Liquor Infusing Basics
Infusing basically means steeping and then, usually, straining. How long you steep depends on what ingredients you’re using and how strong you want the flavor to be.
To infuse fruit, fill your jar about 1/4-1/3 of the way with your ingredients, then cover with liquor. Let your ingredients steep for about a week in a cool, dark place. Starting around day 5, you’ll want to check the infusion’s color and take a whiff. When it starts to look and smell good, strain through a few layers of cheesecloth or a fine mesh sieve into your jar of choice.
It’s important to strain fruit-based infusions, because they look good at first, but as they sit in the bottle, they’ll start to lose their color and look none-too-pretty.
Herbs infuse a lot faster, and you don’t need as much to do the job. Place just a handful into a large, glass container, fill it up the rest of the way with your booze of choice, and steep for just 2-3 days. Strain into your jars, and you’re done!
With herbs, you can put back a couple of stems just for show. Hardy plants like rosemary and vanilla beans will keep looking lovely for a long time.
I am not crazy about sweetening my infused liquors, because I think that unsweetened they’re more versatile. If you want to sweeten, though, you definitely can!
Once your infusion is strained, add a few tablespoons of your favorite sweetener and add a teaspoon at a time until you’ve reached the desired sweetness. Sweeteners to try: sugar, maple syrup, agave nectar, or honey. If you do decide to sweeten, you probably will want your label to advise your giftee to shake well, just in case it separates a bit!
OK, so you’ve got the basics. Do you need a few recipes to get started? We’ve got you covered on the next page!
Next>> Infusion Ideas
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