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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27 Comments

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

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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

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22 Comments

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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Blueberry-Orange Liqueur for Party Cocktails!

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

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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!

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Blueberry-Orange Gin & Tonic

2 oz. Blueberry-Orange Liqueur

4 oz. Tonic

Lemon Wedge

Ice

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…)

Cheers!

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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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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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