Boozed + Infused

Infusing liqueurs at home with inspiring and seasonal ingredients


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11 Favorite Holiday Booze Infusions

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Peppermint Bark Liqueur

This is such a great time of year! No matter which holiday you celebrate, now is the time to get into the holiday spirit. Between holiday parties, family gatherings, gift giving and more, there are many reasons to start a holiday booze infusion right now!

A few years ago, I put together a list of some great holiday infusions (Holiday Fun Time). But since then, I have added a handful of holiday-themed booze infusions to the blog. I thought it would be a good time to share with you some of my favorite infusions for this time of year (and really, any time of year).

So here they are, in no particular order…

1. Gingerbread Liqueur – this one tastes just like gingerbread, and takes only a few days for the full infusion. Plenty of time to enjoy it this holiday season!

Gingerbread simmer

2. Peppermint Bark Liqueur – candy canes and cacao nibs in vodka!

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3. Pimento Dram – see why many people call this Christmas in a glass…

Allspice in rum

4. Apple Pie Bourbon – find out why this is our most popular infusion

Apple Pie Bourbon 1

5. Coffee Bourbon – I can’t tell you how great this is… you need to try it for yourself.

Coffee Bourbon

6. Winter Spice Liqueur – this is my attempt at turning the “Christmas Fragrance” of my childhood into a liqueur. And it is delicious!

holiday spice liqueur-ep

7. Irish Cream – this is ready immediately and is hard to resist…

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8. Cherry Bourbon – this is one of my all-time favorites!

dried cherry bourbon

9. Quick & Simple Limoncello – who doesn’t love limoncello? This fast and easy recipe will be infused well before the holidays!

lemons

10. Pear & Cranberry Liqueur – these are a few of my favorite flavors of the holidays.

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11. Oak Aged Manhattan – this is great for parties or gifts. It is a pre-mixed batch of cocktails, that has aged and mellowed with oak. If you like Manhattans, you must try it!

 

Oak Aged Rye Manhattan

I wish you a very happy holiday season filled with joy! Cheers~

Related Posts

Holiday Fun Time

Booze Infusion Index


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Cran-Apple Hot Toddies

Brrrrrrr… it’s cold out there! We even had some snow/ice in Portland, Oregon last week! And cold weather makes me long for warm beverages.

Hot Toddy

So with Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I would like to introduce you one of my favorite beverages for this time of year, the Cran-Apple Hot Toddy. These are great to serve for your guests on Thanksgiving (or any cold evening, really). I also found that my Hot Apple Toddy and Hot Cranberry Toddy recipes were a bit strong for company, so this version is a little toned down so that the guests don’t get too smashed…

Below are recipes to serve 2 as well as to serve 6, but feel free to increase the recipe as needed to make enough for your guests. If you serve them in small mugs, I find it goes well with dessert (or appetizers) on Thanksgiving, and you can stretch the batch that serves 6 a bit. (Although I never like to have too little alcohol when I have guests!)

Cran-Apples Toddies (to serve 2)
6 oz apple juice
1.5 oz cranberry juice (100% cranberry *not cranberry cocktail)
3 oz water
spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves)
honey (2-3 swirls around pan – or about 2-3 teaspoons)
1.5 TB Sugar (or to taste)
2 lemon wedges (small squeeze into mug, plus top with a lemon round)

4 oz brandy (or other booze of your choice – bourbon or rum would be great)

1 oz cointreau or triple sec

Cran-Apple Toddies (to serve 6)
2 1/4 cups apple juice
4.5 oz cranberry juice (100% cranberry juice – *not cranberry cocktail)
9 oz water
6 lemon wedges (plus a bit more lemon juice to squeeze on top)
spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves)
2-3 honey (6-8 swirls around the pan – or about 1-2 Tablespoons)
4.5 TB Sugar (0r to taste)

1.5 cups brandy (or other booze of your choice – bourbon or rum would be great)

3 oz cointreau or triple sec

Directions

In a small saucepan, combine the apple juice, cranberry juice, water, spices (cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg), honey and sugar. Place pan on stove until starts to simmer and the honey and sugar have dissolved. Remove from heat, add the alcohol, and stir. Pour into glasses, squeeze a few drops of lemon and top with lemon round. If using whole spices, feel free to add a few to the mugs for decoration and flavor.

