Citrus-Infused Vodka Recipe

By Marcus Samuelsson |

This weekend try your hand at an old Swedish tradition: Aquavit.  My recipe for Citrus-Infused Vodka combines the bounty of winter fruit for a delicious, homemade spirit.  Combine with seltzer for a quick cocktail after it’s finished steeping.  It’s also delicious on the rocks with a wedge of any of the fruits.  While the flavors infuse, I leave the jar in the middle of my table for a striking and colorful centerpiece.

Cooking time: 5 mins

Total time: 2 weeks


One 1-inch piece ginger, peeled

1/4 cup sugar

2 kaffir lime leaves

2 limes, each cut into 6 wedges

1 pink grapefruit, thinly sliced

1 orange, thinly sliced

1 lemon, thinly sliced

2 kumquats, each cut in half

2 mandarins, peeled and divided into sections

2 quarts potato-based vodka


1. Combine the ginger, sugar, and lime leaves with 1/2 cup of water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool.

2. Place the lime, grapefruit, orange, lemon, kumquats, and mandarins in a clean 3-quart glass jar. Add the ginger-sugar syrup and vodka. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 1 to 2 weeks. Strain and discard the solids. Store in bottles.