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Infusion 101: How to infuse your favorite liquor at home

Infusions 101

Sometimes, you’ve got to take your cocktail game up a notch. Our natural reaction is to see how many cocktails we can light on fire.  But we’re not trying to scorch our eyebrows… again. So let’s talk infusions. Because 1) fire safety and 2) you can make some great infusions at home. If you’re looking to get experimental with new flavors, or even just want to make your gin.. ginnier(?), infusions are for you.

What is an infusion?

Basically, it’s putting one or more ingredients, like fruits, vegetables or spices, into the alcohol of your choice for a while to make a new flavor. Maybe you’re curious what a peach infused vodka would be like? Or a jalapeño flavored gin? Boom. Do it. All you need is liquor, ingredients, a mason jar, some sort of filter (coffee filters work great), a little patience and a whole lot of creativity. Just kidding. Not that much. But some.

What liquor types should I use?

You can use the liquor of your choice. People also tend to use light colored liquors, especially gin and vodka, because they take the flavor of mild ingredients pretty easily. If darker liquors are more your speed, you can still infuse them. You’ll just need to be more calculated with your flavors. When infusing a dark rum or whiskey, for example, you’ll want bolder flavors to stand up to their strong flavors.

When it comes to the quality of the liquor you choose, we do have some thoughts *read in Austin Powers accent*. If this is your first time infusing, we’d recommend getting a liquor that’s a little less expensive so you feel comfortable experimenting. Once you get comfortable, upgrade. If you’re an infusion pro, remember that your infused liquor is going to be as good as the quality of liquor you choose.

What ingredients should I add?

Listen closely because this is very scientific: whatever. you. want. Into fruits lately? Lemons, limes and oranges are all great options. Cherry or peach infusions are also popular picks. Spices can be cool, too. Try adding cinnamon. We’re not about limiting you, but if we can give you one piece of advice, it’s to use fresh fruit or dried herbs when you’re dabbling.

How do I do this?

Here’s the deal. First, get that jar. Wash and cut (if necessary) your ingredients and stuff ‘em in that jar. Next: liquor. Fill it on up.  Seal your jar tight and give it a few shakes. Let the mixture chill for 3-5 days. Rule of thumb: the more intense the flavor, the less time it’ll need. Spicy or flavorful ingredients like hot peppers and garlic only need a few days. Lighter flavors like berries may need up to a week. When you’re testing out very light flavors like blueberries or strawberries, give them plenty of time to infuse. Do regular tastings to test the flavor. Need a guide? Check this out:

Once your infusion ingredients have given your liquor enough flavor, use a strainer to strain the liquor from the jar. Then, store as you would any other spirit.

Have any recipes?

Heck yeah.
  • Turmeric, lemon and pineapple infused vodka

    Ginger gets all the love. So this one goes out to ginger’s spicy, tangy cousin, Turmeric.
    GET THE RECIPE
    Turmeric Infusion
  • Blueberry and basil infused moonshine

    Moonshine is great as is. But listen, it’s really freakin’ good with bluebs and basil.
    GET THE RECIPE
    Blueberry and Basil Infusion
  • Blackberry and peach infused bourbon

    The kind of drink that tastes like you’re sitting in a rocking chair on a farmer’s porch somewhere. Kind of like a boozy sweet tea but better because blackberries.
    GET THE RECIPE
    Bourbon Infusion
  • Jalapeño and cilantro infused tequila

    For the people out there without that gene that makes cilantro taste like soap. Fresh. Spicy. And a kick of tequila.  
    GET THE RECIPE
    Tequila Infusion
  • Strawberry, cucumber and lime infused gin

    It doesn’t get much better than the freshness of gin and cucumber, sweetness of berries and zing of lime. This is basically a backyard party in a glass.
    GET THE RECIPE
    Gin Infusion