Wine Wednesday: Infuse your own cocktails

There are a lot of ‘craft cocktails’ and bars around the world that infuse their own spirits. From spicy pepper vodka to sweet pineapple-infused rum, these mixtures are perfect for whipping up a uniquely distinct cocktail in a flash.

I know some might think that it’s difficult to do, but honestly, you can do this at home.  What a great surprise for your guests the next time they come over for a visit and you just ‘happen to have’ an infused spirit on hand.

This is not necessarily the time to buy the ‘cheap stuff’.  You want to have a quality spirit as your base and the best possible ingredients for steeping.  Also, think of your favorite cocktails, and perhaps create a twist.  For example, cranberry-infused vodka for a Cosmopolitan, or a cherry-infused whiskey for a Manhattan.

So here are just five steps that will insure that your next party will have an extra sparkle that is truly all your own.

1.    Pick your base alcohol  –  Depending on what you plan to create, pick your spirit accordingly. Vodka can take on the flavor of most foods, but sweeter alcohols like rum pair best with fruit. Be sure to purchase quality alcohol as it will make an impact on your final product.

2. Pick your infusing ingredients  – The options here are endless. While many enjoy sweets like peaches or berries, others love herb-infused drinks. Try things like mint, rosemary or thyme. Use anything from bacon to peppers to oranges, this is your time to play.

3. Mix  – Put the ingredients in a clean, air-tight jar and close tightly. Shake to mix ingredients and then keep in a cool, dark place to steep. While strong flavors may only need a few days, weaker ingredients will need more time. On average you can expect to wait three to five days.

4. Check your infusion  – Be sure to check on your jars every day, shaking three to five times per day to ensure the flavor mixture.

5. Finish  – After the duration of your steeping period, strain out the infusing ingredients from the liquor. Store the finished spirit as you would other alcohols of the same type.

If you try this let me know what you use and how it turns out.  Enjoy!!


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