Boozed + Infused

Infusing liqueurs at home with inspiring and seasonal ingredients


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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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Hibiscus Lemonade

Who needs a Monday cocktail? It is (finally) a gorgeous, sunny summer day here in the Pacific Northwest. And a cool, refreshing drink sounded just perfect.

We’re bringing back a few infusions that we made a while back, but they are perfect for this summer beverage.

Hibiscus Lemonade (serves 2)

2 oz Fresh squeezed lemon juice

2 oz Hibiscus Brandy

2 oz Lemongrass Vodka

1 oz simple syrup (or to taste)

6 oz club soda

Mix the first 4 ingredients in a shaker, and stir well to combine. Divide among two tall glasses filled with ice, add club soda, stir and enjoy!

Cheers!

 


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Cocoa Nib Brandy, and the battle of the booze

Remember a few months ago when we made a Chocolate Bourbon? Well, it was fabulous! But some people tell me that they don’t like bourbon. And since one of them is my mother, and she happens to be a chocolate lover, I decided to test out a Chocolate Brandy.

The recipe we made was nearly identical to the Chocolate Bourbon.

Chocolate Brandy

2 c. Brandy

1/2 c. Cocoa Nibs

2-inch piece of vanilla bean, split

(if desired, add simple syrup)

Infuse for 4-5 weeks. Strain through cheesecloth or jelly bag, and coffee filters.  We did not add any simple syrup. I think it would be delicious with it, but we wanted to be able to use this in cocktails, and thought it would be more versatile this way.

If you have trouble locating Cocoa Nibs, please reference the post on Chocolate Bourbon.

Bourbon v. Brandy… what’s your pick?

I have written before that I have a much improved appreciation for bourbon now that I infuse with it. There had long been a few bourbon cocktails that I really enjoyed, but it was never at the top of my list. But when infusing, bourbon is often my favorite spirit to use. It brings so much flavor and nuance to the end result.

We did a Prune liqueur show down a few months ago where we taste tested Prune Brandy v. Prune Bourbon, and although they were both delicious, the bourbon was the clear winner.

In the case of Chocolate Brandy v. Chocolate Bourbon… I declare the winner to be… Brandy!

I’m sorry bourbon lovers. Both of these are really amazing, and I would encourage ALL of you to start infusing with Cocoa Nibs. As much as I really enjoyed the Chocolate Bourbon, the Chocolate flavor shines through better in the brandy.

But, that is just my humble opinion… have any of you infused with Cocoa Nibs? How about a Chocolate Vodka? I think it would be delicious!

Cheers!


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Boozy Prune Jam

Happy Mothers Day!

Our plans changed a bit this year, and we had to come up with a portable breakfast. What we came up with turned out to be a winner.

Remember the prune liqueur taste test from a few weeks ago? Well we still had the prunes soaking in the booze. We finally strained them and decided to make something useful.

Boozy Prune Jam

1 generous cup booze soaked prunes (half of our prunes were soaked in bourbon, half in brandy)

3/4 cup orange juice

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 c. dark brown sugar

pinch of salt

– Make sure the prunes are very soft, and have soaked in the alcohol for a long time. (ours had soaked for a month, so they were very soft and spreadable inside)

– Quarter the prunes, then give them a rough chop.

– Place all ingredients in a small saucepan, and bring to a simmer on medium/low, stirring often and breaking up the prunes.

– Reduce heat to low, and continue to simmer until this reaches the consistency of a thick sauce or loose jam. (It will thicken up a bit upon cooling.) This will probably take about 5-10 minutes.

– Remove from heat and allow to cool.

– Store in refrigerator. Will keep for a few weeks.

We made some mini cream scones to spread this on, and it was perfect! In fact, this spread was so tasty, I could eat it by the spoonful. It was such a hit, I’m tempted to get a big bag of dried prunes to soak in booze for the sole purpose of making this jam and canning it (I’m a canning addict).

If you don’t have booze soaked prunes, you could probably start with dried prunes and stew them on low in a bit of water and brandy or bourbon until they get really soft. Then chop them and proceed with the recipe above.