When I am serving this at a party or group dinner, I find it works well to keep it in a coffee pot (after heating) with the warming setting on. Alternatively you could place it in a crockpot (especially for a really large gathering). Please be careful to make sure that the lid is vented so that the alcohol vapors can escape. And safer yet, you can just mix the alcohols separately, place in a small bottle next to the carafe of hot juice, and allow guests to add their own alcohol to the drink (then there is also a non-alcoholic version available as well).

For the spices, you certainly don’t have to use whole spices. I find it tastes great both ways, but if using ground spices, beware of the final pour, it can be very spice-heavy.

As for alcohol, I typically make this with brandy, but it would be delicious with a large variety of spirits.

And a final note on the cranberry juice… I can’t say enough about how delicious the strong, utterly tart flavor of 100% cranberry juice is. If you have only ever tried cranberry cocktail, this flavor may be very strong for you. It is the 100% cranberry juice that really dictates adding so much sugar and honey to this recipe. If you are not able to find 100% cranberry juice (although it is usually very easy to find in the healthfood section of most large grocery stores) you could try substituting cranberry cocktail – but then please omit the sugar and honey. I have not tried this with cranberry cocktail, and the flavor would probably be lost in the rest of the drink.

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For those of you who have been paying attention, yes, it has been a *very* long time since my last post. I’m very sorry about that. I missed you all! I will try not to do that again! Plus, it is the holiday season… and who doesn’t love infusing booze around the holidays?

Cheers~

 

 

 


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Winter Spice Bourbon Recipe

Happy 2014! My New Year’s Resolution is to infuse more booze! I mean it. I didn’t post very many new recipes last year, and I promise you that this year will be different.

Winter Spice Bourbon

Our first infusion for this year is Winter Spice Bourbon. Let’s get right to it.

Winter Spice Bourbon

1 medium cinnamon stick (about 4 grams)

3 whole cloves

10 whole allspice berries

zest of 1 orange (I peeled it into large strips, but you could use a microplane)

20 grams (about 4 halves) dried plums or other dried fruit (you could use raisins or currants)

2 cups (480 mL) Bourbon or whiskey of your choice

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Combine all ingredients in a large jar or bottle, close tight. Shake well and let it sit for a few days to a few weeks. I filtered mine at 12 days, and the flavor it strong. I think you could certainly filter sooner if it tastes to your liking. Let the infusion rest for a week or so after filtering, the flavor will mellow.

This infusion will be great in lots of cocktails. Try it in a winter hot toddy, a manhattan, old fashioned, or just sip it on its own.

I have more infusions in the works… so stay tuned!

What are you drinking and infusing this winter?

Winter Spice Bourbon

Related Posts

The Choices of Winter (and Holy Tea Tonic Infusion)

Bourbon, Bourbon, Infused Bourbon!

Winter Spice Liqueur


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Oak Aged Manhattan

Spring is in the air! We finally had a few warm and sunny days here in Portland. Before you know it, the summer berries and fruits will be blooming and ripening… so I figured we better share a winter infusion before it gets too late!

Oak Aged Rye Manhattan

Have you ever tried Barrel-Aged Cocktails? The concept is to make a large batch of a cocktail, and pour it into a wood barrel to impart subtlety, flavor and distinction into the cocktail. Living in Portland, it is easy to get your hands on a great barrel-aged cocktail. The best known and my favorite location for a barrel-aged cocktail is Clyde Common thanks to Jeffrey Morgenthaler.

It is pretty easy to get your hands on an oak barrel. You can even get them in small sizes, like one liter. But when I stumbled upon The Barrel Mill Oak Infusion Spirals at my favorite home brew supply store, I knew I wanted to test out a different method of oak-aged cocktails. Adapting Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s Rye Manhattan recipe to a smaller scale, I added the contents to a quart jar, and then cut off a section of the oak infusion spiral and placed it in the premixed cocktail jar. After waiting the requisite five weeks, we did a taste-test comparing the Oak-Aged Manhattan to an un-aged Rye Manhattan. We really enjoyed the Oak-Aged version more, noting that it did have more depth than the un-aged counterpart.

I have since learned that Tuthilltown makes a Barrel-Aged Cocktail Kit. This would be a very fun and easy way for you to try this at home.

