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!

DSC_2841

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~

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Habanero Honey Whiskey Recipe

If you like whiskey and honey, and a little bit lot of spice, this one is for you!

It is fun to come up with booze infusion ideas for friends. All you have to do is pay attention to things that they like, and do your best to infuse their favorite flavors into their alcohol of choice.

Habanero Honey Whiskey

A friend recently told me that she loves honey whiskey. She also told me that she likes spicy food, “the hotter the better”. That same friend just had a birthday. So her birthday gift was Habanero Honey Whiskey. Well, Habanero Honey Whiskey and glitter, because “glitter and whiskey define me” she said.

Habanero Honey Whiskey

1/4 cup honey (about 85 grams)

1 medium cinnamon stick (about 4 grams)

1 habanero pepper* (optional)

Lemon zest – from about 1/3 to 1/2 of a medium lemon (about 5 grams of zest)

1 1/2 ounces Water

1 cup Bourbon or Whiskey of your choice

Remove the stem of the habanero and quarter the pepper, keeping the seeds intact. Place the first five ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer on low heat. Simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove the habanero with tongs or a fork. Allow the rest of the mixture to cool completely. Strain out the solids with a mesh strainer.

Pour the honey mixture into a pint jar or other infusion vessel. Add the bourbon or whiskey, and close the jar tight. Shake well to combine.

After 24-48 hours, strain through a coffee filter, and let the infusion rest for a few days before drinking.

Depending on how much heat you can take, feel free to use only part of the habanero or omit the seeds.

* Use caution when handling hot peppers. Use gloves if possible and wash hands thoroughly.

Habanero honey whiskey ingredients

This infusion has the sweetness of the honey, the heat of the habanero, and it sure makes me want some honey whiskey!

Do you like your booze spicy?

Infusing honey

Cheers!

Habanery Honey Gliiter Whiskey

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27 Comments

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

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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!

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Quick and Simple Limoncello!

Lemons

One of the great things about winter is citrus fruit! Ok, ok, I don’t live in a citrus-growing area. But that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a tasty lemon pie, and start fermenting some spicy lime pickles… and oh yeah… we can’t forget the limoncello!

There are tons of limoncello recipes out there, and I’m sure that many of them are absolutely wonderful. Most of them include zesting the fruit and infusing for lengthy periods of time. Now typically, that kind of thing is right up my alley. Any of you who have been following us for long can attest to my affinity for long infusion times. But for me, limoncello is different.

A few years ago, we were visiting some friends and they pulled out a lovely bottle of homemade limoncello from the freezer. It was so lemony and tart, and just perfect. It was the best limoncello I ever had! I managed to get the recipe and now I will share it with you. I’m afraid that I do not know the source of the recipe, so I apologize for not appropriately giving credit.

Quick and Simple Limoncello

1 Litre of Vodka (80 proof is fine)

12 lemons

1 1/2 c. Sugar

Slice the lemons in half, and juice all of them. Set the juice aside and reserve for another purpose.

Place the lemon peels, vodka, and sugar in a large jar (you will probably be able to just squeeze this into a 1/2 gallon jar). Make sure all of the lemon peels are submerged in the vodka (stack them together if necessary) and seal the jar tight. Stir or shake it daily until all the sugar has dissolved, or about a week.

Strain the liquid, but do not squeeze the lemons it will make the infusion bitter. You can gently press a bit of the liquid out of the lemons with the back of a wooden spoon, but make sure you don’t give them much pressure. After you have filtered the rest of the liquid, bottle it and enjoy!

I’m sure there are tons of amazing cocktail recipes to use with this limoncello, but I prefer to store mine in the freezer and drink it straight, well-chilled.

If you have any desire to make limoncello this year, please try this fast and easy version. It is spectacular!

Cheers!

Limoncello

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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?


54 Comments

Gingerbread Liqueur – for your Holiday “Spirit”

Gingerbread liqueur

Are you in the holiday spirit yet? Well, I still feel like I’m a bit lacking in that department, so we have whipped up a new holiday “spirit” of the booze variety.

Do you like gingerbread? I love it, and it seems a shame that it is not often enjoyed outside of the holiday season. I set out to make a liqueur that tasted just like gingerbread and I think I nailed it!

gingerbread ingredients 2

Gingerbread Liqueur

1/2 c. Fresh Ginger, peeled and chopped
1 small cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves
A few pinches of freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 c. Blackstrap Molasses
1/4 c. Water
1 T. Sugar

1/3 c. Rum
1 c. Vodka
1 c. Brandy

Gingerbread simmer

Combine the first 7 ingredients (everything except the liquor) in a small saucepan.bring to a simmer on low heat and continue to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Allow to cool completely. Pour the cooled ginger/molasses combination into a quart jar. Add the rum, vodka, and brandy. Close the jar and shake well to combine.

After 48 hours, strain the solids out of the infusion with a mesh strainer, and then strain well through cheesecloth and/or jelly bag. I had no luck trying to strain this through coffee filters, so I doubled the jelly bag and strained it a few times.

Allow the infusion to rest for about 4 more days, then enjoy! This time is essential in allowing the molasses flavor to incorporate into the liquor.

The ginger taste is very strong, and the molasses and spice makes this taste just like gingerbread. This will be lovely in some cocktails with milk or cream, and a bit of sweetener (we may just have tested out a few last night). And I suspect this will make for another amazing boozy-milkshake…

Now I’m ready to get into the holiday spirit…

Cheers!

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