Let the good times roll! Turning plain vodka into a cucumber infused vodka just got a whole lot easier and faster! Or, get creative and make your own signature infusion!
I love cucumber vodka, but can't find it where I live. Imagine how excited I was to learn that I could make my own!
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I'm constantly amazed by what the Ninja Foodi Cold & Hot Blender can do! Of course, you don't need the blender to make cucumber infused vodka, but it does speed things up quite a bit!
If you don't have the blender or you don't have the cocktail function on your blender, don't worry. I will give instructions for making this delicious infused vodka in the post below.
What is the Cocktail Button on the Ninja Foodi Cold & Hot Blender?
On the Ninja Foodi Cold & Hot Blender, model #HB152, there is a set of infusion buttons and one of them is the cocktail button.
This button is a preset designed to infuse flavors into various alcohols, like vodka, gin, rum, whisky, or even wine.
It controls the temperature so that the alcohol doesn't get hot enough to burn off, but is warm enough to infuse flavors quickly.
The cocktail button also blends during the 10-minute and 30-second cycle, so you don't have to do much prep work, the blender takes care of it for you.
If you want to read up on the various function of the Ninja Foodi Cold & Hot Blender, here is a guide I wrote that goes into detail about each function.
There is so much that this blender can do! From frozen drinks to soups! Here are some other fantastic Ninja Foodi Cold & Hot Blender Recipes.
Drink Recipes in the Ninja Foodi Cold & Hot Blender
Soup Recipes in the Ninja Foodi Cold & Hot Blender
What Function Can I use if I don't have the Cocktail Function?
Some of the models of the Ninja Foodi Cold & Hot Blender don't have the cocktail function, but don't worry! You can still make infused spirits using the manual functions!
I tested this out and, if you add at least 3 cups of your favorite alcohol along with what you want to infuse it with, you can use the manual blend function on medium or the pulse button to blend up the ingredients. Then, switch over to the manual cook setting on low and the temperature doesn't get higher than 168℉/75℃.
I would pulse blend for a few seconds, and then cook on low for about 10 minutes, and then blend again for a few seconds and you are all done! Simply let it chill, and then strain the liquid.
How Can I Infuse Vodka if I don't have the Cold & Hot Blender?
Glass Jar Method
You can infuse vodka or other liquors by filling a glass jar or jug with your liquor of choice and what you want to infuse it with and just letting it sit in a dark place for a few weeks.
I used to do this to make blueberry vodka all the time, but it can take a good while for the blueberries to infuse. One year, I completely forgot about it and found it the following year (it was in the back of an outdoor fridge) and let me tell you, that was the BEST blueberry vodka EVER!
Waiting a year is a bit extreme, though -- it doesn't take that long! It will take a few weeks, though, for a really intense flavor. I also suggest breaking down the food that you want to infuse into the liquor.
For example, when I tried putting whole blueberries into vodka absolutely nothing happened. I waited a full month and the vodka remained clear with zero blueberry flavor. So, definitely mash, or at least score, the blueberries or whatever you are using.
If you want to use mint or another herb, I like to bruise it with a pestle to release the flavors before adding it.
Sous Vide Method
You can also make infused vodka with a sous vide appliance.
Use a large glass jar with a lid and place the vodka and whatever you want to infuse into it in the jar and seal with the lid. Place the jar in a deep pot and fill with water so it is covering most of the jar.
You can also use a plastic bag that is meant for sous vide cooking, but I think a jar would be easier.
Set the sous vide appliance to a temp of 150℉/65℃ and sous vide for 3-6 hours, or longer if you want.
Slow Cooker Method
In order to use the slow cooker, you really need to know how hot and how fast your slow cooker heats up. You can test this by putting 4 cups of water in the slow cooker and monitor it with a thermometer while it's on low.
Usually, they take about an hour or so to reach 170℉/76℃, but each one is different. You want to keep the temp of the alcohol you are infusing below 170℉/76℃, so however long it takes for your slow cooker to reach that is the amount of time you should leave it on (up to 3 or 4 hours).
My stand-alone slow cooker reaches that temp in about 60 minutes, but my Ninja Foodi slow cooker feature takes longer.
Once you get close to the 170℉/76℃, turn the slow cooker off and let it sit to cool. Temperatures above 172℉ will start to burn the alcohol off.
If you have a keep warm function on your slow cooker, you can also use that.
No matter which method is used, I let the vodka sit overnight in the fridge to cool and finish infusing, then strain it and enjoy!
How do I Store Cucumber Infused Vodka?
Once I strain the vodka and put it back in the liquor bottle, I store mine in the fridge.
While a bottle of liquor is definitely shelf stable after opening, I honestly do not know if there are any types of bacteria that would thrive on the pulp from cucumbers even when it is submerged in alcohol and I would never want to give any misinformation.
I'm not a microbiologist, but I do know that bacteria are clever little things and they have a way of learning how to survive in the worst conditions. I tried to get a concrete answer on if it is safe to store infused vodka on the shelf and I couldn't find one that I felt was 100%, so I'm going to suggest refrigerating it.
I prefer cold vodka anyway, so it works perfectly to grab it out of the fridge.
What Other Flavors can I Infuse into Liquor?
You can get really creative here and design your own signature Vodka or other type of alcohol.
Some ideas that come to mind are:
- Cranberry Infused Vodka
- Lemon & Basil Infused Vodka
- Orange Infused Brandy
- Mint infused Vodka, Rum or Gin
- Pomegranate infused Vodka
- Jalapeno infused Vodka or Rum
- Peppermint Vodka
- Cherry infused Bourbon
I think I'm going to try that Cherry Bourbon infusion right now! That sounds so delicious. If it works out, I'll write up the recipe soon!
How to Make Cucumber Infused Vodka in the Ninja Foodi Cold & Hot Blender
You won't believe how simple this is!
Pour 750ml or about 3¼ cups of your favorite kind of unflavored Vodka into the Ninja Foodi Cold & Hot Blender.
Cut up 3 medium size cucumbers into large chunks and add to the blender.
Then hit the "cocktail" button. If you don't have the "cocktail" button, but have the blender, pulse blend for a few seconds to get the cucumbers cut up. Turn on the cook mode on low and heat for 10 minutes. Hit the pulse blend again until your mixture looks like the last picture in the collage below.
You can strain and drink the vodka now, but it really tastes much better after sitting in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours.
Pour the mixture into a large container with a lid and place in the refrigerator overnight or at least 8 hours. It can stay in the refrigerator with the cucumber pulp in it for as long as you want.
Taste a little bit and, when it has the flavor you want, it's ready.
Strain the pulp from the vodka and you are ready to mix up a cocktail. I usually save some of the pulp to mix in after I make my cocktail because I love the way it looks in the glass.
My favorite way to enjoy Cucumber Infused Vodka is to pour it over ice and top it with a lime flavored carbonated water. Enjoy!
Cucumber Infused Vodka
- Ninja Foodi Cold and Hot Blender
- 3 medium cucumbers
- 750 ml Vodka about 3¼ cups
- Cut the ends off of the cucumbers. No need to peel them. Cut them into large chunks.
- Pour the vodka into the blender and add the cucumbers. Select the cocktail function*
- When the cycle has finished, pour the contents of the blender into a large container with a lid and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
- Strain the vodka through a fine mesh strainer to remove the pulp. Mix up your cocktail & enjoy!
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Seeing the need for easy, delicious, and high quality recipes, she is focusing all of her efforts creating recipes specifically for the Ninja Foodi. Her recipes are easy for the home cook to follow and provide step-by-step instructions.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can.
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