Boozed + Infused

Infusing liqueurs at home with inspiring and seasonal ingredients


12 Comments

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.

*

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~

 

 

 


22 Comments

Peppermint Bark Liqueur

DSC_2841

What do you do if your Secret Santa recipient says they like peppermint bark candy and Grey Goose Vodka? You make peppermint bark liqueur!

The flavor of this liqueur is very pepperminty! The chocolate flavor is more subtle, but to remedy that, I’ve increased the cacao nibs in the recipe. (Plus, I had to gift this to my co-worker before it had a lot of time to infuse. A longer infusion time will definitely help!)

DSC_2855

Peppermint Bark Vodka

1.5 ounces Candy Canes (about 10 mini candy canes) or Peppermint Candies

1/3-1/2 cup Cacao Nibs

1 1/2 cups Vodka

4 Tablespoons Simple Syrup (or to taste)

Crush the candy canes. Combine first three ingredients in a jar, and close tightly. Shake well to combine. The candy canes will dissolve quickly, but it will take a while for the cacao nibs to infuse properly into the vodka. Ideally, you would wait about 4 weeks for full infusion. I only had 10 days for mine. I tried filtering the liqueur, but I wanted the cacao nibs to infuse further. So I added the simple syrup to taste, and then put some of the nibs back into the gift bottle. Normally I am not a proponent of gifting without filtering, but what I liked about this infusion is that the cacao nibs in the liqueur give it a bit of a “snow globe” look. The presentation is actually lovely.

photo(4)

If you don’t have the time or inclination to make your own peppermint bark liqueur, or if you like it much heavier on the chocolate, I would recommend the Peppermint Bark Liqueur from Eastside Distilling. It is very chocolatey and very delicious.

I hope your holidays are filled with cheer!

Related Posts

Holiday Fun Time – Holiday infusions and gift ideas

Gingerbread Liqueur

Holiday Liqueurs – Eastside Distilling


53 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!

Related Posts:

Holiday Fun Time! – Home infused liqueur recipes for the holidays

Ginger-Lime Gin