Boozed + Infused

Infusing liqueurs at home with inspiring and seasonal ingredients


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Holiday Liqueur: Pimento Dram

I love this time of year. There are always so many fun things going on including parties, cocktails, and holiday cheer!

Earlier in the year I had read stories of people describing Pimento Dram (Allspice Liqueur) as “Christmas in a Glass”. So I knew that this would be perfect for the holidays. And if you start now, you can enjoy it for your holiday festivities.


I started this way back in May (I guess I wanted to get a jump-start on my holiday cheer) and it is amazing. So far, everyone who has tasted this agrees.

Pimento Dram starts with infusing allspice berries in high-proof rum. After straining the allspice, you add a brown sugar simple syrup and let it rest a while to allow the flavors to mellow. The final result is sweet, spiced, and very rich. It is also really lovely.

Our intent with this liqueur was really to use it as holiday gifts, but it tastes so good I’m sure we will keep a bit for ourselves and some festive cocktails. Our friends over at Putney Farm have some exceptional cocktail recipes that include an Allspice Dram, including a toddy called the Tammany Jack. I think a little of this would be excellent drizzled into about any hot toddy.

Pimento Dram (recipe adapted from The Cocktail Chronicles)

1 1/2 c. 151 proof Rum

1/3 c. Allspice Berries

1 lb. brown sugar

2 c. water

Lightly crush the allspice berries, and place them in a glass jar along with the rum. Let this infuse for about 10 days to 2 weeks. (We infused for 2 weeks.) Strain the mixture well.

In a saucepan, add the brown sugar and water and heat until dissolved to create a brown sugar syrup. Allow the brown sugar syrup to cool completely.

Add the brown sugar syrup to the rum, and allow the mixture to rest for another 2-4 weeks.

Now go enjoy your holiday cheer!

I also came across some wonderful recipes for Pimento Dram that included cinnamon stick and other spices, but I wanted to keep the flavor of allspice more pure.

We will soon be compiling some of our favorite recipes throughout the year that we feel will be great for holiday parties and gifts so get your infusing supplies ready!

Cheers!


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Chamomile Bourbon and a Special Manhattan

This is our 100th post! So we’ll celebrate tonight with a tasty cocktail…

Here is one that will infuse quickly and be sure to soothe… chamomile

Chamomile Bourbon

1/8 oz. (about 3 TB) dried Chamomile Flowers

1 c. bourbon

Infuse for about 5 days, then strain the flowers and filter through a coffee filter. If you can’t find dried chamomile flowers, simply substitute some chamomile tea.

As you may have noted, we have more than one infusion going with these flowers, and we will be sure to share the other with you soon.

In the meantime, you can enjoy some delicious cocktails with your infused bourbon…

Chamomile Manhattan

2 oz. Chamomile Bourbon

3/4 oz. Sweet Vermouth

Dash of Angostura Bitters

Brandied Cherry (or other cocktail cherry)

Stir all ingredients except the Cherry over ice, strain into a chilled glass and garnish with the Brandied Cherry.

The chamomile flavor is lovely, and not overwhelming. The bourbon is still the star, but has a wonderful lingering chamomile taste.

Be sure to try this!

Cheers!


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Plum Liqueur

I have always loved these plums…

Since there were hundreds of pounds of them hanging from the trees at my parents’ farm, I helped myself to a big box of them.

And as usual, the first plums made their way into an infusion for a lovely plum liqueur.

Plum Liqueur

2 c. fresh sliced plums (about 8 small to medium plums)

2 c. vodka

2 TB sugar

Place all ingredients in a quart jar, seal and allow to infuse for 4-6 weeks. Strain the plums out of the liquid, and filter if desired. I have not yet filtered mine, but the liqueur seems quite clear.

This liqueur is very light and delicate. If you can still get fresh plums in your area, be sure to try this!

Cheers!

Related Posts:

Prune Brandy v. Prune Bourbon

Boozy Prune Jam

Boozy Spiced Brandy Plums


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Bourbon Apple Pies

Apple pie bourbon, and bourbon apple pies!?! Yes, that’s right.

Last winter I posted a recipe for Apple Pie Bourbon, which is an infusion of apples, cinnamon and vanilla bean in bourbon. The result is a delicious concoction that tastes like you are drinking an apple pie (perfect for the holidays). That post continues to be one of our most popular. And if you haven’t made it yet, now is a good time to start.

This is a great time of year to infuse apples, as well as other fall fruits.

Bourbon-soaked apples strained from Apple Pie Bourbon

When you strain the apples out of the bourbon, save them so that you can make Bourbon Apple Pies (discard the cinnamon stick and vanilla bean). You will be glad you did! If you aren’t ready to use them immediately, you can keep them in the freezer.

