Boozed + Infused

Infusing liqueurs at home with inspiring and seasonal ingredients


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Gingerbread Liqueur – for your Holiday “Spirit”

Gingerbread liqueur

Are you in the holiday spirit yet? Well, I still feel like I’m a bit lacking in that department, so we have whipped up a new holiday “spirit” of the booze variety.

Do you like gingerbread? I love it, and it seems a shame that it is not often enjoyed outside of the holiday season. I set out to make a liqueur that tasted just like gingerbread and I think I nailed it!

gingerbread ingredients 2

Gingerbread Liqueur

1/2 c. Fresh Ginger, peeled and chopped
1 small cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves
A few pinches of freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 c. Blackstrap Molasses
1/4 c. Water
1 T. Sugar

1/3 c. Rum
1 c. Vodka
1 c. Brandy

Gingerbread simmer

Combine the first 7 ingredients (everything except the liquor) in a small saucepan.bring to a simmer on low heat and continue to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Allow to cool completely. Pour the cooled ginger/molasses combination into a quart jar. Add the rum, vodka, and brandy. Close the jar and shake well to combine.

After 48 hours, strain the solids out of the infusion with a mesh strainer, and then strain well through cheesecloth and/or jelly bag. I had no luck trying to strain this through coffee filters, so I doubled the jelly bag and strained it a few times.

Allow the infusion to rest for about 4 more days, then enjoy! This time is essential in allowing the molasses flavor to incorporate into the liquor.

The ginger taste is very strong, and the molasses and spice makes this taste just like gingerbread. This will be lovely in some cocktails with milk or cream, and a bit of sweetener (we may just have tested out a few last night). And I suspect this will make for another amazing boozy-milkshake…

Now I’m ready to get into the holiday spirit…

Cheers!

Related Posts:

Holiday Fun Time! – Home infused liqueur recipes for the holidays

Ginger-Lime Gin


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Holiday Liqueurs – Eastside Distilling

Can you believe it is December already? This time of year tends to get very busy. There are holiday parties, family gatherings and traditions, holiday decorating, and much more. Making gifts on top of all of that can be challenging! I would love nothing more than having each of you make some of our holiday-inspired infusions this December. But… I know that isn’t going to be possible for everyone. So for those of you who would like some holiday cheer without all the effort, we recommend checking out your local distillery. They may have some fun holiday-infused spirits already beautifully bottled for your parties, gift giving or just enjoying the holiday spirit this season.

Holiday Liqueurs at Eastside Distillery

Holiday Liqueurs at Eastside Distillery

We recently went to Eastside Distillery in Portland, Oregon and were blown away by all of their holiday inspired liqueurs and other spirits that will be great for the holiday season. This great little craft distillery has concocted an Eggnog Liqueur, Peppermint Bark Liqueur and Holiday Spiced Liqueur. They are all wonderful and will be great for any occasion. Many of their standard spirits will also be perfect for the holidays, including the Coffee Rum, Cherry Bomb, Ginger Rum and Burnside Bourbon. We loved everything at Eastside. And we think you will too!

Burnside Bourbon

Eastside spirits are available in Oregon and Washington, and some of them (including the Holiday Spiced Liqueur, Cherry Bomb whiskey and Coffee Rum) are even available online through Vintage Wine & Spirits.

Eastside also has some great gift packs available at their tasting room. Be sure to check them out!

Eastside Gift Pack

Eastside Gift Pack

We are fortunate to have a number of amazing craft distilleries in Portland, and many of them have spirits that will be great to enjoy this holiday season. We are looking forward to checking out the Booze Bazaar (yes you read that correctly) at House Spirits next weekend. We have been to House Spirits before and they are amazing. Their Whitedog Whiskey is one of my favorites, and their Coffee Rum and Aquavit would be great for the holidays as well.

