Citrus-Infused Vodka: Lemon, Orange, Grapefruit and More

Published April 27, 2022
Infused vodka beverages with various citrus

Few things in life are more disappointing than picking up a bottle of citrus flavored vodka only to have the flavors fall flat on the delivery. Thankfully, there's a world of incredible and easy-to-infuse lemon, orange, lime, yuzu, and grapefruit vodka flavors to make yours deliver in ways those brands never could.

Lemon-Infused Vodka

Craft your own lemony vodka, making it as sweet or sour as your heart desires.

Lemon in jar

Ingredients

  • Two to three whole lemons, sliced
  • 750mL vodka
  • Two large clean bottles or jars
  • Cheesecloth or other fine strainer
  • Funnel

Instructions

  1. Wash the lemons and pat dry prior to slicing, do not peel the lemons.
  2. In a large clean bottle or jars, add the lemon slices and vodka.
  3. After sealing tightly, shake the container gently.
  4. Store in the infusion in a cool, dark place for approximately 3 to 4 days, giving the container a gentle shake each day.
  5. Sample the infusion by pouring it into a glass. If you want more lemon flavor, allow it to steep longer.
  6. Carefully remove the lemon slices and discard them.
  7. Funnel the infused vodka into the second clean bottle, using the cheesecloth to filter any remaining pieces.
  8. Carefully seal and continue to store the infusion in a cool, dry place.

You can use the citrus-infused vodka right away. Store any unused vodka in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark place for approximately one to two years before the flavor diminishes. Discard when the flavor does start to fade or tastes "off."

Lime-Infused Vodka

Flip the sour citrus script and allow lime its time to shine.

Fresh green limes on a plate with infused vodka in the background

Ingredients

  • Two to three whole limes, sliced
  • 750mL vodka
  • Two large clean bottles or jars
  • Cheesecloth or other fine strainer
  • Funnel

Instructions

  1. In a large, clean jar or bottle, add sliced limes and vodka and tightly seal.
  2. Give the mix a gentle shake.
  3. Store in a cool, dry place for approximately 3 to 4 days, gently shaking the container each day.
  4. After the infusion has steeped, pour a small amount into a glass to sample. If it meets your expectations, funnel and strain ingredients into a second clean jar or bottle. Otherwise, allow the ingredients to steep further.

Orange-Infused Vodka

If you want a citrus touch but without any of those bitter citrus notes, then orange is the answer, and you can tell yourself it's a great dose of vitamin C. It doesn't hurt to pretend.

Orange infused vodka in glass jar and fresh fruits oranges

Ingredients

  • One to two whole oranges, sliced
  • 750mL vodka
  • Two large clean bottles or jars
  • Cheesecloth or other fine strainer
  • Funnel

Instructions

  1. In a large, clean jar or bottle, add sliced oranges and vodka and tightly seal.
  2. Give the mix a gentle shake.
  3. Store in a cool, dry place for approximately 3 to 4 days, gently shaking the container each day.
  4. After the infusion has steeped, pour a small amount into a glass to sample. If it meets your expectations, funnel and strain ingredients into a second clean jar or bottle. Otherwise, allow the ingredients to steep further.

Grapefruit-Infused Vodka

Ruby red grapefruit has a sweet yet bitter flavor that you won't find duplicated in warehouse-made vodka. Good thing you know how to infuse.

Fresh grapefruit on chopping board

Ingredients

  • One to two whole grapefruits, sliced
  • 750mL vodka
  • Two large clean bottles or jars
  • Cheesecloth or other fine strainer
  • Funnel

Instructions

  1. In a large, clean jar or bottle, add sliced grapefruits and vodka and tightly seal.
  2. Give the mix a gentle shake.
  3. Store in a cool, dry place for approximately 3 to 4 days, gently shaking the container each day.
  4. After the infusion has steeped, pour a small amount into a glass to sample. If it meets your expectations, funnel and strain ingredients into a second clean jar or bottle. Otherwise, allow the ingredients to steep further.

Blood Orange-Infused Vodka

Capture blood orange's tangy grapefruit, cherry, and orange flavors by infusing it into your vodka- as a bonus, its stunning colors are worthy of swooning for.