Rye Manhattan Taste Test

Oak-Aged Rye Manhattan (follow recipe to scale from Jeffrey Morgenthaler)

16 oz. Rye Whiskey

8 oz. Sweet Vermouth

Scant 1 TB Angostura bitters

Section of Oak Infusion Spiral

Add all above ingredients to a quart-sized mason jar and close tightly. Allow to infuse for 5-6 weeks. You can either leave it in your jar and pour cocktails straight into the shaker from there, or strain and bottle into smaller bottles for gifts.

Cheers!

Related Posts:

Chamomile Bourbon

Fig Bourbon

Chocolate Bourbon


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The Cleanse… with booze?

Here we are in 2013! I still can’t quite believe it. January is flying by. And all around me, I see lots of people who have such great aspirations. New Year’s resolutions and cleanse diets abound.

The Cleanse

I’m not one for resolutions, and I can’t imagine I’d ever attempt a cleanse… so why not cleanse our cocktail? That’s an idea that even I can get behind.

The ingredients from our Chili Agave Liqueur had many similarities to the Master Cleanse recipe… we hope you will join us in our version of The Cleanse…

Chili Agave Liqueur

The Cleanse

1 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice (about one medium lime)

1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup

1 oz. Water

1 1/2 oz. Chili Agave Liqueur

3-4 generous pinches of cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and simmer for 30 seconds. Remove from heat, pour into a tea cup or mug and garnish with a chili pepper.

It is cold out, so we decided to do this as a heated drink. It would probably taste just as delicious served cold.

So this may not be your typical cleanse, and this may not be your typical cocktail. But we’ve never been ones to adhere to the standard drinks. This is delicious! You’ll enjoy this much more than your New Year’s diet or cleanse!

What is your favorite way to celebrate your unconventional spirit… in a cocktail?


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Chamomile Bourbon and a Special Manhattan

This is our 100th post! So we’ll celebrate tonight with a tasty cocktail…

Here is one that will infuse quickly and be sure to soothe… chamomile

Chamomile Bourbon

1/8 oz. (about 3 TB) dried Chamomile Flowers

1 c. bourbon

Infuse for about 5 days, then strain the flowers and filter through a coffee filter. If you can’t find dried chamomile flowers, simply substitute some chamomile tea.

As you may have noted, we have more than one infusion going with these flowers, and we will be sure to share the other with you soon.

In the meantime, you can enjoy some delicious cocktails with your infused bourbon…

Chamomile Manhattan

2 oz. Chamomile Bourbon

3/4 oz. Sweet Vermouth

Dash of Angostura Bitters

Brandied Cherry (or other cocktail cherry)

Stir all ingredients except the Cherry over ice, strain into a chilled glass and garnish with the Brandied Cherry.

The chamomile flavor is lovely, and not overwhelming. The bourbon is still the star, but has a wonderful lingering chamomile taste.

Be sure to try this!

Cheers!


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Halloween Infusion part 2: Chocolate-Orange Liqueur

What is your favorite candy? And have you ever made it into a cocktail?

A few days ago I posted a recipe for Caramel Apple Liqueur, which I made for a get-together with a theme of Halloween candy infusions and cocktails. This was all the brainchild of Evelyn over at Momsicle, who wrote a great post about our “drink up”, complete with a group photo!

I racked my brain for candy infusion ideas, and while it may not exactly be a popular Halloween candy, I have always loved the flavor of orange and chocolate. As a kid, I would get chocolate-orange truffles at the candy store and always loved those chocolate orange sticks (the orange jelly candies that were covered in chocolate). So it was settled, I would make Chocolate-Orange liqueur.

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Chocolate-Orange Liqueur

Zest of 3 large Oranges

1/4 c. Cacao Nibs

1/4 c. sugar

2 c. vodka

Place all above ingredients in a glass jar, and close tight. Shake well and allow to infuse for abut 4 weeks. Strain through a filter, then cheesecloth, jelly bag, and coffee filters. This infusion clogged the coffee filters frequently, so be prepared to change the filter often.

This liqueur is delicious! It lived up to my idea of what I wanted it to taste like. And now for the cocktail…

Chocolate-Orange Martini

2oz. Chocolate-Orange Liqueur

2oz. Creme de Cacao (light)

Orange twist

Combine in a cocktail shaker with ice, and serve in a chilled martini glass with an orange twist. We also enjoyed them with a dark chocolate that was spiked with orange zest and orange oil. Delish!

You will also note that we served these in our “fun size” glasses so that we could taste each of the drink varieties at our gathering. They disappeared fast!

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Cheers!