We recommend checking out your local craft distillery this holiday season for some amazing holiday cheer! Distilling.com has a map of craft distilleries throughout the United States (and even  few in Canada). Also from Distilling.com is a list of distilleries in the US, but the map seems to be a bit more comprehensive and/or updated.

Cheers!

Related Posts:

Craft Distilleries: Drink Local!

Holiday Fun Time! Home-Infused Liqueurs for the Holidays


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Pear & Cranberry Liqueur

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I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! My husband and I were responsible for dessert this year, and one of my contributions was a pear, apple and cranberry crisp. I love those flavors and how they come together. It made me realize that I need to share a similar flavor that I have been infusing for the holidays. If you start now, this will be enjoyed before the holidays are over.

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Pear & Cranberry Liqueur

1 3/4 c. Sliced Pears (we used Bartlett, but really any would work well)
1/4 c. Dried cranberries
1/2 TB chopped, peeled ginger
1 whole clove
Small piece of a cinnamon stick (less than 1 gram)
3/4 c. Brandy
1 1/2 c. Vodka

Combine all ingredients into a quart jar, and allow to infuse for about 3 weeks or until it reaches your desired taste. (I think it will continue to add a bit more flavor, so I have not strained ours yet.)  Strain and filter through a jelly bag or cheesecloth, and then coffee filters.

The pear and cranberry flavors come out well in this liqueur. The combination of brandy and sweetened dried cranberries make this sweet enough to drink without being too sweet. I wanted a hint of spices, but did not want them to overwhelm the fruits, and this is achieved here. If you like lots of spice, you could add a bit more. Keep in mind that a bit of clove and cinnamon go a long way in infusions.

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Cheers!

Related Posts:

Cranberry-Orange Cordial

Holiday Fun Time ! – Holiday Infusions and Holiday Inspired Liqueurs


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Holiday Fun Time!

I love this time of year. Lots of parties, indulgent meals, and festive holiday cheer!

Whether you are hosting gatherings for family and friends, attending a party or planning on giving gifts to your loved ones or colleagues, holiday-inspired infusions abound.

Here at Boozed + Infused, we’ve got a lot of seasonal and holiday infusions going on, and we have also posted a number of them throughout the year. While we may have a few more to post in the coming weeks, now is the best time to get started so that you will have time to enjoy these throughout the holidays!

Depending on which holiday you are celebrating, you will want to check the infusion times for these. Keep in mind that dried fruits and spices tend to infuse quicker than fresh fruits, so if you want something in time for Thanksgiving, you could start with one of those. Also keep in mind that my infusion times are just a guide. While the flavor may not be as strong with a shorter infusion, they will still be very tasty. Don’t let the length of time stop you from making these!

A good place to start is with our Booze Infusion Index. If you haven’t check this out yet, this is a full listing of all of our infusion and liqueur recipes. This may help inspire you to make something that you will love or that would go well for your holiday bash.

Here are a few of our favorites that we think are great for fall, winter and the holiday season.

Irish Cream – this liqueur will please just about everyone. It is ready instantly. Yes, no waiting period. It would be great to go with your Thanksgiving dessert (or just about anything else).

Star Anise Gin – this infuses in just a few days.  Any licorice-lover will be in heaven!

Oatmeal & Brown Sugar Booze – you only need 7-10 days. Just try it…

Dried Cherry Bourbon – tastes really great at one week or less, maximum infusion time is two weeks. If you start now, this could be part of your Thanksgiving menu. (This is one of my all-time favorite infusions.)

Dried Currant Brandy – infusion time is about three weeks – make your own for Kir Royale!

Cranberry-Orange Cordial – this takes about three weeks. Start it now and be sure to use this in champagne cocktails (best I have ever had). You holiday party will be a sure success!

Apple Pie Bourbon – our most popular infusion. You won’t regret it.

Coffee Bourbon – takes three weeks or less. * This is a favorite of many of our readers! Will be great for gifts, holiday desserts and more.

Winter Spice Liqueur – infusion time is about three weeks. This is my take on a holiday fragrance we used to make when I was a kid.