Blood Orange-Infused Vodka

Ingredients

  • Two to three whole blood oranges, sliced
  • 750mL vodka
  • Two large clean bottles or jars
  • Cheesecloth or other fine strainer
  • Funnel

Instructions

  1. In a large, clean jar or bottle, add sliced blood oranges and vodka and tightly seal.
  2. Give the mix a gentle shake.
  3. Store in a cool, dry place for approximately 3 to 4 days, gently shaking the container each day.
  4. After the infusion has steeped, pour a small amount into a glass to sample. If it meets your expectations, funnel and strain ingredients into a second clean jar or bottle. Otherwise, allow the ingredients to steep further.

Key Lime-Infused Vodka

If you're lucky enough to find key limes, skip the labored key lime pie recipe and make a delicious infused vodka instead-no need to cover your kitchen counters in flour.

Key limes both whole and sliced on table

Ingredients

  • Three to five whole key limes, sliced
  • 750mL vodka
  • Two large clean bottles or jars
  • Cheesecloth or other fine strainer
  • Funnel

Instructions

  1. In a large, clean jar or bottle, add sliced key limes and vodka and tightly seal.
  2. Give the mix a gentle shake.
  3. Store in a cool, dry place for approximately 3 to 4 days, gently shaking the container each day.
  4. After the infusion has steeped, pour a small amount into a glass to sample. If it meets your expectations, funnel and strain ingredients into a second clean jar or bottle. Otherwise, allow the ingredients to steep further.

Kumquat-Infused Vodka

Nothing beats that sweet yet sour taste of the kumquat. They're nature's candy, so be sure to sample a few before tossing them into your vodka. As a bonus, they're an excellent boozy treat after infusion.

Kumquat infused vodka

Ingredients

  • 1½ to 2 cups whole kumquats, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 750mL vodka
  • Two large clean bottles or jars
  • Cheesecloth or other fine strainer
  • Funnel

Instructions

  1. In a large, clean jar or bottle, add sliced kumquats and vodka and tightly seal.
  2. Give the mix a gentle shake.
  3. Store in a cool, dry place for approximately 3 to 4 days, gently shaking the container each day.
  4. After the infusion has steeped, pour a small amount into a glass to sample. If it meets your expectations, funnel and strain ingredients into a second clean jar or bottle. Otherwise, allow the ingredients to steep further.

Yuzu-Infused Vodka

Yuzus flavors are best described as a cross between a juicy grapefruit and a sour lemon, making for an excellent citron vodka flavor.

Freshly harvested organic Yuzu

Ingredients

  • Three to four whole yuzus, sliced
  • 750mL vodka
  • Two large clean bottles or jars
  • Cheesecloth or other fine strainer
  • Funnel

Instructions

  1. In a large, clean jar or bottle, add sliced yuzus and vodka and tightly seal.
  2. Give the mix a gentle shake.
  3. Store in a cool, dry place for approximately 3 to 4 days, gently shaking the container each day.
  4. After the infusion has steeped, pour a small amount into a glass to sample. If it meets your expectations, funnel and strain ingredients into a second clean jar or bottle. Otherwise, allow the ingredients to steep further.

Variations of Citrus-Infused Vodka

Go complex or keep it simple in a few citrus vodka flavor pairings. These ideas have you covered from umami to sweet.

  • Add a complementary berry flavor by adding half to a full cup of sliced cranberries, blackberries, blueberries, pitted cherries, raspberries, and strawberries.
  • Layer citrus flavors with other citrus flavors, such as adding lemon to lime, orange to lemon, or blood orange to lemon.
  • Add a quarter to half cup of honey or maple syrup or a pinch or two of white or brown sugar for a sweeter citrus vodka. For a smooth vanilla taste, include a whole sliced vanilla bean. Some citrus plays well with chocolate, so you can add a quarter cup of chopped chocolate.
  • Go the savory route and add herbs! Include two to three sprigs of basil, lemongrass, mint, rosemary, or thyme.
  • Pump up the fruit flavors with a cup of sliced apples, pears, watermelon, pomegranate seeds, coconut, or pitted and spliced apricots, nectarines, papayas, mangoes, or peaches.
  • Give your citrus vodka a nutty, earthy touch by adding half to a full cup of coarsely chopped almonds, shelled chestnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, shelled pecans, shelled pistachios, or walnuts.
  • Make your citrus vodka spiced with two to three cardamom pods, a tablespoon of cloves, two to three cinnamon sticks, or a quarter cup of peeled and sliced ginger.

