Boozed + Infused

Infusing liqueurs at home with inspiring and seasonal ingredients


48 Comments

Raspberry Infusions: a little splash of heaven

The first liqueur I ever made was Raspberry. I guess I should say the first four liqueurs I made were all Raspberry!

A few years ago, I went to my parents’ farm to pick some raspberries for jam. I came home with a LOT of berries. I made a few batches of jam, and it seemed like I had not even made a dent in the volume of raspberries. So I started going through my liquor cabinet, selecting anything that seemed like it would taste good with the berries.

I ended up with Raspberry Vodka, Raspberry Brandy, Raspberry Cachaça and Raspberry-Mint Gin. I left all of the infusions in the back of our coat closet for three months. And by the time we filtered them, they were heavenly. (Follow recipe for Simple Raspberry Liqueur below) Each year, the volume of Raspberry Liqueur in my pantry seems to grow.

As I started to infuse a wider variety of ingredients, the Raspberry liqueurs have remained some of my favorites.

I spent a good part of the day yesterday picking raspberries with my mother. (And I’ve got the scratches all over my arms to prove it!)

I ended up with about four pounds of amazing, sweet, delicious raspberries. If you have never infused raspberries before, you are really missing out. These wonderful liqueurs really are a little splash of heaven.

Simple Raspberry Liqueur

750 ml bottle of 80 proof booze (vodka, gin, rum, brandy, or cachaça)

3 1/2 c. raspberries

1/4 to 1/2 c. sugar (or more depending on your preference)

Combine all ingredients in a large glass jar. Shake or stir every few days, allowing to infuse for up to 3 months, or until it reaches your desired taste. Add more sugar if desired. Strain and filter well. The straining process can take a while with raspberries, but the jelly bag (or lots of cheesecloth) and coffee filters will produce a clear result.

Raspberry-Mint Gin (adapted from Get Fresh)

750 ml bottle of Gin

1 1/3 lb Raspberries

1/2 c. tightly packed mint leaves

1/2 c. sugar

Follow directions above, same as Simple Raspberry Liqueur.

This is a favorite of ours, and tastes amazing in a gin and tonic.

This year I decided to try out some new variations and flavors. I don’t quite know how they will turn out yet… I guess we’ll have to wait a while before we know. I hope these inspire you to get creative with your raspberry infusions as well.

Raspberry-Lemon Vodka

2 c. Raspberries

Zest of 2 lemons

2 c. Vodka

1/4 c. Sugar

Follow directions above, same as Simple Raspberry Liqueur.

ROB Rum (Raspberry-Orange-Blueberry)

1 c. Frozen Blueberries (cut in half or roughly chopped)

1 1/4 c. Raspberries

Zest of one orange

2 c. Rum

2 TB Sugar

Follow directions above, same as Simple Raspberry Liqueur.

After these have infused for a while, we may alter them with more sugar or simple syrup. We also may add more zest if necessary.

And finally, one last treat…

Chocolate-Raspberry Liqueur

1 1/2 c. Raspberries

1/4 c. cocoa nibs

1/4 c. sugar

2 c. vodka

Follow directions above, same as Simple Raspberry Liqueur.

We will let you know how these new flavors turn out… but it may be a while before they are ready. We will try tasting them before the three months are up to see if they infuse quicker than we think. But I think they will need at least a month.

Do you have any raspberry infusion flavor ideas? What are your favorites?

Cheers!

Related Posts

Raspberry Caipirinha

Raspberry Bliss

Update 7/12/12 Happy National Can It Forward Day! Visit great canning ideas at The Domestically Impaired Guide to Retro Kitchen Arts.


31 Comments

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!


31 Comments

Chocolate Bourbon

I knew this would be a big hit in my household. My husband is both a chocolate lover and bourbon lover, so the combination seemed perfect.

How do you infuse alcohol with chocolate? You need to get your hands on some cocoa nibs. Cocoa nibs are easier to find than you might think. In Portland, we are fortunate to have some amazing chocolate shops. I picked up these organic, Madagascar cocoa nibs at Cacao. Their website says that they accept orders by phone or email, but they do not currently have online shopping. Also in Portland (and NYC), cocoa nibs can be found at The Meadow. The Meadow carries Valhrona cocoa nibs, and does have online shopping. Try some of the finer chocolate shops in your town to see if they carry them. (If all else fails, they can be found on Amazon.)

Chocolate Bourbon

2 c. bourbon

1/2 c. cocoa nibs

One-inch piece of vanilla bean, split

Combine all ingredients in a glass jar or vessel. Infuse for approximately 3 weeks, or until it reaches your desired taste. Strain & filter. Enjoy, sip, and savor…

The final product is very a rich chocolate color. After three weeks of infusing, this tasted strongly of chocolate, but did not overpower the bourbon.

This is delicious!

If you are not a bourbon fan, try substituting brandy for the bourbon. In the coming months, I’m sure we will feature several more cocoa nib infusions and cocktails.

If you love chocolate, give this a try!