Food & Beverage

By Marcia Simmons
Infusing spirits means putting stuff in a jar, pouring liquor on top of it, and waiting. That’s really all there is to it. 

Whether you want to make basil vodka, jalapeno tequila or mango rum, the general process is the same:

DIY Infused Spirit

Put equal parts spirit and flavoring item in a glass jar, seal the jar, and shake it. Let the infusion steep anywhere from one to seven days, depending on how quickly the ingredient imparts its flavor and how intense you’d like your infusion to taste. Sample daily. Strain out the solids through cheesecloth. Bottle and store as you would any other spirit.
You can make as little or as much as you want. I like to experiment with a variety of flavors in small batches in eight-ounce Mason jars.
Vodka is the easiest spirit for infusing, because it pairs well with literally any flavor. Don’t limit yourself, though. Just remember that stronger-tasting spirits, like whiskey and Cognac, may need longer steeping times. You may even want to let it sit for weeks to get a really bold infusion. If you like, you can download a handy PDF infusion cheatsheet by clicking the link below.

Download PDF Download the Cheatsheet PDF
Right click to save the PDF to your desktop. Directions on downloading PDFs.

After the jump, we’ll talk about making cocktails with your infusion!

All images by Jackson Stakeman
Here are some of my favorite infusion combinations:

  • Bourbon with cherry, fig, or peach
  • Vodka with basil, fennel, or bell peppers
  • Gin with chamomile tea, tomato, or cucumber
  • Rum with banana, mango, or pineapple
  • Tequila with blood orange, jalapeno, or strawberry

You can turn a classic cocktail into a DIY masterpiece by using your infusion – for example, a martini made with lavender gin or a Manhattan made with apple-vanilla bourbon.
It’s strawberry season, so here’s an infusion from my book, DIY Cocktails, and a recipe to use it in. Enjoy!

Strawberry-Infused Tequila Reposado

1 part tequila reposado
1 part chopped strawberries

Steep for about five days.

Tequila Fresa Punch

(1 serving)
1 1/2 ounces parts strawberry-infused tequila reposado
1/2 ounce triple sec
3/4 ounce orange juice
1/2 ounce lime juice
2 ounces grapefruit soda
1 dash orange bitters
Sliced strawberries for garnish

Shake all ingredients except the soda and strawberries in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain into chilled old fashioned glass with several ice cubes. Add the soda on top of the strained liquid. Garnish with strawberries.

About the Author:
Marcia Simmons is the co-author of DIY Cocktails and contributing editor at Drink of the Week.

15 thoughts on “How-To: Make Your Own Infused Spirits

  1. Europe’s top human rights watchdog has urged Germany to cease supplying sexual offenders the alternative of surgical castration.
    The Council of Europe’s anti-torture committee stated within a report issued Wednesday that the practice, which aims to help convicted sex criminals rein in their sex drives and lower their danger of reoffending, could effortlessly be regarded as “degrading therapy.” Based on Germany’s 1969 Law on Voluntary Castration, an individual more than the age of 25 might be subjected to surgical castration if he “displays an abnormal sex drive, which … offers cause to suspect that he will commit one or much more criminal offenses.” The controversial procedure is not mandatory as well as a consensual offender can only have the operation immediately after becoming informed of all of the implications in the selection and immediately after medical approval has been obtained, Germany stated in its response, adding that it would think about reviewing the concern.
    But Berlin also cited the treatment’s effectiveness, saying that of the 104 individuals who underwent the process within the 1970s, only 3 folks committed sexual crimes once more. Almost half from the 53 other individuals who refused or were denied treatment eventually reoffended.
    Voluntary castration is still very uncommon in Germany, with fewer than five instances per year within the final decade.
    The only other country within the 47-nation bloc in the Council of Europe that gives the process is the Czech Republic, which has also been the subject of criticism in current years for allowing sex offenders to opt for castration, a procedure it utilizes far more regularly than Germany.

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