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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Peppermint Bark Liqueur

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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!)

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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.

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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!

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Halloween Infusion part 3: Caramel Corn Liqueur

Last year, at the suggestion of Evelyn from Momsicle, our small group of Portland area bloggers got together for a Halloween candy-inspired infusion party. This post is intended to continue the series of Halloween infusions that we started last year. The infusions we made last year included Caramel Apple Liqueur and Chocolate Orange Liqueur.

Corn infusion

The recipe I am about to give you was originally made for that same gathering. When I think of Halloween, I have visions of popcorn balls and caramel corn. I was determined to make a caramel corn liqueur. I made two variations. One was with raw corn, the other with boiled corn. I infused them each in vodka and added caramel syrup. The trouble was, the corn flavor was not very strong. I probably should have infused actual popcorn into the vodka. The resulting liqueur was still delicious! It just didn’t quite have the flavor profile I was going for.

Eventually, I gave a few bottles of the caramel corn liqueur to two different friends. Both of them declared that this was their favorite! So I decided I should share the caramel-goodness with you too!

Caramel Corn Liqueur

1 medium-sized ear of corn (about one cup of corn kernels)

1 1/2 cups of vodka (360 mL)

4-5 Tablespoons of Caramel Syrup (or more or less to taste)

You can try either raw corn or cooked (as mentioned above, we tried both raw and boiled). I think grilled would be nice (or try adding air-popped popcorn). Cut the corn off the cob, and place it in a canning jar or other bottle. Add the vodka, and allow to infuse until it reaches your desired flavor (we infused for about 2 months, but I’m sure you could do a much shorter time).

Strain and filter the corn out of the vodka with cheesecloth and coffee filters.

Make the Caramel Syrup according to directions from Homebrew Underground (we made only 1/3 of the recipe). Allow the syrup to cool completely before adding to the corn-vodka infusion. Begin to add the caramel syrup to the corn-vodka infusion one Tablespoon at a time until it reaches your desired flavor.

Caramel Corn Liqueur

Chill, and enjoy on its own, or in some sweet cocktails!

Cheers!

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Halloween Infusion part 2: Chocolate Orange Liqueur

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Favorite Raspberry Booze

Hi there friends. Sorry I have been so absent… Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?

I can’t believe it is summer already! The time is flying by. This is my favorite time of year for many reasons. Among the top reasons are all of the fresh berries. So imagine my delight to receive a message from my grandmother asking if I would like to pick raspberries with her… of course I would! And I’m proud to say I made it home with a flat of them. Not bad for the first picking of the year.

raspberries

Last year I put together a line up of raspberry infusions. So rather than duplicate it, I will link you back to it, and share a few more tips and recommendations.

Raspberry Infusions: a little splash of heaven

If you are a fan of raspberry liqueur, I recommend the Chocolate-Raspberry Liqueur. I made this for the first time last year, and it was so good we made several batches of it. This was one of my favorite new recipes last year.

For those of you who enjoy caipirinhas, I would like to recommend infusing some cachaça with raspberries. The infused cachaça is highly coveted around here. Follow the recipe for Simple Raspberry Liqueur.

I hope you are all enjoying the summer!

Cheers~


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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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Quick and Simple Limoncello!

Lemons

One of the great things about winter is citrus fruit! Ok, ok, I don’t live in a citrus-growing area. But that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a tasty lemon pie, and start fermenting some spicy lime pickles… and oh yeah… we can’t forget the limoncello!

There are tons of limoncello recipes out there, and I’m sure that many of them are absolutely wonderful. Most of them include zesting the fruit and infusing for lengthy periods of time. Now typically, that kind of thing is right up my alley. Any of you who have been following us for long can attest to my affinity for long infusion times. But for me, limoncello is different.