After the success of this spread, I think we are going to start using a lot more of our booze-soaked ingredients.

Have a great Mother’s Day!


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Sunset Cocktail

I spent some time this weekend working on the landscape around our garden bed. This included laying sand, pebbles, cut stone, and ground cover. After the physical labor was done, it was time for a refreshing cocktail… and seeing as it was sunset, the Sunset Cocktail magically appeared on our patio.

Sunset Cocktail

3 oz Orange Juice

2 oz Pineapple Rum

1 oz Hibiscus Brandy

Add ice to glass, pour ingredients in order listed above. Enjoy!

As an alternative, we had Hibiscus mimosas a few weeks ago that were a great morning version of this cocktail (not that this Sunset can’t be enjoyed at Sunrise… it does have orange juice, after all!)

For the Hibiscus mimosas, try 2 oz OJ, 2 oz champagne, and 1/2 oz Hibiscus Brandy.

Cheers!


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Prune Brandy v. Prune Bourbon

If we told you we were doing a prune taste test, would it sound like we were trying to “spruce up” the menu at a senior living community?

I had not had prunes since I was a kid. I had seen some prune infusions at bars, and love how most dried fruits turn out in liqueurs, so we thought we would do a taste test… Prune Brandy v. Prune Bourbon

You decide…

Prune Liqueur

3 oz. dried prunes

1 1/2 c. of Brandy or Bourbon

Let infuse for approximately 2 weeks. Delicious!

For the prunes, we used Newman’s Organic. They were very soft and juicy for a dried fruit, and had no added sweeteners or preservatives. We split a 6 oz bag between the 2 spirits, which turned out to be about 10 large prunes per jar.

As for the taste test, both my husband and I prefer the Prune Bourbon. My husband is a bourbon lover. He loves all bourbons, especially on their own, so that is not really a fair judgment. But for myself, I am not a huge bourbon fan. I love a good Manhattan, and there are certain other bourbon cocktails that are spectacular, but it is not typically something that I would have on its own.

Infusing bourbon has really changed my feelings about this spirit. I have to say, I think bourbon makes some of the easiest, and tastiest liqueurs we have made. It has so many flavors and sugars of its own, and they blend so nicely with nearly anything that you would choose to infuse.

The Prune Brandy is also spectacular, so don’t let this rant convince you not to try that as well. I can see why the “prune” industry has been trying to give itself a face-lift over the past few years. I believe the proper term is now “dried plums” but they will always be prunes to me… But I think I’ll start buying them more often now!

Cheers!

Related Posts:
Boozy Spiced Sugar Plums

Boozy Prune Jam

Plum Liqueur


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Oatmeal & Brown Sugar Booze – why oatmeal is not just for breakfast anymore!

How do you like your oatmeal? Do you like it with cream and brown sugar? How about raisins and walnuts? Even if you don’t normally eat or care for oatmeal, I have a feeling you will like this…

I was inspired by an Oat and Honey Vodka recipe from Chow, which lists that it is adapted from Blue Hill at Stone Barns.

I have trouble following directions, so I didn’t follow the recipe. I really love brown sugar in my oatmeal, so we adapted it accordingly. It was hard to keep myself from putting dried cranberries and walnuts in there, but we wanted to be able to try this on its own first.

Oatmeal & Brown Sugar Booze

1 c. rolled oats

1 1/2 c. vodka

2/3 c. brandy

1/4 c. packed light brown sugar

We infused this for about 9 days, then strained and filtered well.

We did not refrigerate as the Chow recipe indicates. With the portions of ingredients we used, it was not necessary.

The oatmeal gives it a creamy flavor, and it is delicious! We have not tried it in cocktails yet, but this recipe from Chow says to add half-and-half for a Quaker Shaker.

Maybe the true inspiration for this is my college reunion (which I am not attending)… our mascot was the Quaker. Here’s a toast to dear old Penn!

Give this one a try. You won’t regret it.