Homemade Cognac recipe, made from Vodka, Infused with Oak chips and Berries

This is yet another simple recipe for a beverage which imitates organoleptic properties of cognac. To make homemade cognac from vodka you’ll need oak chips, hawthorn berries, and rose hips, and also just a few other easy to get ingredients. You’ll get a mildly flavored drink of dark-yellow reddish color, floral cognac aroma and slight hints of oak.

Warning! Real cognac and brandy are made by infusing double-distilled grape distillate in oak barrels for at least 3 years. The suggested recipe only allows recreating the color, flavor, and smell of cognac in a more simple, fast, and affordable way. You should only use clarified vodka without any additives (no egg clarification, birch buds, cranberries, lemons, etc.) because the resulting taste otherwise can be unpredictable. Instead of vodka, you can also use ethanol diluted to 40%, or even double-distilled moonshine.


  • Vodka or Moonshine – 1 liter
  • Oak chips – 2 tsp
  • Rose hips (dry) – 8 grams (10 hips)
  • Hawthorn berries (dry) – 10 grams
  • Sugar (honey) – 1 tbsp
  • Cloves – 4 buds (without caps, just stems)
  • Black tea – 1 tsp
  • Nutmeg – 1 pinch
  • Vanillin – 1 pinch (optional)

Berries and chips can be bought in a stores. Adding honey makes the infusion milder and adds a slight honey flavor. It’s important to go east with vanillin, so the drink will have only hints of it.

Cognac from Vodka Recipe

  1. Boil oak chips (water should be above the oak by 2-3 cm) and leave it for 10 minutes. Pour off the decoction, rinse with cold water and then dry it in the sun. Boiling removes the excess of tannins which lead to an unpleasant taste.
  2. Put berries, cloves, nutmegs, tea, and oak bark in a jar for infusing.
  3. Add vodka, sugar (or honey) and vanillin and stir. Then screw the lid on tightly.
  4. Infuse for 25-30 days in a dark place with room temperature. Shake it once every 5 days.
  5. Strain off the cognac through a few layers of cheesecloth and absorbent cotton.
  6. Bottle the cognac for storing, hermetically sealing it.
  7. Leave the beverage for 1-2 days in a cold dark place before giving it a taste. Its shelf life is up to 5 years, 37-38% ABV.

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