A few years ago, we were visiting some friends and they pulled out a lovely bottle of homemade limoncello from the freezer. It was so lemony and tart, and just perfect. It was the best limoncello I ever had! I managed to get the recipe and now I will share it with you. I’m afraid that I do not know the source of the recipe, so I apologize for not appropriately giving credit.

Quick and Simple Limoncello

1 Litre of Vodka (80 proof is fine)

12 lemons

1 1/2 c. Sugar

Slice the lemons in half, and juice all of them. Set the juice aside and reserve for another purpose.

Place the lemon peels, vodka, and sugar in a large jar (you will probably be able to just squeeze this into a 1/2 gallon jar). Make sure all of the lemon peels are submerged in the vodka (stack them together if necessary) and seal the jar tight. Stir or shake it daily until all the sugar has dissolved, or about a week.

Strain the liquid, but do not squeeze the lemons it will make the infusion bitter. You can gently press a bit of the liquid out of the lemons with the back of a wooden spoon, but make sure you don’t give them much pressure. After you have filtered the rest of the liquid, bottle it and enjoy!

I’m sure there are tons of amazing cocktail recipes to use with this limoncello, but I prefer to store mine in the freezer and drink it straight, well-chilled.

If you have any desire to make limoncello this year, please try this fast and easy version. It is spectacular!

Cheers!

Limoncello

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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!

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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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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!

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Holiday Fun Time ! – Holiday Infusions and Holiday Inspired Liqueurs


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Holiday Fun Time!

I love this time of year. Lots of parties, indulgent meals, and festive holiday cheer!

Whether you are hosting gatherings for family and friends, attending a party or planning on giving gifts to your loved ones or colleagues, holiday-inspired infusions abound.

Here at Boozed + Infused, we’ve got a lot of seasonal and holiday infusions going on, and we have also posted a number of them throughout the year. While we may have a few more to post in the coming weeks, now is the best time to get started so that you will have time to enjoy these throughout the holidays!

Depending on which holiday you are celebrating, you will want to check the infusion times for these. Keep in mind that dried fruits and spices tend to infuse quicker than fresh fruits, so if you want something in time for Thanksgiving, you could start with one of those. Also keep in mind that my infusion times are just a guide. While the flavor may not be as strong with a shorter infusion, they will still be very tasty. Don’t let the length of time stop you from making these!

A good place to start is with our Booze Infusion Index. If you haven’t check this out yet, this is a full listing of all of our infusion and liqueur recipes. This may help inspire you to make something that you will love or that would go well for your holiday bash.

Here are a few of our favorites that we think are great for fall, winter and the holiday season.

Irish Cream – this liqueur will please just about everyone. It is ready instantly. Yes, no waiting period. It would be great to go with your Thanksgiving dessert (or just about anything else).

Star Anise Gin – this infuses in just a few days.  Any licorice-lover will be in heaven!

Oatmeal & Brown Sugar Booze – you only need 7-10 days. Just try it…

Dried Cherry Bourbon – tastes really great at one week or less, maximum infusion time is two weeks. If you start now, this could be part of your Thanksgiving menu. (This is one of my all-time favorite infusions.)

Dried Currant Brandy – infusion time is about three weeks – make your own for Kir Royale!

Cranberry-Orange Cordial – this takes about three weeks. Start it now and be sure to use this in champagne cocktails (best I have ever had). You holiday party will be a sure success!Apple Pie Bourbon

Coffee Bourbon – takes three weeks or less. * This is a favorite of many of our readers! Will be great for gifts, holiday desserts and more.

Winter Spice Liqueur – infusion time is about three weeks. This is my take on a holiday fragrance we used to make when I was a kid.

Chocolate Brandy – infuse 4-5 weeks

Chocolate-Orange Liqueur – infuse about four weeks

Almond Liqueur – infuse about four weeks – home made amaretto!

Pear and Cranberry Liqueur – needs about 3 weeks

But don’t let this list stop you from making a different infusion. Wherever you find inspiration, your home-infused delights will make for some fun and festive holidays!

Cheers!