Are you ready for the festive season? And the festive season in Russia could not happen without booze! But there again, where can it? As this is a Russian food blog, I guess, we must follow!
I know, you think ‘vodka’ when it comes to Russia’s most popular alcoholic drink. But let’s talk about some ‘girl-y version’ of vodka: sweet, bright coloured and tasty! Like ‘klukovka’ – vodka infused with cranberries. It is sweet and tangy and very nice but be careful as it’s still rather strong and can get you in trouble if you feel too festive and let yourself get carried away with klukovka.
You can see some funny ideas on internet on how to make ‘klukovka’ cranberry vodka at home, the funniest I came across was to mix vodka with black current cordial! First, klukva is a cranberry in Russian and black currents are not exactly cranberries, though I am sure they would work just fine to infuse vodka as any other tangy full-flavoured berries. Second, we want a clean, pure and natural product, don’t we? So let’s get down to making ‘klukovka’ cranberry vodka properly from the scratch and let’s forget about the cordial. It only takes 15 minutes of your time anyway!
You will need fresh or frozen cranberries for ‘klukovka’ cranberry vodka. Russians usually use forest (wild) cranberries which are smaller, darker and tangier. You can use those if you can get them or just regular US-exported farmed cranberries from the nearest food store. Frozen cranberries should be totally thawed out first.
Klukovka – Russian cranberry vodka, home-made recipe
Klukovka – vodka infused with cranberries. Russian home made recipe
Yield: apr. 300 ml
- Cranberries: 200 g (1+1/2 cups topped)
- Sugar: 140 g (1/2 cup topped)
- Vodka: 140 ml (1/2 cup)
1. In a glass bowl mix cranberries with sugar and smash the berries with a fork or potato masher. Mix the berries, juices and sugar together, add vodka and mix again so that the sugar is dissolved.
2. Leave your ‘klukovka’ cranberry vodka to infuse at room temperature for 3 days (or longer if it works better for you).
3. Strain and squeeze the juices of the cranberries pulp. For that I first use a metal strainer and then filter ‘klukovka’ Russian cranberry vodka through a kitchen towel.
3. Now try your ‘klukovka’ cranberry vodka for sugar and alcohol. You might want to dilute the drink with more water or… vodka, who knows.
Store your ‘klukovka’ cranberry vodka in the refrigerator and serve it cold as an aperitif or as a desert drink after the dinner. Enjoy responsibly! Cheers!