Boozed + Infused

Infusing liqueurs at home with inspiring and seasonal ingredients


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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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Hatch Chili Infused Tequila

Editor’s Note: This is our first Guest Post! I regret to admit, but I am not a lover of tequila. So Lauren from Gourmet Veggie Mama graciously offered to help us out with a Hatch Chili Tequila infusion. While I’m drowning in berry brambles in the Northwest, Lauren is in Texas, sweating it out with lovely Hatch Chilis.

Thank you Lauren for writing this great post and coming up with this lovely drink.

I love Hatch chiles. In case you’re not in the know, they are an amazingly flavorful variety of New Mexico green chiles that come into season from late August through mid-September each year. Once roasted and peeled, they are perfect for making an enchilada sauce, adding to a quesadilla, making a salsa, spicing up your scrambled eggs or a frittata… or infusing some tequila.

That’s right, folks. After sampling a cocktail made with green chile-infused tequila, dubbed the New Mexican martini, at my friendly neighborhood Chuy’s, I decided I needed to try an infusion of my own.

Since I had a whole bottle of tequila to use, I tried this two ways: One with the roasted Hatch chiles left whole (though peeled), and one with the chiles peeled, stemmed, seeded and cut into strips. The taste wasn’t appreciably different, but I do think the chile cut into strips did result in a quicker infusion. Either way, the result was a spicy, flavorful tequila that would add a nice kick to any number of Mexican-themed cocktails, like a margarita or even a Bloody Maria!

Hatch Chile Infused Tequila

1 1/2 cups silver 100% agave tequila
1-2 Hatch chiles (depending on size), roasted, peeled, and split

Place the tequila and Hatch chiles in a glass jar and seal. Shake and allow to infuse for 2-3 days. Strain and enjoy!

***
After I strained the tequila, I had the potentially brilliant idea to use the tequila-soaked chiles to accent some guacamole. Sadly, the tequila flavor was a little overwhelming. Next time I think the leftovers will just go in the compost pile after imparting their tasty flavor.

Speaking of which, I used my Hatch chile-infused tequila to make a delicious, spicy spin on my old standby, the Mexican martini. Enjoy!

New Mexican Martini

2 oz Hatch chile-infused tequila
1 oz Grand Marnier
1 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 oz light agave nectar

Mix the agave nectar in the bottom of a cocktail shaker with 1 oz of warm water and stir to dissolve. Add the tequila, Grand Marnier, and lemon and lime juices, along with plenty of ice. Shake well and serve in salt-rimmed martini glasses garnished with an olive or a curl of the Hatch chile.

* Lauren writes the blog Gourmet Veggie Mama, and styles herself a recovering lawyer-slash-aspiring domestic goddess. She loves all things food and drink, and, despite being a vegetarian, manages to be quite a glutton as well. Since discovering Boozed + Infused, her Cocktail Thursday posts have acquired a definite kick!


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Sweet Heat Cocktail

You are going to love the Chili Agave Liqueur that we posted last week. And after you make it, you will need to make this…

Sweet Heat Cocktail

3 oz Chili Agave Liqueur

1 oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

Lemon Twist

chili pepper to garnish (if desired)

Place Chili Agave Liqueur and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well, pour into a chilled martini glass, add a lemon twist and garnish.

It is spicy, sweet and completely delicious.

Cheers!


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Chili Agave Liqueur

It is hot out! I mean it is really HOT out! Right about now, chili peppers are ripening and finding their way into many dishes and meals… and let’s not forget… cocktails.

I have received a number of questions about infusing hot peppers. And honestly, this is the only pepper infusion that I have done. It turned out really wonderful. It has great flavor, and also an underlying heat and depth of the peppers.

Feel free to use different peppers in this recipe. But beware not to use too many. That is a very common mistake of pepper infusions.

Chili Agave Liqueur

1/2 c. agave

1/2 c. water

2 cinnamon sticks

1 tsp black pepper corns

1 serrano pepper (fresh) – sliced in half

1 red or green jalapeno pepper (fresh) – sliced in half

5 dried chili peppers, stems removed, left whole

zest of 1 lemon (large strips if possible)

2 c. vodka

Combine all ingredients except the vodka in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Let the mixture cool completely, about an hour. Strain the solids out of the syrup mixture, and pour the syrup into a quart jar or other glass container. Add the vodka to the canning jar, seal tightly. Shake to combine. Allow to infuse for 1 week.

After infusing for a week, strain well through a jelly bag and coffee filters.

If you don’t want your infusion to turn out too spicy, you could remove the seeds from the chilis before simmering in the syrup, or cut back on the number of chilis. If this does turn out too hot for your taste, thin it out with a bit more vodka and agave.

Those of you who have been asking for some “sweet heat”, you will love this liqueur. We have been too greedy to share much of it with others, but my father said this one was his favorite in a recent taste test. He is a lover of all things hot and spicy, so if you are too… you better start infusing!

Cheers!

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Sweet Heat Cocktail