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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Mixology Monday: Bein’ Green

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This is my first time participating in Mixology Monday! I started seeing all the green cocktails popping up today and realized that the theme is “(it’s not easy) Bein’ Green”. I decided it’s about time I got up off the couch and did something with that Peapod Vodka.

Thanks to everyone who sent ideas and suggestions for Peapod Vodka cocktails, we were already off to a good start. Many of you suggested citrus flavors, and I thought that sounded perfect. Now that the rains of fall have settled into the Pacific Northwest, our greenery is flourishing. So with the “green” theme, we went all out!

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Friends of Pea (makes one petite drink)
1.5 oz. Peapod Vodka
1/2 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 tsp. simple syrup (or more to taste)
5-6 large lemon balm leaves, plus more to garnish

Muddle the lemon balm in a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the remaining ingredients and shake well. Strain into a small cocktail glass, and enjoy!

I really wanted to be able to taste the pea flavor in the cocktail. (I never thought I would say those words!) This cocktail is actually quite nice. I think the lime and lemon balm go well. I toyed with the idea of using Thai basil, and I think that would be delicious also. In fact, I may try that later…

Here was the theme for today’s MxMo, from October’s host Wordsmithing Pantagruel:
With the warm days of summer now fading off into the distance in our rear view mirrors, let’s pay one last tribute to the greens of summer before the frosts come and our outdoor herb gardens give up the ghost for the winter. For our theme for this month, I have chosen: (it’s not easy) “Bein’ Green.” (Perchance due in no small part to my predilection for Green Chartreuse.) I’m giving you a wide berth on this one, anything using a green ingredient is fair play. There’s not only the aforementioned Chartreuse; how about Absinthe Verte, aka the green fairy. Or Midori, that stuff is pretty damn green. Crème de menthe? Why not? Douglas Fir eau de vie? Bring it! Apple schnapps? Uh…well…it is green. I suppose if you want to try to convince me it makes something good you can have at it. But it doesn’t have to be the liquor. Limes are green. So is green tea. Don’t forget the herb garden: mint, basil, cilantro, you name it – all fair game. There’s also the veritable cornucopia from the farmers market: green apples, grapes, peppers, olives, celery, cucumbers…you get the idea. Like I said, wide berth. Base, mixer, and or garnish; if it’s green it’s good. Surprise me. Use at least one, but the more the merrier.

Cheers!


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National Vodka Day and a Cantaloupe Vodka Cocktail: Love

Well National Vodka Day has nearly passed. Did you do anything fun to celebrate?

We tested out a new cocktail, our first try at using the Cantaloupe Vodka we made this summer. And this drink is fabulous; the perfect way to pay tribute to this special day.

Love Cocktail (makes 2)

5 oz Cantaloupe Vodka

Juice of 1 small lime

1 TB Honey

1 TB Water

Lime zest to garnish

Combine honey and water and heat until honey is dissolved. Allow to cool. Add honey-water combination, lime juice, and Cantaloupe Vodka to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously, and strain into cocktail glasses. Add lime twist.

This drink is really delicious. It is sweet, tangy, and somehow the lime and honey allow the cantaloupe flavor to really shine.

Cheers!


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Blackberry Infusions… Marionberry goodness

All of these infusions can be made with almost any variety of blackberry. Here in Oregon, we have a local cultivar of blackberry called the Marionberry.  This berry is slender and a bit tart, but a very tasty variety of blackberry.

I must be a bit greedy… because my recent trip to my parents’ farm to pick Marionberries yielded ten pounds of these beauties. (I also managed to come home with a couple pints of wild black raspberries, a favorite from my childhood.)

While most of the berries made their way into a large batch of jam, and a few ended up in a batch of Maple-Bourbon Blackberries, the rest were turned into several prized infusions.

Blackberry (Marionberry) Bourbon

2 1/2 c. Blackberries

2 1/4 c. Bourbon

Combine ingredients in a large jar, seal well and shake. Store in a cool, dark place for several months or until it reaches your desired taste, shaking contents every few days. Add sugar/honey if desired. Strain and filter with strainer, cheesecloth, and coffee filters.

Blackberry (Marionberry) Mojito Infusion

2 c. Blackberries

2 c. Rum

1/4 c. Packed mint leaves (we used a combination of spearmint and chocolate mint)

Zest of 1 lime

2 TB Sugar (or more to taste)

Combine all ingredients in a large jar and follow directions above for Blackberry Bourbon.

