It is so easy to make infused vodka with sous vide cooking. Try this rhubarb and orange variation for a take on homemade Aperol! It takes just 2 hours instead of several weeks for a typical infusion.

Cocktail ingredients on yellow background

I looove an Aperol spritz (don’t we all?). After having my first and picking up my own bottle of Aperol, I did some research to figure out well… what the hell Aperol is. It turns out the recipe is “secret” other than rhubarbs, oranges, and “various herbs and spices”, so I set out to make my own version.

This isn’t a perfect dupe for Aperol, but it’s close and I would argue… better. There’s less of a mysterious chemical taste, it’s not as sweet, and you can control the bitterness to your liking.

And even better… you can get this infusion done in just 2 hours with the magic of sous vide! I love making sous vide liquor infusions because you can get great flavor without waiting a week or two, as you would typically for an infusion.

How Do Sous Vide Infusions Work?

Sous vide is great for infusions because it allows you to heat a liquid without evaporating it since the liquid is in an enclosed container.

A traditional infusion calls for you to add your liquor (or oil, or what have you) to a container, your selected fruits, herbs, spices, etc. and let them sit together for a week or two for the flavors to slowly impart.

With sous vide, you do this same process but add the container to a temperature controlled water bath to speed things up, reducing the time to two hours. You can use a bag, but I typically use jars for my infusions.

Don’t have a sous vide setup? You can still make this. Store your jar in a cool, dark place for 1 week.

What You Need to Make Homemade Aperol (Sous Vide Infused Vodka)

If you’re already setup to sous vide, you won’t need to add much to your collection! Outside of the ingredients, here is the equipment you’ll want:

  • An immersion circulator. I recommend Vesta Precision‘s Imersa Elite.
  • Jars. As large of a jar as you can put in your cooking container while keeping at least the liquid inside submerged.
  • (Optional) A designated container to keep your stock pot free. I like Everie containers.
Homemade aperol ingredients on white surface

The ingredient list is pretty short:

  • Vodka. Use something of decent quality for this. It doesn’t have to be the best vodka available, but you’ll want some that’s good enough to drink on its own.
  • Oranges. Use a sweeter orange in this recipe (I used standard navel oranges). You’ll use the rind and the juice.
  • Rhubarb. Frozen is fine!
  • Water. Remember that you’ll be drinking this, so use whatever drinking water you normally would.
  • Sugar. Just regular ol’ cane sugar, here!
  • Orange Bitters. I like The Bitter Housewife!

How to Make Homemade Aperol

You aren’t even ready for how easy this is. Start by using a vegetable peeler or sharp pairing knife to remove the orange part of the rind from the oranges and try to get as little white rind as possible. The white part is bitter, and we’re just looking for bright, citrus flavor here.

Thoroughly wash the rhubarb and cut the stalks into large chunks.

Peeling an orange
Chopping rhubarb

Add the fruit to a large jar, then pour the vodka over the fruit into the jar. Add to preheated water bath and cook at 135 degrees F for 2 hours. Make sure the contents of the jar are completely submerged.

Pouring vodka over fruit in jar
Jar of fruit and vodka before cooking
Jar of fruit and vodka cooking in sous vide water bath

While the vodka mixture is cooking, make the simple syrup by combining orange juice, water, and sugar in a saucepan over low heat. Cook until sugar is completely dissolved, stirring occasionally, over low heat. Let it cool to room temperature.

When the vodka mixture is done cooking, strain the vodka into the pot with the simple syrup and discard the fruit. Whisk to combine.

Taste the mixture, then add orange bitters a few dashes at a time, stirring and tasting in between, to your desired bitterness. When making cocktails, you’ll likely be cutting the mixture, so don’t be afraid to go bitter-heavy.

Simple syrup cooking
Straining fruit
Adding bitters to vodka mixture

Pour the mixture into a large jar. There’s no need to store in the fridge but you can if you want!

To make a homemade aperol spritz, add ice and 2 oz of the vodka mixture to a large wine glass. Top with prosecco and enjoy!

Pouring champagne into wine glass with cocktail ingredients scattered on yellow surface

You can also view this recipe as a step-by-step web story here.

Cocktail ingredients on yellow background
5 from 5 reviews

Get the Recipe:

Rhubarb and Orange Sous Vide Infused Vodka (Homemade Aperol)

Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 2 hrs
Total Time: 2 hrs 30 mins
Yield: 8 servings
It is so easy to make infused vodka with sous vide cooking. Try this rhubarb and orange variation for a take on homemade Aperol! It takes just 2 hours instead of several weeks for a typical infusion.

Ingredients
 

  • 3 oranges, sweet, like navel
  • 2 stalks rhubarb
  • 2 cups vodka
  • Water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Bitters

Equipment

  • Sous Vide

Instructions
 

  • Preheat water bath using immersion circulator to 135 degrees F.
  • Use a vegetable peeler to remove the rinds from the oranges, peeling off as little of the white rind as possible.
  • Wash the rhubarb stalks thoroughly and chop into large chunks, discarding ends.
  • Add the vodka, orange rind, and rhubarb to a quart sized jar. Place in water bath and cook for 2 hours.
  • While the vodka mixture is cooking, make simple syrup. Juice the oranges into a large liquid measuring cup. After juicing, add water until total liquid is 2 cups. Combine liquid and sugar in a saucepan over low heat. Cook until sugar is dissolved, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool to room temperature.
  • When vodka mixture is done, strain mixture into a large bowl and discard orange peels. Add simple syrup and whisk to combine.
  • Taste the mixture. Add bitters a few dashes at a time, stir, and taste. Repeat until the mixture has reached your desired bitterness. Don't be afraid to lean to the bitter side!
  • Store in a cool dark place or in your refrigerator.
  • To make a homemade Aperol spritz, add 2 oz of the homemade aperol to a large wine glass. Add a large handful of ice. Top with prosecco and garnish with an orange slice.

Notes

Use at least decent quality vodka. It doesn’t have to be the best vodka available, but you’ll want some that’s good enough to drink on its own.
Remember that you’ll be drinking this, so use whatever drinking water you normally would.
Cuisine: Italian
Course: Drinks
Author: Chelsea Cole
Serving: 2oz
Did you make this recipe?Mention @aducksoven on Instagram or tag #aducksoven.