I still can not believe how easy this is to do. Infusing spirits with fruits and herbs is similar to making a rumtopf, but without the sugar and long wait for enjoyment.
You will need the following:
- Glass Jar or bottle with an opening large enough for ingredients
- Spirit of choice
- Ingredients for infusing: Fruits, vegetables, peppers, herbs or spices
- Bottle to store infused spirits
Choosing what you want to infuse your spirits with is a much harder decision than actually making it. The combination possibilities are endless. Generally, I try to think of the types of drinks that various spirits are used for and take that as my inspiration. One of my personal favorites is to use maraschino cherries in Makers Mark. Although, pineapple infused vodka makes for an absolutely incredible Cosmopolitan.
Some suggested ingredients include:
- Gin: Lavender, rosemary, thyme, lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, cucumber
- Rum: Tropical fruits such as pineapple, mango, papaya, mint, vanilla bean, coconut
- Vodka: Pineapple, apple, pear, strawberry, blackberry, vanilla bean, hot peppers, melon, garlic, lemon, lime, coconut, kiwi, starfruit, peach, apricot
- Bourbon or brandy: Cherries, peaches, apricot, nectarine, vanilla bean
- For fruit and vegetables, you should clean, cut up and remove any seeds or stem that you wouldn't want to eat. Herbs should be rinsed and used whole. Vanilla beans should be split in half.
- Once you have cleaned the ingredients, put them into the jar or bottle. Pour in enough of the liquor to cover the ingredients. Place the jar or bottle either in the refrigerator or a dark pantry.
- The spirits should infuse nicely with 3-5 days. Stronger flavored ingredients such as pineapple and maraschino cherries will be terrific in 3 days while subtler ingredients like peach and lavender will require more time.
- Once the spirit has been adequately infused with its new flavor, strain and return the liquor to a bottle to store it.
- Use the liquor in mixed drinks or over ice.
I like to serve a piece of the liquor-y fruit along with the drinks I make using the infusion. Or, more honestly, I like to bring the whole jars to nodermeets and watch the various noders get excessively intoxicated while eating the fruit.