Becoming a master distiller is a profession one may spend a lifetime learning to perfect. Becoming a mighty infuser is something you can learn to master in a few minutes.
First of all, the sky is the limit. You need only amass your ingredients. Like choosing your weapon, this is the super easy part—and it only gets easier from here.
Choose liquors that are of high quality and make sure your other ingredients are at their peak of flavor. It all counts toward creating first-rate taste for your end product.
As far as liquor choices, here are a few guidelines to remember:
– Gin—Many taste of juniper, but there are countless lovely brands to try that are plum-filled with botanicals of every description. Citrus, ginger, bay leaves, coriander … the list is endless.
– Vodka—Here we’re basically talking texture over taste. Oily, silky, watery, clean.
– Tequila—Dependent upon the quality, it is said to be earthy and vegetal. Did you know some distillers will round out some of the sharper agave flavors with sherry, prune and coconut, along with the traditional caramel? If you’re looking for something on the other end of the scale, mezcals can be quite smoky.
– Whisk(e)y—Where does one start? Bourbons often tend to be sweeter, rye has a spicy kick, scotch will be a rainbow palette from floral to salty to peaty. So much to discover here.
– Rum—From the clear light rums to the dark and syrupy, the flavor profile will be vast. The white rums will allow your added ingredients to shine, where as the heavier richer spirits will prove more of a challenge.
– Brandy—“Burnt wine” is a lovely choice for cordial making. Nutty, full bodied, fruity and viscous. The medium is wide open and ready for recipes.
The simple accoutrements apart from your ingestible choices are everyday and ordinary.
– A glass jar you like the look of (with a cork or stopper of some sort)
– Something to strain your finished product with (cheesecloth, coffee filter, your granny’s old panty hose)
– A funnel
- Ingredients should be cleaned and at peak taste. Some fruits you’ll want to muddle, others you can leave whole or chop into pretty bite-sized pieces.
- Jar should be washed & dried. No one wants to sip at something that has a layer of last year’s shelf dust incorporated into it.
- Chuck your solids into the jar.
- Pour your alcohol in with the funnel and completely cover your ingredients.
- Seal it up.
- Jiggle it about for a few seconds.
- Pop that puppy into a cool space out of the sunshine.
- Every day, give your infusion a good shake to wake up your ingredients.
- Every 2 or 3 days, have a sip to check its development.
- When you’re pleased with the results (could be 3 days to a month), strain your solids and rebottle your infusion.
- Label it, gift it, drink it.
For your drinking pleasure …
(Recommended as a mixer for a Manhattan, a funky Mint Julep, or poured over ice cream. Surprise yourself.)
1 liter bourbon
2/3 cup blueberries
-wash your blueberries
-pop them in your jar
-muddle them a bit
-add your bourbon
-infuse for up to 5 days
-strain, rebottle, glug glug lug lgug uglg … yum