Based on the success of my Jolly Rancher Vodka experiment, I decided to try something involving a soft candy for a change: Marshmallow Vodka. There aren’t many marshmallow liqueurs out there, after all, and a successful marshmallow vodka infusion would be just that.
How to Make a Marshmallow Vodka Infusion
If you found the other candy vodka infusions too sweet, you’ll love the results of the French press method I describe below.
For marshmallow vodka, there’s no need for exact measurements.
- A lidded container that closes well, because the marshmallows are going to swell and push on the lid. (Optionally, use a French press – that’s a link to the one I used in this post, which works very well.)
- Some vodka. The marshmallow’s going to smooth it out some, so you could probably get by with some pretty cheap stuff. (The Svedka I used is fairly cheap, and it turned out great.)
- If you want to strain, and didn’t use a French press, you’ll need a tea strainer, possibly some cheesecloth and a container to strain into.
- A flask or bottle – I use these Bormioli Rocco flasks from Container Store, and I love them.
Step 1: Soak marshmallows in vodka
Chop up some marshmallows into small pieces. Even if you’re using little marshmallows, this whole process will happen a lot faster if you chop them to expose the inner gooiness, because the vodka is slow to eat through that slightly tough outer shell.
I actually didn’t do this step until later in the process, when I realized how long it was taking. In hindsight, I would still use big marshmallows, because they’d be easy to chop into very small pieces with lots of exposed inner gooiness, whereas the little ones are mostly shell.
Once you’ve done that, put your marshmallow pieces into a lidded container. Fill it up completely with them. Pour vodka in over them – there’ll be plenty of room.
Put the lid over them and wait. You can occasionally shake or stir your results to speed up the melting of the marshmallows.
I actually used my French press for this step because I anticipated I might want to strain it. A French press lets you brew coffee right in the hot water, then press down the grounds and trap them, so it also works great as a strainer.
Reader Neil Hines reports that a Vitamix will give you much better results, and given what I’ve heard about them, I don’t doubt it.
Step 2: Check your results
I had to leave mine for twenty-four hours, but I suspect if you chop up your marshmallows beforehand, it’ll be a much shorter wait.
At some point, the marshmallows will be as thoroughly dissolved as they’re going to get – the vodka can only take in so much. You end up with a floating layer of marshmallow on top (see picture).
Now you can use a spoon to push aside the floating layer and get a taste of what’s below it. If you like the taste and texture, you can just skim off the marshmallows that didn’t dissolve, and enjoy your creation. All done!
If you find it a bit thick and sweet at this point, continue to the next step.
Step 3: Strain the vodka
If you used a French press, straining is as simple as pressing the top down (I also put my French press in a big bowl, just in case anything leaked, but there wasn’t a drop). The press catches a surprising amount of the visible gunk and takes out some of the dissolved particles of the starches.
This leaves you with a marshmallow layer now firmly stuck on the bottom, under the press, and nothing but liquid with suspended particles above it. At this point, I found it quite tasty, and did not find that further straining improved it any, so I could’ve stopped right there. But…
Step 3.5: Strain some more (optional)
If you didn’t use a French press, or if you still want to strain it more, you can will. My suggestions are:
- Skim off any visible chunks/floating layer of marshmallows with a spoon. No point straining what can be spooned out.
- Position a tea strainer across a mixing cup, and put a cheesecloth over that. Pour the infusion through that, a bit at a time, and it’ll collect some gunk. You may want to strain it multiple times if you didn’t use a French press.
- Whatever you do, do not use the coffee filter straining method from Skittles Vodka. For some reason I can’t explain, the marshmallow vodka just drips through it for a while, then stops altogether. I would’ve thought Skittles had more substantial crap in there to filter out than marshmallows do, but whatever the reason, coffee filters just don’t work on this one.
Step 4: Flask it!
You’re done! Now it’s time to pour it into your flask. The finished result is a very pale yellowish-white opaque concoction:
It’s generally agreed that most forms of vodka are better chilled, but the flavor of this one at room temperature really surprised me, so you may want to try it both ways and see what you like.
Note that if you leave this drink sitting around in its flask or bottle, some white stuff settles to the bottom and the top turns more clear. Just shake it up before serving.
Straight or in cocktails?
This drink is actually very good straight, as a Marshmallow Martini. The marshmallow flavor is there and identifiable as marshmallow, but it’s not overwhelming like the candy infusions.
It’s sort of light, and far less sweet than I expected – less sweet than Baileys, for example. So you could definitely just drink it straight up, or drop a maraschino cherry in- the cherry falls to the bottom and soaks up the flavored vodka while sitting there making the drink look pretty, and then you finish by eating the cherry. It’s a delicious finish!
Marshmallow vodka can definitely substitute for vanilla vodka in any cocktail recipe, since marshmallow is basically vanilla and sugar, after all. It should also work in most cocktails that call for Baileys: while it’s not the same flavor, it’s a similar type of flavor.
- Chop up marshmallows into small pieces (this speeds up the process).
- Put marshmallows into a French press.
- Pour vodka into the press over the marshmallows, until full, and set aside for at least 12 hours, possibly 24.
- Now that the marshmallows have melted into the vodka, spoon out the layer of white residue that has formed on top of the liquid mixture.
- Press the plunger on the French press to strain it some more.
- Pour the mixture into a flask or other closed container for storage.
It should keep for some time in the fridge - I've kept it up to two weeks with no problem.