Boozed + Infused

Infusing liqueurs at home with inspiring and seasonal ingredients


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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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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.


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Lemongrass-Sage Cocktail

Thank you Jayme and Nicky from #gartenderchat for inspiring me to make this drink. It was refreshing and best of all, the sage came straight from my garden.

For those of you who missed the last post, gartending = gardening + bartending = growing your own cocktails.

Lemongrass-Sage Cocktail

2 oz. Lemongrass Vodka

1/2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 TB Agave (or less to taste)

1 large sage leaf (plus more for garnish)

Place ice in a cocktail shaker, add one large sage leaf and muddle. Add remaining ingredients, shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

If you haven’t yet made Lemongrass Vodka, you could start infusing now … (I’m waiting…) or if you are less patient, you could muddle some heavily into the cocktail shaker and add straight vodka.

The lemongrass vodka is so easy, fragrant, and versatile, I know that we will make more of it so that we can have more delicious cocktails… I hope you enjoy this one. We sure did.

Cheers!


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Blueberry Gin

Today I hosted a small get together for a few Portland area bloggers. It was a bit of a leap of faith for all of us as we had never met, and they came over to my home. Luckily, we are all still alive to tell the tale. And fortunately I believe a good time was had by all. A few fun cocktails were flowing, and eventually we got out a stack of spoons for everyone to start taste-testing (I think they may have tasted a few dozen…)

So, a big thank you to Evelyn from Momsicle, Poppy from Funny or Snot, and Krista from Mostly Mommyhood.

Eventually, I will post about our cocktails (and they might too…) so stay tuned. In the meantime, I wanted to share the infusion that was the base of our featured cocktail from today’s gathering.

Blueberry Gin

2 c. Gin

2 c. frozen blueberries

1/4 c. sugar

zest of 1 lemon

2 whole cloves

1/2 inch piece of a cinnamon stick

Place the frozen blueberries in a small saucepan. Crush them lightly (I used a pastry cutter). Lightly cook them on low for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. This amounted to about 1 cup of a gelatinous blueberry goop.

After the blueberries are cool, place all ingredients in a quart jar (or larger). Shake and allow to infuse for at least 4 weeks, stirring or shaking occasionally.When it has reached your desired taste, Strain and Filter through a colander, cheesecloth, jelly bag, and coffee filter.

I got some of the inspiration for this liqueur from Post Prohibition. He recommends using frozen berries because of the organic breakdown of frozen fruit (or something like that… I was willing to give it a try) and also lightly cooking the berries.

The flavor came out great. I really love blueberry pie, so the intent was to include a few spices that you might find in a blueberry pie.

It is delicious! I have not yet tried making a blueberry liqueur with fresh berries, but have had a few blueberry infusions that tasted quite weak. I wanted to make sure we didn’t fall into that trap. The result was great.

Cheers!

Related Posts:

The Blueberry Pieball: Our new favorite highball

Blueberry-Orange Liqueur