each made with 1 1/2 cups vodka) or experiment to create a custom blend. Simply combine your ingredients in an airtight jar, store in a cool, dark place for a few days, shake occasionally -- and then strain and start sipping.
To store vodkas, keep at room temperature for up to 1 month or frozen for up to 2 months, unless otherwise indicated.
Beet + Horseradish
1/2 small beet, sliced + 3 thin slices peeled fresh horseradish. Infuse for 2 days.
Serve a shot of these classic Russian flavors with simple syrup and a splash of seltzer. (Store for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 1 month.)
Chestnut + Dried Fruit
1 peeled roasted chestnut + 1/4 cup mixed dried fruit (raisins, apricots, prunes). Infuse for 3 days.
Stir a generous spoonful of this sweet elixir into hot apple cider or black tea.
Star Anise + Dried Chile + Cardamom
1 star anise + 1 dried chile de arbol + 2 cardamom pods. Infuse for 1 day.
This fiery concoction is great over ice or with ginger ale.
Fennel + Lemon
2 sprigs fennel fronds + 2 thin lemon slices. Infuse for 2 days.
Mix this licorice-like blend with tonic and a squeeze of lemon or serve on the rocks.
Grapefruit Zest + Coriander
2 strips grapefruit zest + 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted and coarsely ground. Infuse for 3 days.
Add an extra zip of spiced citrus to a Salty Dog or sparkling lemonade.
Celery + Bay Leaf
1/2 celery stalk + 2 celery leaves + 1 dried bay leaf. Infuse for 2 days.
Serve this with a dry sherry and seltzer for a savory-sweet fizz. It's also well-suited for making Bloody Marys.
Coffee Bean + Hazelnut
4 coffee beans + 2 tablespoons toasted hazelnuts. Infuse for 3 days.
Try this coffeehouse-inspired combo with a little simple syrup, a splash of heavy cream, and some ice.