By Marcus Samuelsson | January 14, 2011

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.

Citrus-Infused Vodka Recipe

Cook Time: 5M
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.

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