Boozed + Infused

Infusing liqueurs at home with inspiring and seasonal ingredients


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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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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


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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


78 Comments

Banana Bourbon

When I first started doing infusions, a banana liqueur wasn’t really at the top of my list. It simply didn’t appeal to me. But the longer I do this, I hear more and more people talking about banana liqueurs they have had and how tasty they are. At some point, I would like to do a banana rum. But since I have more experience infusing bourbon, and I really think of bourbon as a fool-proof spirit base for infusions (ok, I’m sure someone will tell me otherwise). So, with a small leap of faith, we embarked on banana bourbon.

This is really easy and delicious.

We let the bananas get really ripe and tasty…

They may not look pretty, but they were perfect.

We took these two perfectly ripe bananas, added two cups of bourbon, and infused for just over two weeks. I guess two was the magic number because this is another keeper. It tastes like sweet bananas and a mellow bourbon. I think this will make for some great cocktails, but it is also great on its own.

Be sure to filter, then strain through cheesecloth and coffee filters.

Cheers!

Related Posts:

Apple Pie Bourbon

Bourbon, Bourbon, Infused Bourbon!

Coffee Bourbon

Cherry Bourbon


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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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Chocolate Bourbon-Peanut Clusters

These chocolate peanut clusters are made with the bourbon-soaked peanuts from our last post, Peanut Bourbon.

I wasn’t sure how these were going to turn out, so I didn’t measure precisely. These are rough estimates, but I don’t think the amounts are all that important. The recipe was following the same idea and inspiration from Oh She Glows (which we also used on the chocolate covered candied bourbon cherries.)

Chocolate Bourbon-Peanut Clusters

2/3 c. Bourbon-soaked Peanuts (from the peanut bourbon)

1/3 c. semi-sweet chocolate

1/2 TB Coconut Oil

2 healthy pinches of Sea Salt

Roast the peanuts in a low oven (225-275 degrees) tossing occasionally, until the peanuts are nearly dried out. Let sit until the following day.

Heat chocolate and coconut oil in the microwave or double boiler until the chocolate is mostly melted. Stir in the peanuts, and sea salt. Spoon onto a plate or parchment paper and place in refrigerator or freezer to set. Keep in refrigerator until you eat them (which probably won’t be that long…)

The sea salt is what really made these perfect. You could probably substitute a flaked salt or finishing salt with great results. We had a hand-picked, Oregon Sea Salt which gave it just the right flavor.

Enjoy!


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Peanut Bourbon

This is an easy one. And if you like peanuts, you will like this.

Peanut Bourbon

2/3 c. Raw Peanuts (unsalted)

1 1/2 c. Bourbon (or other spirit of your choice)

Remove skins from peanuts, and give just a quick rough chop (not much). Toast the peanuts lightly until they just start to brown and the oils are starting to come out.  Set the peanuts aside and allow to cool. Once cooled, add both the peanuts and bourbon to a jar and cap it. Shake or stir, and keep in a cool dark place. Allow to infuse until it reaches your desired taste. We let this infuse for about a month, but you could do a much shorter time. It started to get the peanut flavor very quickly. Strain and filter with cheesecloth, and if desired, with a coffee filter.

* Keep those peanuts after you have strained them! (And stay tuned for a future post about the delicious treats we made with those infused peanuts.)

If you can’t find raw peanuts, you could probably try any unsalted peanuts. Make sure if you do use raw peanuts that you toast them to bring out the flavors. I made another nut-infused liqueur without toasting and it didn’t turn out as well.

Cheers!