Chocolate Brandy – infuse 4-5 weeks

Chocolate-Orange Liqueur – infuse about four weeks

Almond Liqueur – infuse about four weeks – home made amaretto!

Pear and Cranberry Liqueur – needs about 3 weeks

But don’t let this list stop you from making a different infusion. Wherever you find inspiration, your home-infused delights will make for some fun and festive holidays!

Cheers!


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Holiday Liqueur: Pimento Dram

I love this time of year. There are always so many fun things going on including parties, cocktails, and holiday cheer!

Earlier in the year I had read stories of people describing Pimento Dram (Allspice Liqueur) as “Christmas in a Glass”. So I knew that this would be perfect for the holidays. And if you start now, you can enjoy it for your holiday festivities.


I started this way back in May (I guess I wanted to get a jump-start on my holiday cheer) and it is amazing. So far, everyone who has tasted this agrees.

Pimento Dram starts with infusing allspice berries in high-proof rum. After straining the allspice, you add a brown sugar simple syrup and let it rest a while to allow the flavors to mellow. The final result is sweet, spiced, and very rich. It is also really lovely.

Our intent with this liqueur was really to use it as holiday gifts, but it tastes so good I’m sure we will keep a bit for ourselves and some festive cocktails. Our friends over at Putney Farm have some exceptional cocktail recipes that include an Allspice Dram, including a toddy called the Tammany Jack. I think a little of this would be excellent drizzled into about any hot toddy.

Pimento Dram (recipe adapted from The Cocktail Chronicles)

1 1/2 c. 151 proof Rum

1/3 c. Allspice Berries

1 lb. brown sugar

2 c. water

Lightly crush the allspice berries, and place them in a glass jar along with the rum. Let this infuse for about 10 days to 2 weeks. (We infused for 2 weeks.) Strain the mixture well.

In a saucepan, add the brown sugar and water and heat until dissolved to create a brown sugar syrup. Allow the brown sugar syrup to cool completely.

Add the brown sugar syrup to the rum, and allow the mixture to rest for another 2-4 weeks.

Now go enjoy your holiday cheer!

I also came across some wonderful recipes for Pimento Dram that included cinnamon stick and other spices, but I wanted to keep the flavor of allspice more pure.

We will soon be compiling some of our favorite recipes throughout the year that we feel will be great for holiday parties and gifts so get your infusing supplies ready!

Cheers!


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Plum Liqueur

I have always loved these plums…

Since there were hundreds of pounds of them hanging from the trees at my parents’ farm, I helped myself to a big box of them.

And as usual, the first plums made their way into an infusion for a lovely plum liqueur.

Plum Liqueur

2 c. fresh sliced plums (about 8 small to medium plums)

2 c. vodka

2 TB sugar

Place all ingredients in a quart jar, seal and allow to infuse for 4-6 weeks. Strain the plums out of the liquid, and filter if desired. I have not yet filtered mine, but the liqueur seems quite clear.

This liqueur is very light and delicate. If you can still get fresh plums in your area, be sure to try this!

Cheers!

Related Posts:

Prune Brandy v. Prune Bourbon

Boozy Prune Jam

Boozy Spiced Brandy Plums


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Bourbon Apple Pies

Apple pie bourbon, and bourbon apple pies!?! Yes, that’s right.

Last winter I posted a recipe for Apple Pie Bourbon, which is an infusion of apples, cinnamon and vanilla bean in bourbon. The result is a delicious concoction that tastes like you are drinking an apple pie (perfect for the holidays). That post continues to be one of our most popular. And if you haven’t made it yet, now is a good time to start.

This is a great time of year to infuse apples, as well as other fall fruits.

Bourbon-soaked apples strained from Apple Pie Bourbon

When you strain the apples out of the bourbon, save them so that you can make Bourbon Apple Pies (discard the cinnamon stick and vanilla bean). You will be glad you did! If you aren’t ready to use them immediately, you can keep them in the freezer.

