Flavored Vodkas have been produced from the start, originally to mask the flavor of the first primitive Vodkas, but later as a mark of the distiller's skill. The Russians and Poles in particular still market dozens of flavors. Some of the better known types are:
Kubanskaya - Vodka flavored with an infusion of dried lemon and orange peels.
Limonnaya - Lemon-flavored Vodka, usually with a touch of sugar added.
Okhotnichya -"Hunter's" Vodka is flavored with a mix of ginger, cloves, lemon peel, coffee, anise and other herbs and spices. It is then blended with sugar and a touch of a wine similar to white port. A most unusual Vodka.
Pertsovka -Pepper-flavored Vodka, made with both black peppercorns and red chili peppers.
Starka - "Old" Vodka, a holdover from the early centuries of Vodka production, which can be infused with everything from fruit tree leaves to brandy, Port, Malaga wine, and dried fruit. Some brands are aged in oak casks.
Zubrovka - Zubrowka in Polish; Vodka flavored with buffalo (or more properly "bison") grass, an aromatic grass favored by the herds of the rare European bison.
In recent years numerous other flavored Vodkas have been launched on the world market. The most successful of these have been fruit flavors such as currant and orange.
The extra ingredients are added to the vodka and it is left in a sealed container for a period of time to steep. This period can range from hours to months depending on the ingredients. After this period any solid additives are removed from the vodka and the infusion is then filtered to remove smaller particles. After this the vodka infusion can be left to age for a period of time to allow flavors to mature.
The art of creating a vodka infusion is knowing how long to leave the ingredients to steep. The different flavors will be infused into the alcohol at different rates and so it is important to know how long it will take for the right flavors to be infused and how long it will take before bad flavors begin to develop.
A vodka infusion is sometimes referred to as schnapps in North America, although the original schnapps of Central Europe are made in a different way.
Numerous flavors of flavored vodka are commercially available, including lemon, lime, orange, tangerine, clementine, grapefruit, raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, vanilla, blackcurrant, chili pepper, cherry, apple, cinnamon, coffee, chocolate, peach, pear, passion fruit, pomegranate, mango, banana, pineapple, coconut, mint, melon, rose, buffalo grass, and açaí.