Blackberry-Lemon Liqueur

2 c. Blackberries

Zest of 1 lemon

1 1/4 c. Brandy

3/4 c. Vodka

2 TB Sugar (or more to taste)

Combine all ingredients in a large jar and follow directions above for Blackberry Bourbon.

While you may not have Marionberries in your area, try any of these liqueurs/infusions with your local variety of blackberry. As each variety has a different “sweetness” to it, you may want to alter the sugar content to suit your variety.

Cheers!

Related Post:

Bourbonberry Cocktail


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Mint Bourbon and an amazing cocktail!

We started infusing a mint bourbon shortly before the Kentucky Derby. For those of you who are Mint Julep fans, you may have too!

For our Mint-Infused Bourbon, we used Chocolate Mint, instead of the typical Spearmint. We picked some mint, rinsed it (and allowed to dry), then packed it into a pint jar and covered with bourbon. Infuse until it reaches your desired taste.

So, armed with mint-infused bourbon, we couldn’t help but want to try it in the Shady Porch Cocktail from A Taste of Morning. A Taste of Morning is written by Laurie, proprietor of the Morning Star B&B in Manhattan, Kansas. And by the looks of her posts, this would not be a place to miss if you are in the area.

Laurie’s Shady Porch Cocktail called for Mint-Infused Vodka, and we decided to test it out with our mint-infused bourbon instead. The drink was absolutely spectacular! I’m sure it is also fabulous with the original, vodka infusion.

Bourbon Shady Porch (adapted from A Taste of Morning)

1 1/2 oz. mint-infused Bourbon

1/2 oz. fresh lime juice

1/2 oz. mint simple syrup

4 oz. Ginger Ale

Garnish with lime zest and sprig of mint

Combine first 3 ingredients, and stir well to combine. Pour over ice, and add ginger ale. Garnish with lime and mint.

We used Spearmint for our mint simple syrup, but also enjoyed the chocolate-mint flavor in the bourbon infusion. The flavor seemed to be a bit more gentle than the spearmint.

Thank you again to Laurie from Morning Star B&B and A Taste of Morning. We will definitely make this cocktail again. It was really tasty, and will make for great summer gatherings.


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El Pepino Cocktail

You’re going to think I’m some kind of freak of nature when I tell you this… but I don’t like Margaritas. I’m kind of scared to admit that to people, especially as I’m writing this blog about boozing and infusing. It is almost Cinco de Mayo! What a perfect time for Margaritas, and infused tequila. But not for me. I usually go for a Mexican beer with lime. Which is delicious in its own right. But… this year will be different.

A few weeks ago, I made the Lime-Chipotle Finishing Salt from The Cozy Herbivore. It is delicious on popcorn, and sprinkled into a variety of dishes. Among the list of recommended uses is a Margarita Rim. I’m always jealous of those who drink Margaritas. They always look so tasty.

So, I decided I would enjoy this salt on the rim of a different drink. We happened to have some Cucumber Vodka left, so it seemed only logical to pair it with this salt.

El Pepino

2 oz Cucumber Vodka

1 oz Gin

1 TB Dry Vermouth

1 TB Fresh squeezed lime juice

Lime-Chipotle Finishing Salt

Run a lime wedge around the rim of the glass, and then dip in the Lime Chipotle Salt. Stir the remaining ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, strain and enjoy.

The salt and chipotle finish off the flavor so well, without being over-powering. I can see why others have said that this had really stepped up their margarita consumption. It is not too late to infuse some cucumbers before Cinco de Mayo… if you’re so inclined. This would be a great addition to your festivities!

Salud!


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Ginger-Lime Gin & Tonic

For those of you wondering if the Ginger-Lime Gin would make a good G&T…

We thought it was spectacular!

2 oz Ginger-Lime Gin

4 oz Tonic Water

Lime Wedge

Pour gin and tonic over ice, squeeze a bit of lime, stir and enjoy.

This was amazing. We really liked it. I’d like to try this with club soda next time since the ginger-lime gin had so much flavor on its own (including a bit of sweetness from the agave). But I’m almost afraid to mess with this since it was so delicious.

We will make this again…