During the holidays, many people turn to homemade items to help personalize celebrations and gift-giving. If you enjoy holiday DIY, this year why not try making your own holiday spirits? Unique infusions and liqueurs are not only memorable gifts, but they also add a personalized flare to holiday parties.
The mixology pros at Everclear offer some tips for creating your own infusions this holiday season:
The basics of infusion are simple: Add the flavor element of your choice to the neutral spirit and allow it to steep (soak) in the alcohol in order to extract the flavor. Steeping may take days or weeks, depending on the flavor element and the intensity of flavor you’re seeking. Generally, the longer an infusion steeps the stronger the flavor will be. Want a subtler flavor? Reduce the steeping time. Once the steeping is done, you use a fine, mesh strainer or cheesecloth to filter the flavor ingredients out of the alcohol. The end result is a clean, flavored spirit.
Fruits and spices will infuse more quickly than nuts and roots. Generally, mixologists will steep ingredients separately and mix to taste after filtration.
Orange Spice Infusion ingredients:
10 ounces Everclear
10 ounces filtered water
4 ounces 1:1 simple syrup (mixture of water and sugar, you boil it down, or buy it ready at liquor store)
Zest of two oranges
2 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla bean split
Directions: Steep cloves, allspice, cinnamon, vanilla and orange zest in 10 ounces of Everclear. Use a Microplane grater on oranges to get just the zest. Allow to steep for 24 hours. Strain. Add 10 ounces of water and 4 ounces of simple syrup. Bottle. Makes approximately 24 ounces of 80 proof infusion.