Boozed + Infused

Infusing liqueurs at home with inspiring and seasonal ingredients


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Sweet Heat Cocktail

You are going to love the Chili Agave Liqueur that we posted last week. And after you make it, you will need to make this…

Sweet Heat Cocktail

3 oz Chili Agave Liqueur

1 oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

Lemon Twist

chili pepper to garnish (if desired)

Place Chili Agave Liqueur and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well, pour into a chilled martini glass, add a lemon twist and garnish.

It is spicy, sweet and completely delicious.

Cheers!

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Chili Agave Liqueur

It is hot out! I mean it is really HOT out! Right about now, chili peppers are ripening and finding their way into many dishes and meals… and let’s not forget… cocktails.

I have received a number of questions about infusing hot peppers. And honestly, this is the only pepper infusion that I have done. It turned out really wonderful. It has great flavor, and also an underlying heat and depth of the peppers.

Feel free to use different peppers in this recipe. But beware not to use too many. That is a very common mistake of pepper infusions.

Chili Agave Liqueur

1/2 c. agave

1/2 c. water

2 cinnamon sticks

1 tsp black pepper corns

1 serrano pepper (fresh) – sliced in half

1 red or green jalapeno pepper (fresh) – sliced in half

5 dried chili peppers, stems removed, left whole

zest of 1 lemon (large strips if possible)

2 c. vodka

Combine all ingredients except the vodka in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Let the mixture cool completely, about an hour. Strain the solids out of the syrup mixture, and pour the syrup into a quart jar or other glass container. Add the vodka to the canning jar, seal tightly. Shake to combine. Allow to infuse for 1 week.

After infusing for a week, strain well through a jelly bag and coffee filters.

If you don’t want your infusion to turn out too spicy, you could remove the seeds from the chilis before simmering in the syrup, or cut back on the number of chilis. If this does turn out too hot for your taste, thin it out with a bit more vodka and agave.

Those of you who have been asking for some “sweet heat”, you will love this liqueur. We have been too greedy to share much of it with others, but my father said this one was his favorite in a recent taste test. He is a lover of all things hot and spicy, so if you are too… you better start infusing!

Cheers!

Related Posts

Sweet Heat Cocktail


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Almond Liqueur

Ah, summer! We are finally enjoying the warm weather in the Northwest. With all the gorgeous fresh, local fruits available it is tempting to infuse everything in sight! So you may be wondering why I’m posting an almond liqueur recipe that can be done any time of year.

I started this infusion way back in March. I wasn’t crazy about it at first, so I left the infusion in the back of my coat closet for many months.

I finally strained this about two weeks ago. All it was missing was a bit of simple syrup. Once that was added, this liqueur instantly turned into something that is amazing and delicious.

Almond Liqueur

1 c. Raw Almonds, roughly chopped

1 c. Brandy

1 c. Vodka

1/2 Vanilla Bean, split

1 1/2 – 2 TB Simple Syrup

Place the almonds, brandy, vodka, and vanilla bean in a quart jar or bottle. Close the jar, and allow to infuse for approximately four weeks. (Probably not necessary to let it sit four months like I did!) Strain, then filter through a jelly bag or cheesecloth, and finally coffee filters. Add simple syrup to taste (approximately 1 1/2 to 2 Tablespoons).

The coffee filters are really important with this straining process. The liquid was very cloudy until it passed through the coffee filters, and then at once became a beautifully clear, golden color.

This liqueur is delicious and may become a regular infusion, and a favorite.

Cheers!

Almond Liqueur on Punk Domestics


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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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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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Update: Strawberry Booze Infusion, Day 17

I didn’t forget about the strawberries, I promise! I took a little mini-vacation, hiking and beer-tasting my way through Central Oregon. (Both were amazing!) Now I’m back and have just sampled the gorgeous red strawberry infusion.

Our last post on the Strawberry Booze infusion was at Day 5, and it still had a fairly weak flavor.

At Day 17, the strawberry flavor is starting to get a bit stronger as is the color. I am hoping that the flavors will continue to enhance with more time, so I am still waiting… (fairly) patiently.

One thing that I did notice after looking back at the photos from Day 5, is that the strawberries have now sunk to the bottom of the jar. I’m no chemist, so I don’t really know what that means. I’m guessing there is more rum in the berries, and more of the fruit sugars in the rum at this point.

So, with the first day of summer almost upon us, we are not quite ready for those strawberry mojitos over here at Boozed + Infused. Maybe by the 4th of July? That would be quite festive! We can hope…

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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Banana Bourbon

When I first started doing infusions, a banana liqueur wasn’t really at the top of my list. It simply didn’t appeal to me. But the longer I do this, I hear more and more people talking about banana liqueurs they have had and how tasty they are. At some point, I would like to do a banana rum. But since I have more experience infusing bourbon, and I really think of bourbon as a fool-proof spirit base for infusions (ok, I’m sure someone will tell me otherwise). So, with a small leap of faith, we embarked on banana bourbon.

This is really easy and delicious.

We let the bananas get really ripe and tasty…

They may not look pretty, but they were perfect.

We took these two perfectly ripe bananas, added two cups of bourbon, and infused for just over two weeks. I guess two was the magic number because this is another keeper. It tastes like sweet bananas and a mellow bourbon. I think this will make for some great cocktails, but it is also great on its own.

Be sure to filter, then strain through cheesecloth and coffee filters.

Cheers!

Related Posts:

Apple Pie Bourbon

Bourbon, Bourbon, Infused Bourbon!

