Clean and peel mandarins, setting fruit aside. Using a spoon, gently remove as much of the pith from the peel as possible and discard. Less pith means less bitter taste. Place mandarin peels in a large heavy bowl and using a heavy tool like a mortar, work to muddle the peels to remove the oils. Place mandarin peels in large pitcher and pour over with vodka. Cover pitcher with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 5-6 days. On the 6th day, prepare simple syrup mixture.
Place small pot on stove top and combine water and sugar. Cook on medium until sugar is dissolved. Pour sugar mixture into the mandarin/vodka pitcher. Allows to cool, cover and return to the fridge to sit overnight. On the seventh day, strain the liquid out from the peels and serve. Feel free to add ice or a sprig of mint for a hint of fresh herbs.
Makes approximately twelve 4oz drinks.
Serving Size 4oz