Boozed + Infused

Infusing liqueurs at home with inspiring and seasonal ingredients


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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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25 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

DSC_2929

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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Chocolate Bourbon


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Holiday Liqueurs – Eastside Distilling

Can you believe it is December already? This time of year tends to get very busy. There are holiday parties, family gatherings and traditions, holiday decorating, and much more. Making gifts on top of all of that can be challenging! I would love nothing more than having each of you make some of our holiday-inspired infusions this December. But… I know that isn’t going to be possible for everyone. So for those of you who would like some holiday cheer without all the effort, we recommend checking out your local distillery. They may have some fun holiday-infused spirits already beautifully bottled for your parties, gift giving or just enjoying the holiday spirit this season.

Holiday Liqueurs at Eastside Distillery

Holiday Liqueurs at Eastside Distillery

We recently went to Eastside Distillery in Portland, Oregon and were blown away by all of their holiday inspired liqueurs and other spirits that will be great for the holiday season. This great little craft distillery has concocted an Eggnog Liqueur, Peppermint Bark Liqueur and Holiday Spiced Liqueur. They are all wonderful and will be great for any occasion. Many of their standard spirits will also be perfect for the holidays, including the Coffee Rum, Cherry Bomb, Ginger Rum and Burnside Bourbon. We loved everything at Eastside. And we think you will too!

Burnside Bourbon

Eastside spirits are available in Oregon and Washington, and some of them (including the Holiday Spiced Liqueur, Cherry Bomb whiskey and Coffee Rum) are even available online through Vintage Wine & Spirits.

Eastside also has some great gift packs available at their tasting room. Be sure to check them out!

Eastside Gift Pack

Eastside Gift Pack

We are fortunate to have a number of amazing craft distilleries in Portland, and many of them have spirits that will be great to enjoy this holiday season. We are looking forward to checking out the Booze Bazaar (yes you read that correctly) at House Spirits next weekend. We have been to House Spirits before and they are amazing. Their Whitedog Whiskey is one of my favorites, and their Coffee Rum and Aquavit would be great for the holidays as well.

We recommend checking out your local craft distillery this holiday season for some amazing holiday cheer! Distilling.com has a map of craft distilleries throughout the United States (and even  few in Canada). Also from Distilling.com is a list of distilleries in the US, but the map seems to be a bit more comprehensive and/or updated.

Cheers!

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Craft Distilleries: Drink Local!

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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!


28 Comments

Bourbon Apple Pies

Apple pie bourbon, and bourbon apple pies!?! Yes, that’s right.

Last winter I posted a recipe for Apple Pie Bourbon, which is an infusion of apples, cinnamon and vanilla bean in bourbon. The result is a delicious concoction that tastes like you are drinking an apple pie (perfect for the holidays). That post continues to be one of our most popular. And if you haven’t made it yet, now is a good time to start.

This is a great time of year to infuse apples, as well as other fall fruits.

Bourbon-soaked apples strained from Apple Pie Bourbon

When you strain the apples out of the bourbon, save them so that you can make Bourbon Apple Pies (discard the cinnamon stick and vanilla bean). You will be glad you did! If you aren’t ready to use them immediately, you can keep them in the freezer.

Bourbon Apple Pies

For the filling:
4 scant cups bourbon-soaked apples (from Apple Pie Bourbon)
2 T. Butter
1/2 -3/4 c. Brown sugar
2 T. Lemon juice
2-3 pinches of salt
2 T. Flour
2/3 c. Walnuts (toasted, and roughly chopped)

For the crust:
Puff pastry (one sheet, or a half of a package)
1 egg
1 T. Water

Roughly chop the bourbon-soaked apples into 1-inch pieces. Place the apples, butter, 1/2 c. brown sugar, lemon juice and salt in a medium, heavy bottom saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer on medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, continuing to stir frequently. When the apples are tender and much of the liquid has started to thicken, make a hole in the center, and whisk in the flour. Taste the mixture and if desired, add another 1/4 c. sugar. Simmer and stir for another 2-3 minutes.

Cook until your apple mixture reaches this consistency

Remove from heat and stir in the toasted walnuts. Set aside.

While the apple mixture is cooking, set out your puff pastry and allow to thaw. I’m not much of a baker, so I opted for the pre-made puff pastry. Alternatively you could make your own crust and use the filling in any manner of pies. We made these into small hand pies.

When the puff pastry is thawed, coat your countertop with a thin layer of flour and roll out the pastry until it is about 1/2 thickness of the original. This would make about 4 large hand pies. We made into 6 small and 2 medium hand pies, but the ones with more apple mixture were preferred. Next time I will make these all medium to large sized.

Cut the puff pastry into the size and shape of your hand pies. Place on a baking sheet that has been lines with a silicone liner or parchment. Spoon the apple mixture onto the dough. Don’t spoon too much liquid into the pies, it will run out and get messy while baking.

Small apple hand pies

Medium-sized hand pies

Crimp the ends/sides of the dough together and vent with a few holes on top.

Create an egg wash by whisking together the egg and 1 TB water. Brush each pie lightly with the egg wash.

Bake in a 375 degree oven until the dough is fully cooked and golden brown.

The small pies took about 15 minutes, and the medium pies took about 23 minutes. If you are making larger pies, they will take a little longer. Watch them closely.

Allow them to cool, then serve.

I made these small to accommodate a larger group, but next time I would make these the medium to large size. The apple mixture is the star.

The filling would also be nice served on pancakes or ice cream if you want to skip the crust. Any way you make this, it will be delicious.

Enjoy!


