Sunday, May 11, 2014

Infused Booze

Lavender-infused gin
I've been thinking a lot about lazy booze lately. A few weeks ago, I posted a bunch of three-ingredient cocktails. In the weeks that followed, I've gotten obsessed with infusing liquor. If you're interested in craft booze, but are intimidated by homebrewing beer, this it a great way to start creating! Or, in our case, we do homebrew, but sometimes this is a nice vacation from it.

Basically, you need two ingredients: your booze of choice and your flavoring of choice. Combine the two (or more) in a glass vessel, and let sit for a day or two. Taste each day, and once the booze has the right intensity of flavor, remove your flavoring. Alcohol is a very efficient flavor extractor. You can use pretty mediocre liquors for this. The flavors you add will overpower any subtlety or odd flavors in the booze. It's a good way to use up crappy liquors leftover from a party. There are lots of great blogs about infusing liquor, such as, and I'm not going to reinvent the wheel and go into detail about all the possibilities, because they are really limitless. Here are the ones I've done so far.

Chipotle Tequila
My personal favorite. The smokiness of the chipotle gives the impression of a fine, smoky mescal. Use in a margarita or Tequila Fresca.
1 dried chipotle, pierced with a knife
2 cups tequila
Infuse 1 day

Jalapeno Tequila
Use in a margarita or Tequila Fresca.
1 jalapeno, halved
2 cups tequila
Infuse 1 day

Sweet Tea Vodka
My husband's favorite, this is a low-carb knockoff of Firefly Vodka. Serve 1 shot sweet tea vodka with 1/2 shot lemon juice and 2 shots water over ice.
2 black tea bags
2 cups vodka
1/3 cup Splenda
Infuse 2 days

Cucumber Gin
Makes a fab gin and tonic, Gin Gin, or Lime Rickey
1/4 english cucumber, sliced
2 cups gin
Infuse 2 days

Lavender Gin
Makes a fab gin and tonic, Gin Gin, or Lime Rickey
1/2 t dried lavender flowers or a few sprigs of fresh leaves and flowers
Infuse 2 days

Notes: You'll want to taste as you go to suit your own preferences--I recommend doing 1 or 2 days. I've been using pint-sized preserving jars. I saved the booze-infused jalapeno and chipotle in the freezer for the next time I make chili. 

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