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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Pear & Cranberry Liqueur

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I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! My husband and I were responsible for dessert this year, and one of my contributions was a pear, apple and cranberry crisp. I love those flavors and how they come together. It made me realize that I need to share a similar flavor that I have been infusing for the holidays. If you start now, this will be enjoyed before the holidays are over.

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Pear & Cranberry Liqueur

1 3/4 c. Sliced Pears (we used Bartlett, but really any would work well)
1/4 c. Dried cranberries
1/2 TB chopped, peeled ginger
1 whole clove
Small piece of a cinnamon stick (less than 1 gram)
3/4 c. Brandy
1 1/2 c. Vodka

Combine all ingredients into a quart jar, and allow to infuse for about 3 weeks or until it reaches your desired taste. (I think it will continue to add a bit more flavor, so I have not strained ours yet.)  Strain and filter through a jelly bag or cheesecloth, and then coffee filters.

The pear and cranberry flavors come out well in this liqueur. The combination of brandy and sweetened dried cranberries make this sweet enough to drink without being too sweet. I wanted a hint of spices, but did not want them to overwhelm the fruits, and this is achieved here. If you like lots of spice, you could add a bit more. Keep in mind that a bit of clove and cinnamon go a long way in infusions.

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Cheers!

Related Posts:

Cranberry-Orange Cordial

Holiday Fun Time ! – Holiday Infusions and Holiday Inspired Liqueurs


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Sweet & Sour… the drink

I’ve never been a big fan of “sweet and sour” food dishes. But give me a sweet and sour cocktail and I’m in heaven.

Last week we enjoyed a delicious dinner at one of our favorite Portland restaurants, Pok Pok. After sipping Tamarind Whiskey Sours, we returned home, anxious to try another tamarind cocktail with our Tamarind-Orange Gin.

Sweet & Sour

2 oz Tamarind-Orange Gin

2 oz Bourbon

1 TB Fresh squeezed lemon juice

1/2 tsp chocolate bourbon (or substitute a dash of chocolate bitters)

2 dashes cranberry bitters (optional)

Stir with ice, strain over more ice, and garnish with lemon slice or twist.

This made 2 small cocktails. You may want to double this depending on how thirsty you are…

Because we have so many infusions building up in our liquor cabinet (also known as the coat closet) we were able to throw a lot of additional flavors in there. Some of the last ingredients could be substituted with a different variety of bitters, and would turn out great.

Cheers!


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Cranberry Crush! New Favorite Champagne Cocktail

Remember the Cranberry-Orange Cordial we posted a few weeks ago…

We have now tried several cocktails with this elixir and we have a new favorite Champagne Cocktail!

Cranberry Crush

2 oz Cranberry-Orange Cordial (Liqueur)

4 oz champagne

long orange twist

Ok, so maybe you haven’t made that cranberry-orange liqueur? I would suggest substituting 1 oz Fresh Pressed (not from concentrate, 100% pure juice) Cranberry Juice and 1 oz Cointreau instead of the cranberry-orange cordial.

Enjoy!! This is a keeper!


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Cranberry Orange Cordial

1 1/3 c. Chopped Cranberries

Zest of 2 Large Oranges

2 c. Vodka

3/4 c. Sugar or simple syrup to taste

I infused this for about 3 weeks. This liqueur is perfect for cocktails! The flavor  is a bit strong for sipping on its own, but substitute it in a Cosmo or craft a new favorite. I’ve already tried several combinations… and will be sharing them with you soon.

Related Posts

Cranberry Crush! Our new favorite champagne cocktail

Pear and Cranberry Liqueur

Holiday Fun Time! – Holiday Inspired Infusions and Liqueurs


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Cranberry Champagne Cocktail

It took a month for my Cranberry bitters to fully infuse. Now that they are done, I am ready for the holidays! I started with simple tinctures of Cranberry, Bitter Orange Peel, and Wormwood (all infused with Grain Alcohol). I eventually added some sugar, and added only part of the Wormwood tincture to the cranberry. The final liquid is… well… quite bitter. With a few dashes on a sugar cube, dropped into a glass of champagne, the result is a lovely hint of cranberry in a tasty glass of bubbly.

For those of you who have not yet made your own bitters, try a dash of Angostura bitters on a sugar cube in your favorite champagne.