Boozed + Infused

Infusing liqueurs at home with inspiring and seasonal ingredients


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Favorite Raspberry Booze

Hi there friends. Sorry I have been so absent… Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?

I can’t believe it is summer already! The time is flying by. This is my favorite time of year for many reasons. Among the top reasons are all of the fresh berries. So imagine my delight to receive a message from my grandmother asking if I would like to pick raspberries with her… of course I would! And I’m proud to say I made it home with a flat of them. Not bad for the first picking of the year.

raspberries

Last year I put together a line up of raspberry infusions. So rather than duplicate it, I will link you back to it, and share a few more tips and recommendations.

Raspberry Infusions: a little splash of heaven

If you are a fan of raspberry liqueur, I recommend the Chocolate-Raspberry Liqueur. I made this for the first time last year, and it was so good we made several batches of it. This was one of my favorite new recipes last year.

For those of you who enjoy caipirinhas, I would like to recommend infusing some cachaça with raspberries. The infused cachaça is highly coveted around here. Follow the recipe for Simple Raspberry Liqueur.

I hope you are all enjoying the summer!

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!

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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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Raspberry Bliss

This cocktail takes advantage of the raspberry vodka liqueur that we infused last summer. Knowing how delicious the raspberry liqueur turns out, we made a lot of it! There is even some to share…

Raspberry Bliss Cocktail (makes 1)

2 oz Raspberry Vodka (home infused)

1 oz Citrus Vodka

1 oz Cointreau or Triple Sec

1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

Serve in a chilled martini glass with garnish of your choice.

If you don’t have raspberry liqueur sitting around, you could probably try making some with frozen berries or a store-bought liqueur. And next summer when raspberries are in season you should infuse as many of them as you can!


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Raspberry Caipirinha

Some years back, a friend introduced me to the Caipirinha. What a lovely and refreshing drink. Sweet, tart, and all the flavors balance so perfectly.

Last summer, I infused a bottle of cachaça with about a pound and a half of fresh raspberries, and a little sugar to heighten the raspberry flavor. I realize that raspberries are not in season right now, but you could infuse cachaça with another fruit or even frozen berries.

When I make this drink, it brings me back to the warmth of summer, despite the cold rain and snow we’ve been getting in the Pacific Northwest this week.

Raspberry Caipirinha (makes one drink)

1 lime, halved and sliced

1 Tablespoon Turbinado Sugar

3 oz Raspberry Infused Cachaça

Club Soda

Crushed Ice

Place the lime and sugar in the bottom of a pint glass or large tumbler and muddle well. Fill the glass to the top with crushed ice. Add raspberry infused cachaça, and top with club soda (just a splash). Serve with a straw so you can stir it and mix the lime and sugar into the drink.

If you don’t have any infused cachaça, substitute plain cachaça. The only thing I’d alter is to add a little more sugar.

You may have noticed that I didn’t bother to strain or filter this liqueur. Simple reason there… I’m greedy. Although I will make this drink for others in my home, it is too good to bottle for gifts. You’ll have to make your own…

Cheers!