DIY: Infuse Your Booze

Pete Capella
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You’re a taste snob. Hey, don’t be offended; it’s a compliment. A taste for the finer things shouldn’t be looked down upon. We have morphed from a nation of eaters to a society of foodies. We are no longer served drinks by a bartender, but we are crafted cocktails by a mixologist. You are not being judged for your pickiness, but in fact, are praised for your good taste. Take your flavor preferences into your own hands. Why should you drink what they give you, when you can drink what you want? Infusing your own liquor is easy and a fun way to satiate your upper-class taste buds.


Pick your poison

Your starting point will always be your alcohol. The lighter spirits like vodka or gin always take well to infusions, but don’t be afraid to explore. Tequila and mezcal can make for great infusions; or take bigger risks and try infusing brandy or cognac. Start with a moderately priced alcohol. You definitely don’t want to use the bottom shelf, but using premium spirits (especially for your first try) seems like a waste of good alcohol. If you’re paying good money for your booze, they should already provide a great taste.


Who got the freshy-freshy

With alcohol in hand, you need your flavors. Herbs, spices and fruits are at your full disposal. Again, this is where you can go crazy exploring options. Use that big ole’ juicy thing inside your skull and imagine different flavor profiles. Keep with themes. Be seasonal. Haven’t heard of a certain taste combination; try it. Please, give your tongue some credit and only use fresh ingredients. Make your way to your local farmers market and see what is in season. You’ll find the best of the best when it comes straight from the source.


Your granny put it jars

The process of infusing your alcohol could not be simpler. Get your hands on some sealable, air-tight jars. Mason jars, the same that your grandma used for jams (or were they?), always work well. Wash and prep all of your ingredients. Place your ingredients in your jar and pour in your alcohol. Seal the jar and shake it like a polaroid picture.


Are we there yet?

You’re all infused and your new creations are teasing you; looking all pretty and such. How long must they sit there before you drink them? Well, that depends on what you are infusing and your pallette. Stronger flavors, like chili peppers, may only take a day or two. But, if you prefer the your heat hot, you may want to leave them in there longer. Stronger flavored fruits and herbs, such as mint, basil and any citrus, should take 3-5 days. Moderate flavors like berries or rosemary should sit for up to a week while the milder pineapples or lemongrass could take as long as two weeks.


I drink it. I drink it up.

Now that you’ve patiently waited out your Frankenstein alcohols, its time to drink up and enjoy. Grab an empty jar, or the original bottle from which the liquor came, a fine strainer or coffee filter, and a funnel. Strain the infused ingredients from the alcohol and funnel your booze into your its permanent container. You are now all set to share your infusion with the world. 

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