With the boom of craft cocktails and artisanal liquors, bars across the country are infusing their own spirits. From spicy pepper vodka to sweet pineapple-infused rum, these transformed spirits are perfect for whipping up a uniquely distinct cocktail in a flash.
Though the idea of an infused liquor is rather high end, doing so at home is incredibly easy and approachable. A perfect way to dress up the next gathering with friends or start a simple yet fun weekend adventure at home.
Head to the liquor store for a quality spirit of your choice and then purchase infusing ingredients accordingly. If you plan to create a mixed cocktail from your infused liquor, think of the flavors of the cocktail for steeping ideas. Perhaps a cranberry-infused vodka for a Cosmopolitan, or a cherry-infused whiskey for a Manhattan, for example.
Read on for our five simple steps for infusing your own spirits, and be sure to let us know your favorite infusing combinations in the comments below!
Photo courtesy A. Strakey via Flickr/CC
1. Pick your base alcohol
Depending on what you plan to create, pick your spirit accordingly. Vodka can take on the flavor of most foods, but sweeter alcohols like rum pair best with fruit. Be sure to purchase quality alcohol as it will make an impact on your final product.
2. Pick your infusing ingredients
The options here are endless. While many enjoy sweets like peaches or berries, others love herb-infused drinks. Try things like mint, rosemary or thyme. Use anything from bacon to peppers to oranges, this is your time to play.
Put the ingredients in a clean, air-tight jar and close tightly. Shake to mix ingredients and then keep in a cool, dark place to steep. While strong flavors may only need a few days, weaker ingredients will need more time. On average you can expect to wait three to five days.
4. Check your infusion
Be sure to check on your jars every day, shaking three to five times per day to ensure the flavor mixture.
After the duration of your steeping period, strain out the infusing ingredients from the liquor. Store the finished spirit as you would other alcohols of the same type.