Boozed + Infused

Infusing liqueurs at home with inspiring and seasonal ingredients


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Mandarin Spice

Having recently filtered the Mandarin Gin, we were ready to try it in some cocktails!

Mandarin Spice

2 oz Mandarin Gin

1/2 TB Vermouth

1/2 TB Winter Spice Liqueur

Lemon peel garnish

Mix or shake liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into chilled glasses, add lemon peel, and sip away.

If you don’t have Mandarin Gin, you could substitute another orangecello or orange liqueur that isn’t overly sweet. And the Winter Spice could probably be subbed with Angostura Bitters with a pleasant result.

Cheers!


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Winter Spice Liqueur

Every December when I was a kid, my mom would make something that we called “Christmas Fragrance”. This was a combination of water, black tea, orange peel, cinnamon stick, cloves, and I think there may have even been some Tang in there. (Does anyone even remember that stuff?) She would combine all the ingredients in a saucepan, and just let it simmer on the stove for hours, adding water as needed. It would infuse the house with such a great aroma. I will occasionally mix up a batch at the holidays and fill the house with warmth and memories.

I wanted to capture that feeling in a liqueur, and here is my attempt… Tang NOT included.

Winter Spice Liqueur

Ingredients:

Orange Zest (from one orange)

Cinnamon Stick (1)

Black Tea (1 TB)

Whole Cloves (1 tsp)

Brandy (2 c.)

Sugar (1/4 c.)

I infused all of the above for about 3 weeks. The result is very flavorful, potent and tasty. I think it will be good on its own (in small quantities) as a digestif. We haven’t tried it in any cocktails yet, but it would probably be good in some warm spiced cider.


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The Choices of Winter

I used to think that summer was the best time of year for making liqueurs. With all of the fruits and berries in the area, it can be daunting to decide what to infuse.

For the winter, we started infusing other items like tea, herbs and spices, nuts, etc. When Eileen and I started thinking about infusing winter fruits, we found a lot more than we thought we would.

Here are a few ideas to take advantage of while it is cold outside. Remember, the sooner you infuse, the sooner you can enjoy!

Cranberries

Persimmon

Pomegranate

Lemons

Oranges

Pears

Apples

Dried Fruits

We could go on forever! Instead, I will share a simple winter infusion to warm your evening…

Holy Tea Infusion on Day 1

Holy Tea Tonic

3 Tablespoons of Herbal Tea (I used a lovely blend from a friend that included Star Anise, Vanilla Bean, Angelica, Basil, Solomon’s Seal, and Saigon Cassia)

2/3 c. Brandy

1 1/3 c. Vodka

3 Tablespoons Honey (or to taste)

I infused the blend for about 2 weeks before adding any honey. At 2 weeks, I added the honey and let it infuse for another 3 days before straining.

Can be enjoyed plain, in a cup of hot water or tea (with a squeeze of lemon) or in a favorite cocktail.