Bourbon Apple Pies

For the filling:
4 scant cups bourbon-soaked apples (from Apple Pie Bourbon)
2 T. Butter
1/2 -3/4 c. Brown sugar
2 T. Lemon juice
2-3 pinches of salt
2 T. Flour
2/3 c. Walnuts (toasted, and roughly chopped)

For the crust:
Puff pastry (one sheet, or a half of a package)
1 egg
1 T. Water

Roughly chop the bourbon-soaked apples into 1-inch pieces. Place the apples, butter, 1/2 c. brown sugar, lemon juice and salt in a medium, heavy bottom saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer on medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, continuing to stir frequently. When the apples are tender and much of the liquid has started to thicken, make a hole in the center, and whisk in the flour. Taste the mixture and if desired, add another 1/4 c. sugar. Simmer and stir for another 2-3 minutes.

Cook until your apple mixture reaches this consistency

Remove from heat and stir in the toasted walnuts. Set aside.

While the apple mixture is cooking, set out your puff pastry and allow to thaw. I’m not much of a baker, so I opted for the pre-made puff pastry. Alternatively you could make your own crust and use the filling in any manner of pies. We made these into small hand pies.

When the puff pastry is thawed, coat your countertop with a thin layer of flour and roll out the pastry until it is about 1/2 thickness of the original. This would make about 4 large hand pies. We made into 6 small and 2 medium hand pies, but the ones with more apple mixture were preferred. Next time I will make these all medium to large sized.

Cut the puff pastry into the size and shape of your hand pies. Place on a baking sheet that has been lines with a silicone liner or parchment. Spoon the apple mixture onto the dough. Don’t spoon too much liquid into the pies, it will run out and get messy while baking.

Small apple hand pies

Medium-sized hand pies

Crimp the ends/sides of the dough together and vent with a few holes on top.

Create an egg wash by whisking together the egg and 1 TB water. Brush each pie lightly with the egg wash.

Bake in a 375 degree oven until the dough is fully cooked and golden brown.

The small pies took about 15 minutes, and the medium pies took about 23 minutes. If you are making larger pies, they will take a little longer. Watch them closely.

Allow them to cool, then serve.

I made these small to accommodate a larger group, but next time I would make these the medium to large size. The apple mixture is the star.

The filling would also be nice served on pancakes or ice cream if you want to skip the crust. Any way you make this, it will be delicious.

Enjoy!


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Halloween Infusion part 2: Chocolate-Orange Liqueur

What is your favorite candy? And have you ever made it into a cocktail?

A few days ago I posted a recipe for Caramel Apple Liqueur, which I made for a get-together with a theme of Halloween candy infusions and cocktails. This was all the brainchild of Evelyn over at Momsicle, who wrote a great post about our “drink up”, complete with a group photo!

I racked my brain for candy infusion ideas, and while it may not exactly be a popular Halloween candy, I have always loved the flavor of orange and chocolate. As a kid, I would get chocolate-orange truffles at the candy store and always loved those chocolate orange sticks (the orange jelly candies that were covered in chocolate). So it was settled, I would make Chocolate-Orange liqueur.

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Chocolate-Orange Liqueur

Zest of 3 large Oranges

1/4 c. Cacao Nibs

1/4 c. sugar

2 c. vodka

Place all above ingredients in a glass jar, and close tight. Shake well and allow to infuse for abut 4 weeks. Strain through a filter, then cheesecloth, jelly bag, and coffee filters. This infusion clogged the coffee filters frequently, so be prepared to change the filter often.

This liqueur is delicious! It lived up to my idea of what I wanted it to taste like. And now for the cocktail…

Chocolate-Orange Martini

2oz. Chocolate-Orange Liqueur

2oz. Creme de Cacao (light)

Orange twist

Combine in a cocktail shaker with ice, and serve in a chilled martini glass with an orange twist. We also enjoyed them with a dark chocolate that was spiked with orange zest and orange oil. Delish!

You will also note that we served these in our “fun size” glasses so that we could taste each of the drink varieties at our gathering. They disappeared fast!

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Cheers!


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Halloween Infusion: Caramel Apple Liqueur

What are your Halloween plans this year? Perhaps a better question would be, what are your Halloween cocktail plans this year?

There are lots of great ideas and inspirations out there for Halloween drinks, and Evelyn from Momsicle suggested we get together for a pre-holiday Halloween-inspired infusion party. Poppy from Funny or Snot and Krista from Mostly Mommyhood were also on board for an early afternoon Happy Hour, and our group grew to five as our new friend Jodi from The Mama Gut joined the festivities.

We made most of the drinks “fun size” so that we could taste-test all of them. While I was never able to understand how a miniature candy bar could be “fun”, I was definitely on board with “fun size” cocktails!