Citrus-Infused Fruit Flavor Pairings

These flavor pairings aren't the only options, but they're a great place to start.

  • Lemon + vanilla
  • Kumquat + cranberries
  • Yuzu + apricot
  • Blood orange + cherry
  • Orange + cinnamon
  • Lime + raspberries
  • Yuzu + ginger
  • Kumquat + coconut
  • Blood orange + cinnamon
  • Grapefruit + strawberries
  • Lemon + apple
  • Orange + honey
  • Yuzu + mango
  • Kumquat + strawberries
  • Orange + vanilla
  • Blood orange + cloves

Citrus-Infused Vodka Cocktails

Spruce up your usual cocktails with a citrus vodka, or put a new flair on your favorites.

Citrus Ginger Lemonade

Crank your lemonade up from a small sigh to kicking your feet up with a bit of extra citrus and a whisper of ginger.

Citrus Ginger Lemonade

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces orange-infused vodka
  • ¾ ounce ginger liqueur
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 4 ounces lemonade
  • Ice
  • Lemon wheel, lime wheel, and mint sprig for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, orange vodka, ginger liqueur, simple syrup, and lemonade.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into highball glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with lemon wheel, lime wheel, and mint sprig.

Blood Orange Smash

Keep a spare blood orange on hand to smash and really punch up the color anytime you use your blood orange vodka.

Blood orange iced cocktails in glasses

Ingredients

  • 2-3 blood orange wedges
  • 1½ ounces blood orange-infused vodka
  • ¾ ounce pomegranate juice
  • ¾ ounce orange liqueur
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • Ice
  • Blood orange wheel and mint sprig for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle blood orange wedges with simple syrup.
  2. Add ice, blood orange-infused vodka, pomegranate juice, orange liqueur, and simple syrup.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  5. Garnish with blood orange wheel and mint sprig.

Citrus Cosmo

Although this cosmo recipe calls for a lime vodka, you can use any of your citrus-infused vodka creations.

Citrus Cosmopolitan

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces lime-infused vodka
  • ¾ ounce orange liqueur
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ ounce cranberry juice
  • Ice
  • Orange wheel for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, lime vodka, orange liqueur, lemon juice, and cranberry juice.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with orange wheel.

Rose's Grapefruit Highball

Who says a highball can't be citrus and herbaceous? With this grapefruit rosemary highball, you'll check all of the boxes.

Rose's Grapefruit Highball

Ingredients

  • 1¾ ounces grapefruit-infused vodka
  • ¾ ounce rosemary simple syrup
  • 1½ ounces grapefruit juice
  • Ice
  • Club soda to top off
  • Grapefruit slice and rosemary sprig for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, grapefruit vodka, rosemary simple syrup, and grapefruit juice.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into highball glass over fresh ice.
  4. Top off with club soda.
  5. Garnish with grapefruit slice and rosemary sprig.

Mixers for Citrus Vodka Drinks

Sometimes you just can't be bothered to build a cosmo or follow a long recipe. Thankfully, citrus vodka has quite a few mixers that'll bring it to life in just a brief pour.

  • Coconut water
  • Tonic water
  • Plain club soda
  • Flavored club soda such as orange, lemon, lime, berry, vanilla, or coconut
  • Lemon-lime soda
  • Cola
  • Lime juice
  • Lemon juice
  • Orange juice
  • Pineapple juice
  • Cherry juice
  • Cranberry juice
  • Champagne or prosecco
  • Orange liqueur
  • Almond liqueur
  • Rum
  • Tequila
  • Limeade
  • Lemonade
  • Honey
  • Vermouth
  • Simple syrup
  • Apple cider

Citrus-Infused Vodka for Any Sweet or Sour Desire

There's no better palette for a citrus infusion than vodka. With such a neutral base, it allows those sweet orange flavors, tropical key lime flavors, and sour blood orange notes to soar. And with all the ingredients under your control, you can make the citrus-infused vodka the perfect one for you.

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Citrus-Infused Vodka: Lemon, Orange, Grapefruit and More