Boozed + Infused

Infusing liqueurs at home with inspiring and seasonal ingredients


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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!


34 Comments

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


17 Comments

Mixology Monday: Bein’ Green

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This is my first time participating in Mixology Monday! I started seeing all the green cocktails popping up today and realized that the theme is “(it’s not easy) Bein’ Green”. I decided it’s about time I got up off the couch and did something with that Peapod Vodka.

Thanks to everyone who sent ideas and suggestions for Peapod Vodka cocktails, we were already off to a good start. Many of you suggested citrus flavors, and I thought that sounded perfect. Now that the rains of fall have settled into the Pacific Northwest, our greenery is flourishing. So with the “green” theme, we went all out!

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Friends of Pea (makes one petite drink)
1.5 oz. Peapod Vodka
1/2 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 tsp. simple syrup (or more to taste)
5-6 large lemon balm leaves, plus more to garnish

Muddle the lemon balm in a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the remaining ingredients and shake well. Strain into a small cocktail glass, and enjoy!

I really wanted to be able to taste the pea flavor in the cocktail. (I never thought I would say those words!) This cocktail is actually quite nice. I think the lime and lemon balm go well. I toyed with the idea of using Thai basil, and I think that would be delicious also. In fact, I may try that later…

Here was the theme for today’s MxMo, from October’s host Wordsmithing Pantagruel:
With the warm days of summer now fading off into the distance in our rear view mirrors, let’s pay one last tribute to the greens of summer before the frosts come and our outdoor herb gardens give up the ghost for the winter. For our theme for this month, I have chosen: (it’s not easy) “Bein’ Green.” (Perchance due in no small part to my predilection for Green Chartreuse.) I’m giving you a wide berth on this one, anything using a green ingredient is fair play. There’s not only the aforementioned Chartreuse; how about Absinthe Verte, aka the green fairy. Or Midori, that stuff is pretty damn green. Crème de menthe? Why not? Douglas Fir eau de vie? Bring it! Apple schnapps? Uh…well…it is green. I suppose if you want to try to convince me it makes something good you can have at it. But it doesn’t have to be the liquor. Limes are green. So is green tea. Don’t forget the herb garden: mint, basil, cilantro, you name it – all fair game. There’s also the veritable cornucopia from the farmers market: green apples, grapes, peppers, olives, celery, cucumbers…you get the idea. Like I said, wide berth. Base, mixer, and or garnish; if it’s green it’s good. Surprise me. Use at least one, but the more the merrier.

Cheers!


7 Comments

National Vodka Day and a Cantaloupe Vodka Cocktail: Love

Well National Vodka Day has nearly passed. Did you do anything fun to celebrate?

We tested out a new cocktail, our first try at using the Cantaloupe Vodka we made this summer. And this drink is fabulous; the perfect way to pay tribute to this special day.

Love Cocktail (makes 2)

5 oz Cantaloupe Vodka

Juice of 1 small lime

1 TB Honey

1 TB Water

Lime zest to garnish

Combine honey and water and heat until honey is dissolved. Allow to cool. Add honey-water combination, lime juice, and Cantaloupe Vodka to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously, and strain into cocktail glasses. Add lime twist.

This drink is really delicious. It is sweet, tangy, and somehow the lime and honey allow the cantaloupe flavor to really shine.

Cheers!


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Maple Mushroom Martini

Many months ago, we posted a Mushroom Vodka infusion. For the most part, that infusion has been sitting in a mason jar doing nothing… until now.

A handful of readers gave some great cocktail suggestions, and a simple drink with orange bitters sounded great.

Maple Mushroom Martini

2 oz. Mushroom Infused Vodka

3/4 tsp maple syrup

5-6 dashes Orange Bitters

1/2 TB fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 dash aromatic bitters

Mix all of the above ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.

This drink has the flavor of the mushroom, with a touch of sweetness from the maple, balanced with the tart lemon juice and bitters. In all, I think this was pretty delicious! I wouldn’t mind having another…

Cheers!


16 Comments

What should we do with… Peapod Vodka?

Sometimes I just have to try…

Back in June, the sugarsnap peas in our tiny little garden were thriving! And they were so delicious… So I just had to try it out; peapods and vodka. Now I’m not quite sure what to do with it, other than maybe add it to cream sauce or risotto. Any suggestions?

Peapod Vodka

1/2 c. chopped peapods

3/4 c. vodka

Combine and infuse for 1-2 weeks. Strain and filter.

The flavor is actually quite nice. It tastes like the delicious peapods from my garden… any cocktail ideas?

Picking fruits and veggies for future infusions at my parents’ garden (MUCH larger than my garden)


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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


29 Comments

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