If you are a drinker and are not already infusing your own liquor at home, you need to start! I cannot stress how simple and beneficial it is for home bartending. You can add a wide range of delicious flavors and colors to various different types of spirits, and what's the problem with that?
The key to infusing any liquor is finding the combinations and strength levels you like and can use practically in drinks. If you don't know where to begin, just think of the types of drinks you enjoy and go from there. If you love those $3 shots of Fireball whiskey at your local bar, try to spice up some whiskey with cinnamon sticks. If you like light fruity drinks, try a infuse some vodka with strawberries, If you're a fan of tropical flavors, maybe put some pineapple or mangos in a light rum.
I have made many infusions, and something that I love about making them is that you can make them completely to your taste and preference, even designated to complement a specific drink. And it's so simple! Here's a general outline on what to do:
What you need:
- mason jar
- whatever alcohol you want to infuse (vodka, whiskey, tequila, etc.)
- whatever you want to infuse with (herbs, fruit, etc.)
What you do:
- Put whatever it is you want to infuse with inside your mason jar (see tips below).
- Fill jar with alcohol of choice.
- Close jar tight and store in a cool, dry place. Remove infusing items from alcohol when necessary (see tips below).
A few tips...
- By aware of how strong you want your flavors to be. Some infusions can be light and therefore necessary to fill for a bolder flavor, for example citrus or apples in a dark liquor. Others are very strong no matter what the liquor you use, such as cinnamon sticks.
- Be sure that if you use fresh fruit or vegetables that you only let it sit in the alcohol for a couple of days. You can always strain out the fruit and add fresh to keep infusing for a stronger flavor.
- If infusing with hot peppers, only allow them to sit in the alcohol for a few hours at the most. The strength of the pepper really depends on this one, and it is possible to burn the alcohol and leave it inedible.
- Some nice combinations I've tried: whiskey/cinnamon, whiskey/orange/ginger, whiskey/apple/vanilla/cinnamon, vodka/pineapple/mango, vodka/strawberry, vodka/cilantro/jalapeno, vodka/garlic, vodka/coconut, vodka/blueberry, tequila/citrus, tequila/papaya/mango, tequila/ginger/honey. The possibilities are endless!