Make your own infused liquors with these Alcohol Infusions 101 tips and tricks! Control the quality and impress your friends with unique flavor combos using a variety of inventive ingredients.
Hey SoFabFooders! Is that a fun term or what? For months now, we have been chatting about infusing different alcohols to make fun cocktails like my Spicy Pear Martini Recipe. We see fancy flavored liquors at the store, but who knows what really goes into them? Many of them have additives or extra sugar that aren’t necessary at all!
I’ve shared a few tips along the way, but it just makes sense to have all of those infusion tips and tricks in one place, right? So let’s start off with the fact that there are no hard and fast rules for infusing alcohol. You can pretty much let your creative-self go wild, but here are a few tips to help you along the way.
Just like any other recipe, the quality of your ingredients is going to impact your final product. There is no need to use top shelf liquors for Infusions, but you do want a solid mid-priced brand you are familiar with. An infusion project in not the time to splurge on an unfamiliar brand.
It’s not just the booze though; you want quality ingredients all the way around. Use your extra dollars to buy organic fruit and veggies, invest in super fresh herbs and things like artisanal coffee beans or spices. It’s also super important to prep everything properly. Wash fruits and veggies, remove stems from fruit, etc… I am crushing on this black berry basil vodka I just started.
Next, work in small batches. I found out the hard way that you can waste plenty of good alcohol with a not-so-good flavor combo. I like to work with 1 cup measures while developing an infusion recipe. It’s more than enough for multiple cocktails and doesn’t leave you with a full liter of my spicy brunch ready tequila. It has celery, jalapeño peppers, and black peppercorns which is perfect in my Green Chile Bloody Marias! You can find the recipe for this versatile booze below.
Now, let’s talk about time. One ingredient infusions are simple; add your flavor item and steep for a day. Start taste testing and strain when you reach the desired flavor. For multiple flavors, no two infusions are alike and each ingredient needs i’s own time to steep. Start with milder flavors and finish with the bold.
I recently made a lemon tea infused vodka for a fun twist on an Arnold Palmer and it was an absolute disaster! I added dried tea leaves with lemon rind then let it sit for two days. The tea flavor was so overwhelming I had to throw it out! What I should have done was let the lemon steep for a few days, then add the tea for an hour or two at the end.
When your infusion is ready, be sure to strain your alcohol really well. Some particles and sediment is expected, but excess bits can lead to disaster. I assumed the alcohol would kill any bacteria, but that is not the case. Little particles can linger which will mold if not stored properly. Remove as much sediment as you can, then store in the smallest airtight container possible. Heat and air are the enemies. Keep infusions in a cool, dry place, or even in the refrigerator.
So there are a few basic tips to get you started. Think about different flavor combos you can try based on things you already like. Love strawberry daiquiris? Try a strawberry infused rum. Is apple pie your favorite dessert? Try an apple, cinnamon, and vanilla combo. Share your best ideas in the comments!
- 1 cup quality tequila
- 2 ribs celery, roughly chopped
- 5-6 black peppercorns
- Desired amount of fresh jalapeño pepper slices
- Add tequila and celery to a lidded jar. Close and store in a cool, dark place for 3-4 days, shaking occasionally.
- Add peppercorns, steep 1-2 more days.
- Add jalapeño slices, steep until desired heat level.
Home Chef Tip: Start with a basic alcohol infusion first, then try adding additional ingredients for more complex concoctions. Small batches work best, don't over steep, and store properly.
We hope you love these handy Alcohol Infusions 101 Tips and Tricks from SoFabFood Contributor, Loriann from Thyme for Cocktails, as much as we do. If you enjoyed these tips, be sure to find more like them in our Cocktails section. For daily recipe inspiration, like us on Facebook and follow us on Pinterest. Enjoy!
Disclosure: Message intended for our readers 21+ only. Please drink responsibly!