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5 Things To Do with Vodka

Get your spirits flowing with these fun and creative new ways to use vodka around the house.

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Versatile, delicious and guaranteed to pack a punch, vodka is a must-have behind any liquor connoisseur’s bar. If you’re sick of mixing martinis or serving screwdrivers, try putting that vodka to work with these ingenious new uses:

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1. Keep Cut Flowers Fresh

The secret to keeping cut flowers looking good as long as possible is to minimize the growth of bacteria in the water and to provide nourishment to replace what the flower would have gotten had it not been cut. Add a few drops of vodka (or any clear spirit) to the vase water for antibacterial action alone with 1 teaspoon sugar. Change the water every other day, refreshing the vodka and sugar each time.

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2. Make Your Own Vanilla Extract

Here’s an unusual homemade treat you can use to spice up a gift basket, and it takes only minutes to make. Get one real dried vanilla bean (available at specialty food stores) and slice it open from top to bottom. Place it in a glass jar and cover it with ¾ cup vodka. Seal the jar, and let it rest in a kitchen cabinet for 4-6 months, shaking it occasionally. Filter your home made vanilla extract through an unbleached coffee filter or cheesecloth into a decorative bottle and watch the face of your favourite cook light up with pleasure.

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3. Clean Glass and Jewelry

In a pinch, a few drops of vodka will clean any kind of glass or jewelry with crystalline gemstones. So although people might look at you askance, you could dip a napkin into your vodka on the rocks to wipe away the grime on your eyeglasses or dunk your diamond ring for a few minutes to get it sparkling again. But don’t try this with contact lenses! Avoid getting alcohol on any gemstones that’s not a crystal. Only diamonds, emeralds and the like will benefit from a vodka bath.

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4. Use as a Hygenic Soak

Vodka is an alcohol, and like any alcohol, it kills germs. If you don’t have ordinary rubbing alcohol on hand, use vodka instead. You can use it to soak razor blades you plan to reuse, as well as to clean hairbrushes, toothbrushes and pet brushes, or on anything else that might spread germs.

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5. Kill Weeds in the Yard

For a quick and easy weed killer, mix 1 ounce (30 millilitres) vodka, a few drops liquid dish soap, and 2 cups water in a spray bottle. Spray it on the weed leaves until the mixture runs off. Apply it at midday on a sunny day to weeds growing in direct sunlight, because the alcohol breaks down the waxy cuticle covering leaves, leaving them susceptible to dehydration in sunlight. It won’t work in shade.

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