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December 1, 2008

"Infused" vodka

m-m-m-martini!What exactly does "infused" mean?

I always thought infused meant chemically combining two different substances. Example: Infusing an anemic person with fresh blood. See what I mean?

All around the city, bars offer infused drinks. Example: The Stalking Horse (26 E. Cross St.) has a cotton candy-infused martini. Sounds fancy, doesn't it?  

Well, I hear that if you go to the Stalking Horse and order a cotton candy-infused martini, they put a tuft of cotton candy in a martini glass and dump vodka on it. Voila!

But that's really not fancy at all ... 

I thought vodka infused with cotton candy meant they had somehow let the cotton candy marinate in the vodka days ahead of time, or something like that. I mean, Bacardi Limon is rum infused with citrus.

Then I looked up "infused" on This is what it said:

   /ɪnˈfyuz/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [in-fyooz] Show IPA Pronunciation
verb, -fused, -fus⋅ing.
–verb (used with object)
1.     to introduce, as if by pouring; cause to penetrate; instill (usually fol. by into): The energetic new principal infused new life into the school.
2.     to imbue or inspire (usually fol. by with): The new coach infused the team with enthusiasm.
3.     to steep or soak (leaves, bark, roots, etc.) in a liquid so as to extract the soluble properties or ingredients.
4.     Obsolete. to pour in.

Now I read the first definition and was like, 'Oh man, I was wrong. You can pour vodka on cotton candy and call it infused.'

But then I read the fourth definition, and it says pouring is an obsolete definition of infused.

So which one is it? Is it open for interpretation?

(Photo of a martini by the South Florida Sun-Sentinal) 

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:56 AM | | Comments (12)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


I think that any dude that orders a cotton candy martini should get a free slap across the face with it.

Lost in translation, perhaps?

I think that some of the confusion comes from the Russian word настойка (nastoyka) which everyone calls an "infusion" in English. It's a maceration and not distilled. So, basically, you put stuff in the vodka or spirits and leave it there (let it настаивать). Hope that helps!

guest post from GDA?

wegmans has awesome blue cheese infused hamburger pattys

Better than the cotton candy one, Baltimore Pho has (had?) vodka "infused" with Bazooka Joe...make your teeth fall clean outcho head, but tasty nonetheless

Awww...this reminds me of my fav busboy who was Spanish and trying to learn English. He was so smart, he never asked the easy stuff. He looked at a bottle of Hypnotic and asked me what "infused" meant. I was like..."" It was really hard to explain!

hmm. Had "Orange infused water" recently.... asked a few people just exactly what "infused" water was and got no satisfactory responses. based on what i've learned above, it seems that the makers of "infused" water must dump a bunch of fruit (this time it was oranges), let it rot in the water then bottle it up and sell it for 5 times the price of gas....
I think the only thing i want infused is blood, and only if i need it in a very bad way!! :P

speaking of water, do you know what i hate?

i hate it when water bottlers say their water tastes great. water is tasteless!

I demand a reposting of the bacon vodka night photos.


Here's a link to my recap of the soiree:

And here's a link to Evan's blog, which documents the whole bacon vodka-making process:

that photo of patchen drinking a baconmaker may be one of the funniest of all time.

I want to share this email a reader sent me:

Limoncella is a classic infusion. Vodka, Lemons and TIME.

Pour vodka over lemons and let it sit for a few weeks or months.

Absinthe is the same using wormwood and other aromatics

In the bars locally, I see a lot of it as vodka poured over fruit in the morning and served that night …
Not truly an infusion, more like an infusion on training wheels.

locust point man,

incunabulum's post is his baby. I'd tag my name such a post if it were mine.

I thought that this post was fairly self contained for most of the regular readers. Even without the dictionary definition, I think the average person who has ever made a cup of tea has enough grasp of the word. I'm surprised by these comments after Evan's adventures in infusion posts on making bacon volka.

Actually I think, incunabulum's post on infusion is half baked.

"Incunabulum comes from the Latin for swaddling clothes or cradle, and can refer to "the earliest stages or first traces in the development of anything."[1] In printing, an incunabulum is a book, or even a single sheet of text,[2] that was printed — not handwritten — before the year 1501 in Europe."

Yes, I had to look!

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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