Bourbon Apple Pies

For the filling:
4 scant cups bourbon-soaked apples (from Apple Pie Bourbon)
2 T. Butter
1/2 -3/4 c. Brown sugar
2 T. Lemon juice
2-3 pinches of salt
2 T. Flour
2/3 c. Walnuts (toasted, and roughly chopped)

For the crust:
Puff pastry (one sheet, or a half of a package)
1 egg
1 T. Water

Roughly chop the bourbon-soaked apples into 1-inch pieces. Place the apples, butter, 1/2 c. brown sugar, lemon juice and salt in a medium, heavy bottom saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer on medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, continuing to stir frequently. When the apples are tender and much of the liquid has started to thicken, make a hole in the center, and whisk in the flour. Taste the mixture and if desired, add another 1/4 c. sugar. Simmer and stir for another 2-3 minutes.

Cook until your apple mixture reaches this consistency

Remove from heat and stir in the toasted walnuts. Set aside.

While the apple mixture is cooking, set out your puff pastry and allow to thaw. I’m not much of a baker, so I opted for the pre-made puff pastry. Alternatively you could make your own crust and use the filling in any manner of pies. We made these into small hand pies.

When the puff pastry is thawed, coat your countertop with a thin layer of flour and roll out the pastry until it is about 1/2 thickness of the original. This would make about 4 large hand pies. We made into 6 small and 2 medium hand pies, but the ones with more apple mixture were preferred. Next time I will make these all medium to large sized.

Cut the puff pastry into the size and shape of your hand pies. Place on a baking sheet that has been lines with a silicone liner or parchment. Spoon the apple mixture onto the dough. Don’t spoon too much liquid into the pies, it will run out and get messy while baking.

Small apple hand pies

Medium-sized hand pies

Crimp the ends/sides of the dough together and vent with a few holes on top.

Create an egg wash by whisking together the egg and 1 TB water. Brush each pie lightly with the egg wash.

Bake in a 375 degree oven until the dough is fully cooked and golden brown.

The small pies took about 15 minutes, and the medium pies took about 23 minutes. If you are making larger pies, they will take a little longer. Watch them closely.

Allow them to cool, then serve.

I made these small to accommodate a larger group, but next time I would make these the medium to large size. The apple mixture is the star.

The filling would also be nice served on pancakes or ice cream if you want to skip the crust. Any way you make this, it will be delicious.

Enjoy!


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Halloween Infusion part 2: Chocolate-Orange Liqueur

What is your favorite candy? And have you ever made it into a cocktail?

A few days ago I posted a recipe for Caramel Apple Liqueur, which I made for a get-together with a theme of Halloween candy infusions and cocktails. This was all the brainchild of Evelyn over at Momsicle, who wrote a great post about our “drink up”, complete with a group photo!

I racked my brain for candy infusion ideas, and while it may not exactly be a popular Halloween candy, I have always loved the flavor of orange and chocolate. As a kid, I would get chocolate-orange truffles at the candy store and always loved those chocolate orange sticks (the orange jelly candies that were covered in chocolate). So it was settled, I would make Chocolate-Orange liqueur.

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Chocolate-Orange Liqueur

Zest of 3 large Oranges

1/4 c. Cacao Nibs

1/4 c. sugar

2 c. vodka

Place all above ingredients in a glass jar, and close tight. Shake well and allow to infuse for abut 4 weeks. Strain through a filter, then cheesecloth, jelly bag, and coffee filters. This infusion clogged the coffee filters frequently, so be prepared to change the filter often.

This liqueur is delicious! It lived up to my idea of what I wanted it to taste like. And now for the cocktail…

Chocolate-Orange Martini

2oz. Chocolate-Orange Liqueur

2oz. Creme de Cacao (light)

Orange twist

Combine in a cocktail shaker with ice, and serve in a chilled martini glass with an orange twist. We also enjoyed them with a dark chocolate that was spiked with orange zest and orange oil. Delish!

