When it comes to infusing spirits, the possibilities are pretty much endless and the process, very simple.
When I infuse spirits at home, I always start by thinking where I am going to use this infusion. What's the purpose of it, is it to be sipped, shot or mixed?
The basic idea of an infusion is to place some ingredients into a sealed jar, then add the spirit of choice and let it sit for some time. Once the liquid is up to your taste, just strain and bottle it.
If we start with this idea is better to do quick and simple infusions. The most common one is tea or discarded citrus peels - limes, lemons, oranges, grapefruits, etc-. To start getting into the infusions world, start simple. Use Vodka to start with, as you will be able to get the taste of whatever you infuse with easier.
Here, give it a try.
Cut the peels of 1 full orange, 1 full lemon and 1 full lime. For better taste, avoid the pith it will make it bitter. Place all the peels in a clean jar and add 750ml of Vodka of your choice. Let it sit for no less than 24h and voilà, you have a killer citrus Vodka ready to be mixed in a cocktail of just with plain soda.
Repeat this process with tea, maybe you want to swap the Vodka for Gin.
As you get to understand how long the process might take, you will also have to keep in mind what spirits you are infusing with what. Rum is great with tropical fruits and also with dry spices. I love infusing Whisky with dried fruits. Try infusing Bourbon with dried figs and you can stir an amazing Old Fashioned.
Here are some more ideas: Rosemary Vodka (Makes great Bloody Marys), Jasmine tea and Gin, Hazelnut and Cognac and Strawberry with Tequila.
Another method to infuse spirits is by blending them all together and then let it sit for some time.
Here is one of my all time favourite cocktails:
The Popcorn Old Fashioned.
Make some popcorn from scratch and add some sugar in order to caramelise it just enough in the pan.
In a clean jar place 750ml of Bourbon Whisky of your choice and 200g of your freshly made popcorn. Use a hand-blender to blend everything together and let it sit for 24h in a tight sealed jar/container.
After 24h you will see what it looks like weird looking liquid, but don't worry everything will be strained and double strained.
It is a process that will take some time, don't rush it!
First, strain the liquid through a fine strainer/kitchen strainer. This will remove the bigger chunks of left over popcorn.
Once you have a not so chunky liquid, starts the slow process. Use a cheese cloth to strain the Bourbon and repeat the process twice, more if needed.
After everything is strained, you will be left with a Bourbon slightly thicker in texture, but packed with flavour. It's time to try your creation, don't be shy!
Here is my recipe for a Popcorn Old Fashioned
- 60ml of Popcorn infused Bourbon.
- 10ml of caramel syrup (You can buy it in supermarkets anywhere)
- 2 Dashes of Angostura bitters.
- Stir for about 30 seconds.
- Serve it in a rock glass with a big ice cube.
Use an Orange peel around the glass spraying the oils.
If you like this article feel free to give a tip, it will be very much appreciate it. If not, thank you for reading and I hope you make a killer infusion!