Boozed + Infused

Infusing liqueurs at home with inspiring and seasonal ingredients


Caramel Simple Syrup Recipe

Caramel syrup is a great way to give a rich caramel flavor to alcohol infusions and cocktails.

Caramel Syrup

Caramel Simple Syrup

2 cups white sugar

2 cups water

Place the sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan and turn heat on low. Allow the sugar to start melting slowly.  No need to stir until the sugar begins to melt (which may take more than 10 minutes depending on how hot your burner is). As the sugar starts melting, turn the melted sugar on top of the undissolved sugar. Allow the sugar to continue to melt, stirring only occasionally. Once the sugar has fully dissolved, allow the sugar to come to a boil, making sure the sugar is not sticking to the sides of the pan.

Continue to boil until the sugar reaches a rich amber/copper color. Once it has reached the desired color, remove the pan from the heat.

I recommend wearing oven mitts/gloves and long sleeves for the next step as this can splatter and melted sugar is very dangerous.

Slowly pour the water into the sugar, stirring continuously until it becomes a smooth liquid. If there are any hard bits of sugar/caramel that won’t dissolve in the water, return the pan to the stove on low just until they melt, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and allow to cool somewhat. Place in a heatproof glass jar and close tightly.

This will keep indefinitely in the refrigerator. Be sure to allow this to cool completely before adding it to any alcohol recipes.

This is what I use when I make Caramel Apple Liqueur and Caramel Corn Liqueur, but if would also work really well in many other infusions.  It also is wonderful in many cocktails.



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!


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…


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!


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


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


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


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


Blueberry-Orange Liqueur for Party Cocktails!

Going to a fun summer party or cookout? Bring some infused booze!


When we were invited to a family barbeque, I knew the best thing to bring would be a fun and easy infusion. I had a few weeks, so I knew there would be time to allow the flavors to infuse well. What did we make? Well, because we had blueberries and oranges in the house, I decided to be lazy and just go with whatever was handy. But really, you can come up with any combination you want. While we already had an infusion recipe for Blueberry Gin, we wanted to test out a little easier version. I think you will find this one to be really simple! (No cooking of the berries like the previous version.)

For a summer barbeque, we also wanted to be able to make easy, refreshing cocktails, so we chose an infusion that could easily be made into a simple highball.

Blueberry-Orange Liqueur

3 c. Frozen Blueberries (smashed)*

Zest of 1 Orange

750 mL Clear Liquor – 80 proof (we used Gin, but you could use vodka, rum, cachaça)

1/3 c. sugar

Combine all ingredients into a large glass jar or vessel. Shake well to combine. Infuse for 2-3 weeks or longer, depending on when your party is. Strain and filter, and return to the bottle (or something larger). Now you are ready to party!

*Note: we used frozen berries, as I did in our previous Blueberry Gin, but you could try fresh as well.

For the party, we thought it would be easiest to make Gin & Tonics. And who wouldn’t love a Blueberry-Orange G&T? All you need are a few bottles of tonic, a few lemons (we thought the lemon would go better with the blueberry-orange flavor than lime) and your home-infused booze!


Blueberry-Orange Gin & Tonic

2 oz. Blueberry-Orange Liqueur

4 oz. Tonic

Lemon Wedge


Fill glass with ice. Add the blueberry-orange liqueur and tonic. Stir well, squeeze the lemon wedge and add to the glass. Alternatively, you could mix up a big batch in a pitcher and let everyone help themselves. (This did not last long at our gathering, so you could make a double or triple batch.)

Now go enjoy your party!

What kind of fun infusions will you bring to summer barbeques and cookouts this year? (Yes, sangria counts…)


Related Posts

Blueberry Gin

The Blueberry Pieball – our new favorite highball

Blueberry Orange Liqueur on Punk Domestics


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.


Related Posts:

Chamomile Bourbon

Fig Bourbon

Chocolate Bourbon


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?


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!