You will also note that we served these in our “fun size” glasses so that we could taste each of the drink varieties at our gathering. They disappeared fast!

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Cheers!


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Halloween Infusion: Caramel Apple Liqueur

What are your Halloween plans this year? Perhaps a better question would be, what are your Halloween cocktail plans this year?

There are lots of great ideas and inspirations out there for Halloween drinks, and Evelyn from Momsicle suggested we get together for a pre-holiday Halloween-inspired infusion party. Poppy from Funny or Snot and Krista from Mostly Mommyhood were also on board for an early afternoon Happy Hour, and our group grew to five as our new friend Jodi from The Mama Gut joined the festivities.

We made most of the drinks “fun size” so that we could taste-test all of them. While I was never able to understand how a miniature candy bar could be “fun”, I was definitely on board with “fun size” cocktails!

Caramel apples were always a big treat around Halloween when I was growing up. So I set out to create a Caramel-Apple Liqueur, and based on the reactions at our fun-sized party (and how quickly these little shots disappeared) this is a keeper!

Apples in Vodka

Caramel-Apple Liqueur

2 Granny Smith Apples- cored & sliced

2 c. Vodka

1/2 c. Caramel Syrup (or to taste)

Core and slice the apples, and place in a glass jar. Pour vodka over the apples, making sure you have enough to cover. If needed you can add more vodka. Close the jar and place in a dark, cool location. Allow to infuse for 3-4 weeks.

Strain and filter through cheesecloth and coffee filters.

Prepare Caramel Syrup.
Allow the syrup to cool completely before adding to your apple infusion.

Apple Infused Vodka and Jar of Caramel Syrup

Add caramel syrup One Tablespoon at a time until it reaches your desired taste. I thought that both the apple flavor and caramel flavors were enhanced after chilling the liqueur in the freezer, so err on the side of adding less caramel than you may initially think.

We served these chilled in shot glasses with a slice of a caramel apple, and they were delicious! If you like caramel apples, you will not be disappointed.

Other seasonal drinks included cider with peanut bourbon, Payday Candy Bar shots, Chocolate-Orange martinis, and Ginger-lemon-pear vodka.

Our mini-party also included some fun Halloween snacks thanks to Krista. Find her directions for Frankenweenie pizzas here.

I can’t wait to hear about your Halloween cocktail plans…

Cheers!

Frankenweenie Mummy Pizzas

Monster Cheese Heads

Caramel Apple Shots

Related Posts:

Halloween Infusion Part 2: Chocolate-Orange Liqueur

Apple Liqueur

Apple Pie Bourbon

Caramel Apple Liqueur on Punk Domestics


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Cantaloupe Vodka

Summers are busy! While there is so much to infuse, there are so many great things to do in the sun. So these past few weeks have slipped by, and for the last seven days I was hiking and camping around remote Southeastern Oregon along with herds of pronghorn, coyotes, lizards, and little else.

Now that I’m back into civilization, it is time to post something that I infused back in the chaos of summer.

Cantaloupe Vodka

1 1/2 c. Chopped Cantaloupe

1 1/2 c. Vodka

2 TB Simple Syrup (or more to taste)

Place cantaloupe and vodka in a glass jar and seal. Shake and allow to infuse for 2-3 weeks. Add Simple Syrup and let it sit for another 2-3 weeks for the flavors to mellow.

That’s it! Cheers!

This infusion is very easy, and could probably be done with a lot of different varieties of melon. Depending on the sweetness of the melon, you may not need to add additional sweeteners.

And since it took me so long to post, here is part of the reason…

Steens Mountain

Thompson  Reservoir

Thompson Reservoir

Alvord Desert

Desert Horned Lizard

Herd of Pronghorn

There is no fence between me and this angry face… I better get going…

Hiking into Crack in the Ground (yes, that is really the name)

Related Post:

Love Cocktail: Cantaloupe Vodka, Honey, Lime