Coffee Bourbon

Cherry Bourbon


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Starting a Strawberry Booze Infusion

I have dreams of strawberry mojitos… So with Oregon strawberries finally ripening, I purchased a flat at my local farm stand. Most of them will be turned into Strawberry-Balsamic jam and Strawberry Sauce. Some will even become my first shrub. (I’m very excited about that.)

But before I did any canning, macerating, or otherwise, I pulled out a few pints for a Strawberry Rum.

I have never done a strawberry infusion before. Typically, I wait to post a recipe until after I have completed the infusion and tasted it to make sure it is something I would recommend to others. The problem with that method is timing. Any of you who have been following for a while know that I tend to wait for long infusion times. For seasonal ingredients, it may be too late for you to make the infusion by the time I post the recipe.

Strawberries have a fairly short season (at least around here). So I have decided to post this recipe a bit differently. I am making a Strawberry Rum, and starting the infusion right now. If you are interested in making this, you can follow along with me. I’ll post updates every so often (but I doubt I will be straining for at least a month).

Strawberry Rum

3 c. Sliced Strawberries

3 c. light Rum

Place berries and rum in a jar or glass vessel. Seal and set aside to infuse…

You will want to shake or stir your berries every few days. I’m planning on infusing this for at least a month, but will start tasting it in a few weeks. At some point, I may also add some sugar or simple syrup.

For those of you who want to do a strawberry infusion, but aren’t crazy about the idea of a strawberry rum, below are a few other ideas I have for Strawberry booze. I haven’t made any of these, but at some point in the next few years, I’m guessing most of them will have a spot in my infusion closet.

Other Strawberry Infusion Ideas

Strawberry Vodka

Strawberry Vanilla Bean Vodka (I’d use the same proportions as above, but add 1-2 split vanilla beans)

Strawberry-Lime Gin (using lime zest)

Strawberry Cachaça (our raspberry cachaça turned out so good, I think this would be great as well)

Strawberry Brandy (either plain or with a bit of orange and lemon zest)

Really, your choices are limitless. If you have done some strawberry infusions and want to share successes or ideas (or failures) please feel free.

Happy infusing!

Related Posts:

Update: Strawberry Booze Infusion, Day 5

Update: Strawberry Booze Infusion, Day 17

Strawberry Mojitos

Strawberry-Basil Lemonade


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A Tale of Two Rhubarbs… and some gin

I have a jealousy problem… I hate to admit it, but I’m often jealous of other people’s produce. Yes, you read that correctly. Produce.

So in the spring, when everyone was singing the praises of their beautiful pink rhubarb cocktails, rhubarb syrup, rhubarb jam… and oh yes, rhubarb liqueur… I sat around and sulked. Where was MY rhubarb? Still growing…

But wait, I had some rhubarb in the freezer from last year. But that posed another problem. It was rhubarb alright, but not the pretty pink stuff. It was the green with a hint of red stuff… not exactly the “glamorous” variety.

So let’s get this straight, I’m now jealous of the *color* of the rhubarb. Oh brother, right?

Well, I finally got over it and pulled the green rhubarb out of the freezer and started an infusion. And because of my insecurities about the color and variety, I spiced it up with some orange zest, orange liqueur, and brown sugar.

A few days later, I ventured up to my parents farm (my favorite source for organic produce). To my surprise, the beautiful red rhubarb was flourishing. So I came home with a bunch of it and started another infusion.

They are both delicious. I think so far most people prefer the Rhubarb-Orange, but they are both tasty, and will be perfect drinking alone and in cocktails.

Variety 1: Rhubarb-Orange Gin

2 c. chopped Rhubarb (I used frozen, but fresh would be fine)

2 TB Orange Liqueur (triple sec, Cointreau, etc.)

Zest of One Orange

2 c. Gin

1/4 c. Packed Dark Brown Sugar

In a small saucepan, combine rhubarb and Orange Liqueur. Heat until it starts to simmer. Allow to simmer on low for about 2 minutes.

Set rhubarb aside and allow to cool. Once this has cooled, add all ingredients to a quart jar (or larger). Close the jar, shake, and place in a dark, cool location for about 4-5 weeks.

Strain with a mesh strainer, press through cheesecloth, then a jelly bag and finally coffee filters. Perfect!

Variety 2: Rhubarb Gin

2 1/2 c. chopped fresh rhubarb

2 TB Sugar

2 1/2 c. Gin

3 TB Simple syrup (thick 2-1 sugar to water ratio) or more/less to taste

Toss rhubarb and sugar in a bowl and allow to macerate for at least an hour. (I followed the advice of Country Girl Brooklyn on this step) This brings out a lot of the beautiful pink juices from the rhubarb.

Place the macerated rhubarb and juices in a canning jar with the gin and allow to infuse for about a month.

Strain and filter with a mesh strainer, jelly bag if desired, and coffee filters. Once it is filtered, add simple syrup to your desired taste.

While these were infusing, the Rhubarb-Orange definitely looked pretty undesirable. The red rhubarb almost immediately became such a beautiful pink. But now that they are filtered, I realize that I should not have judged a rhubarb by its color. I was discriminating. I’m sorry rhubarb. Please forgive me.

If you haven’t already made a rhubarb infusion this year, you should try this! I understand that some areas may not have fresh rhubarb any longer. But in my area we can usually keep harvesting through August. If it’s too late, then please try this next year. They are both very tangy and tasty.

They actually both look quite beautiful now too, don’t they?

Cheers!