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.
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.
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?
Bourbon, Bourbon, Infused Bourbon
January 28, 2014 at 11:04 pm
Sounds great, just the thing for a winter’s night and makes a change from infusing chillies into oil. Your friend. Glitter? Have you tried emulating the Goldschläger liqueur and using Gold Leaf? I’ve come across others that use gold leaf in the Netherlands too. Very pretty they are when you shake them up. PS the actual value of the gold leaf is very very small 🙂
January 29, 2014 at 9:27 pm
Wow! The gold leaf is such a great idea! That would have been a dream come true for my friend. Sadly, I was not as creative as you. But thanks for the idea! I will have to think about other infusions that may go well in… Thanks for your comment! Cheers~
January 29, 2014 at 4:09 am
This sounds fantastic!
January 29, 2014 at 9:28 pm
Thanks! It is a fun combination, and a little spicy for me!
January 29, 2014 at 11:09 am
YAY! Sweet plus spice equals the best whiskey ever for hot toddies. I almost wanted the glitter to be in the whiskey itself, even though that sort of thing is not in character for me at all. But there are some edible glitters out there…or you could go Goldschlager. 🙂
January 29, 2014 at 9:31 pm
Eileen, thanks for the ideas! You are the 2nd person to recommend putting the glitter in the infusion! I’m sad to say I had not thought of that. But now I’m really disappointed in myself! I will definitely need to use that idea in another infusion, though. It does sound great for hot toddies… Yum
January 29, 2014 at 8:56 pm
nice! makes me think of a favorite cocktail at a local restaurant: http://www.citypages.com/bestof/2012/award/best-cocktail-for-putting-hair-on-your-chest-2455463/
Wondering about making habanero bitters so I could make the drink at home, but your whiskey would get me there in a different way.
Love how you packaged–the glitter sells it 😀
February 11, 2014 at 7:41 pm
Wow! Liz, that cocktail sounds very intriguing (and scary at the same time)!!
You could totally make a habanero bitters. Peppers infuse really quick and really strong. And if you used an overproof spirit, I think you’d be good. You may also be interested in a few products from one of my favorite shops, The Meadow (they have online ordering):
Bittermens Habanero Shrub (hotsauce for your cocktail!?!): http://www.atthemeadow.com/shop/Drink/Bitters/Browse-All-Bitters/Bittermens-Habanero-Shrub
or Brooklyn Hemispherical Sriracha Bitters: http://www.atthemeadow.com/shop/Drink/Bitters/Browse-All-Bitters/Brooklyn-Hemispherical-Sriracha-Bitters
But really, if you’re game… you should try making them and replicating the cocktail. Sounds like fun!
January 30, 2014 at 9:23 am
This sounds special. The spicy and sweet aspects paired with whiskey must be so tasty. 🙂
February 11, 2014 at 7:42 pm
Thanks, this is a fun drink… really hot! But also a touch of sweet honey.
February 1, 2014 at 5:18 pm
I could use about 3 shots of this right now – I am so sick and I bet this would make me so warm and comforting! A friend of mine just started a cocktail blog and she also owns Yumgoggle.com which is a food site. If she doesnt have a section for liquor I bet she starts one soon – you are going to have to start posting your fusions! I swear your stuff is so good – it needs to be seen by everyone! Go here http://www.yumgoggle.com and search under beverages!
February 11, 2014 at 7:45 pm
Hi Kelli… wish I could have shared with you! I’d make you a glittery habanero cocktail anytime!
Hope you’re feeling better!
February 11, 2014 at 7:45 pm
Oh, and thanks for the tips on yumgoggle! I’ll check it out! Cheers~
February 9, 2014 at 9:41 am
I’m loving this, esp as a gift idea! Keep em coming!
February 11, 2014 at 8:17 pm
Thank you! Cheers~
February 12, 2014 at 6:07 am
Had to come back as I just discovered this: http://www.bluenunwines.com/brandletter/brandletter_110/article1.php
A sparkly wine with gold leaf. Blue Nun was famously known in the UK in the 80’s as the blandest of bland wines popular with youngsters who’d never tried wine before. I’ve no idea if it has changed at all.