Caramel apples were always a big treat around Halloween when I was growing up. So I set out to create a Caramel-Apple Liqueur, and based on the reactions at our fun-sized party (and how quickly these little shots disappeared) this is a keeper!

Apples in Vodka

Caramel-Apple Liqueur

2 Granny Smith Apples- cored & sliced

2 c. Vodka

1/2 c. Caramel Syrup (or to taste)

Core and slice the apples, and place in a glass jar. Pour vodka over the apples, making sure you have enough to cover. If needed you can add more vodka. Close the jar and place in a dark, cool location. Allow to infuse for 3-4 weeks.

Strain and filter through cheesecloth and coffee filters.

Prepare Caramel Syrup.
Allow the syrup to cool completely before adding to your apple infusion.

Apple Infused Vodka and Jar of Caramel Syrup

Add caramel syrup One Tablespoon at a time until it reaches your desired taste. I thought that both the apple flavor and caramel flavors were enhanced after chilling the liqueur in the freezer, so err on the side of adding less caramel than you may initially think.

We served these chilled in shot glasses with a slice of a caramel apple, and they were delicious! If you like caramel apples, you will not be disappointed.

Other seasonal drinks included cider with peanut bourbon, Payday Candy Bar shots, Chocolate-Orange martinis, and Ginger-lemon-pear vodka.

Our mini-party also included some fun Halloween snacks thanks to Krista. Find her directions for Frankenweenie pizzas here.

I can’t wait to hear about your Halloween cocktail plans…

Cheers!

Frankenweenie Mummy Pizzas

Monster Cheese Heads

Caramel Apple Shots

Related Posts:

Halloween Infusion Part 2: Chocolate-Orange Liqueur

Apple Liqueur

Apple Pie Bourbon

Caramel Apple Liqueur on Punk Domestics


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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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Bourbonberry Cocktail

Happy Autumn! The cold and rain have finally arrived in Portland. In between rain showers, I have been clearing out the garden and cutting down the last of the summer flowers. And just as I mourn the end of summer, I am reminded of all the lovely fruit infusions we made a few months ago. Sipping a lovely home-infused berry cocktail will bring you right back to the joys of summer!

Bourbonberry Cocktail (makes 2 drinks)

6 oz. Marionberry Bourbon

2 oz. White Creme de Cacao

2 oz. Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice

Orange Twist to garnish

Combine all liquids into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and serve over ice. Garnish with orange twist.

This drink is wonderful. It really does taste like the lovely Oregon Marionberries that we picked several months ago. The orange juice and  chocolatey sweetness from the creme de cacao balance nicely.

If you have a blackberry bourbon or marionberry bourbon, you will want to try this delicious cocktail. If you don’t have a blackberry bourbon, you could try substituting 4 oz bourbon and 2 oz blackberry liqueur or muddled blackberries.

Cheers!

Related Post:

Blackberry Infusions… Marionberry goodness


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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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Fresh Cherry Bourbon

I love cherries! Last winter, since cherries were not in season, we made a Cherry Bourbon with dried cherries. The dried cherries we used were tart cherries that had been sweetened with sugar.

Typically, every summer I preserve cherries for cocktails; brandied cherries, amaretto cherries, spiced brandied cherries, creme de cacao cherries, and much more. In truth, many of these end up on ice-cream, but making a good brandied cherry was the inspiration behind my canning addiction.

Last year, we went a bit overboard, picking 24 pounds of cherries. In addition to our usual boozy cherries, we made a steeped cherry bounce, cherry brandy, cherry jam, and chutney. This year we needed a little break from canning cherries. We still have a few jars from last year to keep our cocktails garnished for a while.

This year, I took the easy route. I picked up a bag of mixed sweet cherries at the farmers market and made only a simple, fresh cherry bourbon.

Fresh Cherry Bourbon

2 heaping cups of fresh cherries
2 c. Bourbon

Score each cherry with a knife, piercing through the flesh. No need to pit them.

Combine the scored cherries and bourbon in a quart jar, and allow to infuse for 2-4 weeks, or until it reaches your desired taste. We infused ours for 2 months and it tastes great. At this point you could strain the infusion, or simply use the cherries in cocktails as you use up the bourbon. (These cherries will be much boozier than our typical brandied cherries which use a simple syrup with liquor added, but will be much better than a lot of the cherries you get at the store.)

This fresh cherry bourbon has a much fresher, cleaner, and light taste than the dried cherry bourbon that we made last winter. I think I actually prefer the dried cherries, but both are delicious and will work well for different cocktails.

How do you prefer your cherry bourbon?

Fresh Cherry Bourbon after infusing for two months

Cheers!

Boozy Cherries from 2011