Boozed + Infused

Infusing liqueurs at home with inspiring and seasonal ingredients


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Local Distillery: Stone Barn Brandyworks

Editor’s Note: This guest post comes to us from a favorite local blogger, Evelyn Shoop. Evelyn is a freelance writer, and can be found at Momsicle. She is also quickly becoming a booze-infusing genius.
Thank you Evelyn for writing this great post and getting the word out about one of Portland’s great craft distilleries.
The best night out is sometimes marked by what you don’t make it to. Recently, we went with friends to Portland’s craft brandy distiller, Stone Barn Brandyworks. We were supposed to go to another distillery afterwards, but we fell in love and just stayed at Stone Barn. (You know those guests who just won’t leave? That was us.)
photo by Elisabeth Kang

photo by Elisabeth Kang

Stone Barn was started as a passionate hobby by Portland couple Erika and Sebastian, who will admit that their youngest child was a bit of a distillery-orphan at the end of high school as they spent more and more time distilling and trying out new recipes.
When we arrived, Sebastian was distilling a pear cider, and we got to stick our heads in the giant distiller to take in the luxurious aroma as cider poured in. This was going to be turned in to a type of French, fortified liqueur (like a port, but with pears).
The advantage of visiting a small, local distillery is that the enthusiasm is almost as potent as the fruity, alcohol-laced air. And sitting amongst distillery equipment makes you think you might be in a Medieval alchemist’s lab, which isn’t the case at a more contrived tasting room.
Stone Barn has over a dozen types of brandy, whisky, and infused liqueurs to try–thanks to Sebastian’s passion for mixing different grains, fruit, and barrel-aging processes. Our favorites were the apricot, coffee, and green walnut liqueurs. The apricot, in particular, tastes like handfuls of apricots were smashed into a bottle and then drizzled with honey.
But their whiskies, and–of course–brandies, are well-worth tasting.
The real star of our night, however, was the whisky sour that Sebastian made with Stone Barn’s whiskey and apricot liqueur.
Stone Barn Brandyworks liqueurs and brandies are sold in many local liquor stores (and occasionally at farmers markets), so if you are looking for a great gift, ask about it. But definitely stop by for a tasting. Stone Barn is open for tastings on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays; and other times, such as Friday evenings, by request.
photo by Evelyn Shoop

photo by Evelyn Shoop

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Hatch Chili Infused Tequila

Editor’s Note: This is our first Guest Post! I regret to admit, but I am not a lover of tequila. So Lauren from Gourmet Veggie Mama graciously offered to help us out with a Hatch Chili Tequila infusion. While I’m drowning in berry brambles in the Northwest, Lauren is in Texas, sweating it out with lovely Hatch Chilis.

Thank you Lauren for writing this great post and coming up with this lovely drink.

I love Hatch chiles. In case you’re not in the know, they are an amazingly flavorful variety of New Mexico green chiles that come into season from late August through mid-September each year. Once roasted and peeled, they are perfect for making an enchilada sauce, adding to a quesadilla, making a salsa, spicing up your scrambled eggs or a frittata… or infusing some tequila.

That’s right, folks. After sampling a cocktail made with green chile-infused tequila, dubbed the New Mexican martini, at my friendly neighborhood Chuy’s, I decided I needed to try an infusion of my own.

Since I had a whole bottle of tequila to use, I tried this two ways: One with the roasted Hatch chiles left whole (though peeled), and one with the chiles peeled, stemmed, seeded and cut into strips. The taste wasn’t appreciably different, but I do think the chile cut into strips did result in a quicker infusion. Either way, the result was a spicy, flavorful tequila that would add a nice kick to any number of Mexican-themed cocktails, like a margarita or even a Bloody Maria!

Hatch Chile Infused Tequila

1 1/2 cups silver 100% agave tequila
1-2 Hatch chiles (depending on size), roasted, peeled, and split

Place the tequila and Hatch chiles in a glass jar and seal. Shake and allow to infuse for 2-3 days. Strain and enjoy!

***
After I strained the tequila, I had the potentially brilliant idea to use the tequila-soaked chiles to accent some guacamole. Sadly, the tequila flavor was a little overwhelming. Next time I think the leftovers will just go in the compost pile after imparting their tasty flavor.

Speaking of which, I used my Hatch chile-infused tequila to make a delicious, spicy spin on my old standby, the Mexican martini. Enjoy!

New Mexican Martini

2 oz Hatch chile-infused tequila
1 oz Grand Marnier
1 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 oz light agave nectar

Mix the agave nectar in the bottom of a cocktail shaker with 1 oz of warm water and stir to dissolve. Add the tequila, Grand Marnier, and lemon and lime juices, along with plenty of ice. Shake well and serve in salt-rimmed martini glasses garnished with an olive or a curl of the Hatch chile.

* Lauren writes the blog Gourmet Veggie Mama, and styles herself a recovering lawyer-slash-aspiring domestic goddess. She loves all things food and drink, and, despite being a vegetarian, manages to be quite a glutton as well. Since discovering Boozed + Infused, her Cocktail Thursday posts have acquired a definite kick!