It could make an interesting cocktail tho 🙂
February 14, 2014 at 6:35 am
aw man i totally would’ve made this for my husband for valentine’s day! sweet and spicy is the perfect combo 🙂
March 10, 2014 at 8:42 pm
There’s always next year… Or next birthday, or next holiday, or next random gift giving for no special reason… Cheers~
February 17, 2014 at 5:55 pm
I am squinting and tearing up right now because I just wiped my eyes with hands that infused tequila with habañero peppers earlier today! And I washed them about five times. Love your flavor combination here, Alicia. I completely dig the added burn in a cocktail!
March 10, 2014 at 8:44 pm
Oh no! Ouch! Gloves are a very important part of pepper preparation…
March 4, 2014 at 6:24 am
Late to the game but I love this recipe. I may try it soon! The closest I’ve come to it was making a ghost pepper infused bourbon. I grew my own ghost peppers a couple years ago and needed ways to use them. So I sliced one in half, took a bottle of Old Grand-dad (86 proof), and dropped the halves in for about 24 hrs. The results were very flavorful but I haven’t found myself using it a lot because it’s so damn hot. After reading this recipe, you got me wondering if honey and spice might make it more drinkable.
March 10, 2014 at 8:46 pm
Ooh… I have never worked with ghost peppers, but I think they are much more spicy than habaneros. Also, infusing into the honey for a short while helps limit the heat. But this is still very spicy… I don’t think it is for everyone!
March 8, 2014 at 3:57 pm
Looks yummy! I too wondered if you were going to add glitter to the infusion, but the sparkly bottle must have made a lovely gift. I know a couple people who only drink vodka after pouring it over a long curl of lemon rind and slivers of green peppers.
March 10, 2014 at 8:47 pm
Thank you! I will really need to look for some edible glitter!
May 24, 2014 at 6:07 pm
Alicia what kind of bottle did you use to pour the whiskey into, the one at the end of the post.
April 2, 2014 at 8:03 am
Love this! The hotter the better but don’t forget to wear gloves!!
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May 26, 2014 at 6:07 am
This may seem like a stupid question but I’m new to the whole process of infusing alcohols and I was just wondering if infused liquor goes off? Does it have a shelf life?
I only ask because while i do enjoy making all kinds of different cocktails, i’m not a heavy drinker and a bottle any one thing will sit on my bar for a long time before its finished
June 6, 2014 at 12:07 pm
just did my own variation on this. Used chilli peppers instead of habenero. Came out great and spicy.
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August 2, 2014 at 7:49 am
Any suggestions for cocktails to add this to?? Thanks! 🙂
November 13, 2014 at 6:05 pm
Does this need to be refrigerated?
November 16, 2014 at 4:42 pm
If you make this recipe as directed, it does not need to be refrigerated.
November 18, 2014 at 1:48 pm
Oh man, just made this, can’t wait to try it/give it to my sick brother to help with his cough and congestion!
November 18, 2014 at 5:48 pm
Hi Alex, I hope he likes it! Cheers~
May 27, 2015 at 8:45 am
I am a little confused, do you really only use 1-1/2 OZ of water or is that a typo?
December 7, 2016 at 7:02 pm
That was 1.5 ounces (basically the equivalent of a shot)
March 7, 2016 at 7:08 pm
Sorry for perhaps a newbie question: At the end of the process of simmering the infusion ingredients, straining and adding to the 1 cup of whiskey that sits for 1-2 days, that volume only amounts to about 1 cup of infused whiskey. Do you then return that to the original bottle of whiskey or do you have to scale up the process to make larger batches? Thanks so much! Plan to start it tonight!
December 7, 2016 at 7:01 pm
Sorry for the delay. Did you make it? You can totally scale this up for a larger batch. I just put the liquid in a small bottle but it’s up to you how much you want to make.
November 21, 2016 at 10:47 am
How much does this recipe make? Thanks!
December 7, 2016 at 6:59 pm
This will make 10-12 fluid ounces. Cheers
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October 30, 2017 at 8:50 am
Hello, what brand of Whiskey did you used?
November 5, 2017 at 9:02 pm
I often use Jim Beam for bourbon infusions because it is inexpensive and tends to allow the infused flavors to shine. But feel free to use any brand you like. I prefer to keep the better whiskey for drinking straight. But many prefer to infuse Makers Mark or better.