Various herbs, spices, and/or fruits for infusing
1 bottle of the liquor of your choice
1 airtight glass container for infusing
1 airtight glass bottle
1 large bowl
No matter which type of liquor you choose or botanical you use, there are basic steps to infusing alcohol.
You start by preparing the fruit or herb, including washing, peeling, chopping, and macerating it. Don’t forget to wash the container you’re using to infuse—you don’t want dirt, dust, or bacteria infusing along with the fruit.
If your recipe requires you to make a simple syrup, do this now by combing one cup sugar with one cup water and boiling it on the stove.
Pour the bottle of liquor into the glass airtight container. Fill the container with your choice of infusion, whether it is basil, vanilla beans, or something else. (Check out below for some great recipes.) Seal the container.
Place the container in a dark, cool place. The length of time it needs depends on which recipe you’re following. Every couple days, take the container out and shake it.
When it’s done infusing, drain the liquor into a bowl through a strainer to catch any large pieces of fruit or particles of herbs.
Funnel the liquor into a glass bottle. Attach a bow around the neck of the bottle, along with a card detailing instructions for your favorite cocktail recipe using this particular spirit.
Note: If you’re not much of a drinker, these same steps can be taken to infuse olive oil with dried herbs.
The following recipes are just a suggestion; they’re recipes we found to be especially suitable for the holiday months. As long as you’re willing to risk a bottle of good liquor, the sky is the limit when it comes to possible infusion combinations.
1 vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise
12 thin ribbons of pumpkin, approximately 4-6 inches long and 1 inch wide
½ teaspoon nutmeg
750 ml bottle of vodka
Seal all the ingredients in a glass container and let sit for anywhere from four days to three months. The flavor will intensify the longer it sits.
1 apple, chopped
3 sticks cinnamon
750 ml bottle of vodka
Combine all ingredients in a glass container and let it sit for two months.
Orange Cognac Brandy (similar to Grand Marnier)
750 ml bottle brandy
750 ml bottle orange curacao
1 cup sugar
The peel from one orange in thin strips
Combine all ingredients in a glass jar and store for one week. Strain and filter the infusion, then pour it into bottles and cap tightly. Let the bottle sit and age for at least one month.