Vodka is one of the world’s most popular and versatile alcohols, but there’s more to the clear stuff than liquid confidence. So for all those who’ve temporarily sworn off the bottle after one too many, we’ve got plenty of great vodka hacks to make sure the rest of the bottle doesn’t go to waste (or back down the gullet).
- Make Everything Smell Sparkly Clean: Take it from us, drinking vodka won’t get rid of all life’s problems. Vodka can, however, get rid of unwanted odors around the house. Lightly spray a vodka/water mixture on fabrics and then let dry to get rid of musky smells. Feet smelling a little less than fresh? Soak them in a mixture of vodka and warm water for a few minutes to kill off the bacteria and fungus that cause odor. Also, finally take care of those constantly smelly gym shoes once and for all by liberally spraying them with vodka and then drying in the open air (this author’s personal favorite remedy for shoe smells).
- A Cheap Goo-Be-Gone: Gunk from sticky bandages, band aids, sticker residue, or the remnants of last night’s beer glass — vodka can handle them all. To get rid of leftover adhesive, simply pour vodka on the sticky area and let sit for a few minutes, then gentle scrub off whatever’s left behind..
- A Better Pie Crust: Use vodka instead of water when rolling dough for piecrusts. Vodka will naturally evaporate more compared to water when baking at a normal level. Less liquid means a flakier, crispier crust. (There might still be a little alcohol left behind but hey, we’re not judging.) .
- DIY Reusable Ice Pack: Put equal parts vodka and water in a sealable plastic back, then throw the whole thing in the freezer. When a bump or bruise strikes, pull out the semi-solid mixture. The vodka will keep the contents from freezing entirely, giving the pack a slushy, malleable texture perfect for applying in a pinch..
- Make Your Own Mouthwash: Tired of Listerine? Make your own mouthwash by adding a few tablespoons of cinnamon, a few drops of tea oil, or some spearmint to vodka in a sealed container and let soak for two weeks. Strain through a coffee filter and use as a normal mouthwash.
Bonus! Superfood-Infused Vodka
Want to make your own flavored — er, infused — vodka? All it takes is some creative flavor combos and a little patience. Infusing might not provide all the health benefits of eating, say, a handful of blueberries, but at least you can talk up the pros while imbibing.
How To Infuse Vodka
Infusing is easy. Take whatever ingredients you like and chop them up, making sure to expose the tastiest parts (removing pits and pith from fruit, for example). The more vodka you add to the mixture, the less powerful the flavor. Generally aim for a 2:1 ratio, though you can temper according to taste. Seal the mixture and let sit for about a week, depending on ingredients (the longer you wait, the stronger the affect). Pour the contents through a coffee filter to remove any solids, and enjoy (responsibly, of course!). Below are some of our top vodka recipes:
- Citrus Burst: We use lemons for all sorts of things here at Greatist, including flavoring booze. Slice up your favorite combo of citrus fruits (the more surface area the better) and soak in a sealed container of vodka for a few days, depending on how strong you want the flavor.
- Apple Pie: Why wait for the fall to enjoy this seasonal flavor? Infuse apple slices and a few tablespoons of cinnamon (just careful not to overdo it!) in vodka for a sweet treat of a drink. Feeling extra spicy? Throw in a few slices of fresh ginger.
- Berry Blast: Try superfoods strawberry and blueberry for a tart, fruity infusion.
- Cran–Apple: Cranberries and apples make for a potent flavor combo that goes great with soda to make a healthier cocktail.