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Bourbonberry Cocktail

Happy Autumn! The cold and rain have finally arrived in Portland. In between rain showers, I have been clearing out the garden and cutting down the last of the summer flowers. And just as I mourn the end of summer, I am reminded of all the lovely fruit infusions we made a few months ago. Sipping a lovely home-infused berry cocktail will bring you right back to the joys of summer!

Bourbonberry Cocktail (makes 2 drinks)

6 oz. Marionberry Bourbon

2 oz. White Creme de Cacao

2 oz. Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice

Orange Twist to garnish

Combine all liquids into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and serve over ice. Garnish with orange twist.

This drink is wonderful. It really does taste like the lovely Oregon Marionberries that we picked several months ago. The orange juice and  chocolatey sweetness from the creme de cacao balance nicely.

If you have a blackberry bourbon or marionberry bourbon, you will want to try this delicious cocktail. If you don’t have a blackberry bourbon, you could try substituting 4 oz bourbon and 2 oz blackberry liqueur or muddled blackberries.

Cheers!

Related Post:

Blackberry Infusions… Marionberry goodness


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Fresh Cherry Bourbon

I love cherries! Last winter, since cherries were not in season, we made a Cherry Bourbon with dried cherries. The dried cherries we used were tart cherries that had been sweetened with sugar.

Typically, every summer I preserve cherries for cocktails; brandied cherries, amaretto cherries, spiced brandied cherries, creme de cacao cherries, and much more. In truth, many of these end up on ice-cream, but making a good brandied cherry was the inspiration behind my canning addiction.

Last year, we went a bit overboard, picking 24 pounds of cherries. In addition to our usual boozy cherries, we made a steeped cherry bounce, cherry brandy, cherry jam, and chutney. This year we needed a little break from canning cherries. We still have a few jars from last year to keep our cocktails garnished for a while.

This year, I took the easy route. I picked up a bag of mixed sweet cherries at the farmers market and made only a simple, fresh cherry bourbon.

Fresh Cherry Bourbon

2 heaping cups of fresh cherries
2 c. Bourbon

Score each cherry with a knife, piercing through the flesh. No need to pit them.

Combine the scored cherries and bourbon in a quart jar, and allow to infuse for 2-4 weeks, or until it reaches your desired taste. We infused ours for 2 months and it tastes great. At this point you could strain the infusion, or simply use the cherries in cocktails as you use up the bourbon. (These cherries will be much boozier than our typical brandied cherries which use a simple syrup with liquor added, but will be much better than a lot of the cherries you get at the store.)

This fresh cherry bourbon has a much fresher, cleaner, and light taste than the dried cherry bourbon that we made last winter. I think I actually prefer the dried cherries, but both are delicious and will work well for different cocktails.

How do you prefer your cherry bourbon?

Fresh Cherry Bourbon after infusing for two months

Cheers!

Boozy Cherries from 2011


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Blackberry Infusions… Marionberry goodness

All of these infusions can be made with almost any variety of blackberry. Here in Oregon, we have a local cultivar of blackberry called the Marionberry.  This berry is slender and a bit tart, but a very tasty variety of blackberry.

I must be a bit greedy… because my recent trip to my parents’ farm to pick Marionberries yielded ten pounds of these beauties. (I also managed to come home with a couple pints of wild black raspberries, a favorite from my childhood.)

While most of the berries made their way into a large batch of jam, and a few ended up in a batch of Maple-Bourbon Blackberries, the rest were turned into several prized infusions.

Blackberry (Marionberry) Bourbon

2 1/2 c. Blackberries

2 1/4 c. Bourbon

Combine ingredients in a large jar, seal well and shake. Store in a cool, dark place for several months or until it reaches your desired taste, shaking contents every few days. Add sugar/honey if desired. Strain and filter with strainer, cheesecloth, and coffee filters.

Blackberry (Marionberry) Mojito Infusion

2 c. Blackberries

2 c. Rum

1/4 c. Packed mint leaves (we used a combination of spearmint and chocolate mint)

Zest of 1 lime

2 TB Sugar (or more to taste)

Combine all ingredients in a large jar and follow directions above for Blackberry Bourbon.

Blackberry-Lemon Liqueur

2 c. Blackberries

Zest of 1 lemon

1 1/4 c. Brandy

3/4 c. Vodka

2 TB Sugar (or more to taste)

Combine all ingredients in a large jar and follow directions above for Blackberry Bourbon.

While you may not have Marionberries in your area, try any of these liqueurs/infusions with your local variety of blackberry. As each variety has a different “sweetness” to it, you may want to alter the sugar content to suit your variety.

Cheers!

Related Post:

Bourbonberry Cocktail


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Banana Bourbon

When I first started doing infusions, a banana liqueur wasn’t really at the top of my list. It simply didn’t appeal to me. But the longer I do this, I hear more and more people talking about banana liqueurs they have had and how tasty they are. At some point, I would like to do a banana rum. But since I have more experience infusing bourbon, and I really think of bourbon as a fool-proof spirit base for infusions (ok, I’m sure someone will tell me otherwise). So, with a small leap of faith, we embarked on banana bourbon.

This is really easy and delicious.

We let the bananas get really ripe and tasty…

They may not look pretty, but they were perfect.

We took these two perfectly ripe bananas, added two cups of bourbon, and infused for just over two weeks. I guess two was the magic number because this is another keeper. It tastes like sweet bananas and a mellow bourbon. I think this will make for some great cocktails, but it is also great on its own.

Be sure to filter, then strain through cheesecloth and coffee filters.

Cheers!

Related Posts:

Apple Pie Bourbon

Bourbon, Bourbon, Infused Bourbon!

Coffee Bourbon

Cherry Bourbon