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Alcohol Infusions

Base spirits like vodka, whiskey, and rum are the most common alcohols to infuse but traditional infusions can be done on any spirit with a high alcohol percentage. Using the sous vide or whipping siphon methods allows even high-sugar liqueurs or quick-to-fade wines to be safely infused.

Nitrous oaked manhattan

Once you move away from the milder spirits, the flavoring agents need to complement the base spirit being used. Infusing bourbon and dark rum can result in wonderful drinks but you should stick to stronger flavoring agents because subtle notes can get lost in the deeply flavored spirits.

In traditional alcohol infusions, the proof of the liquor (the amount of alcohol present in it) affects the strength of the infusion. The higher the proof, the more flavor will be drawn out. Because of this, I tend to use overproof or 100+ proof spirits in traditional infusions.

My favorite application of infused alcohol is for use as components in cocktails. The flavors add great complexity in both alcohol-heavy drinks such as a Manhattan, Old Fashioned, or martini as well as lighter drinks like fizzes or sodas. Most alcohol infusions will last indefinitely in a dark cabinet, though the flavors will fade over time.

You can get a good overview of all types of infusions by checking out my modernist techniques of Infusing Liquids and Foods. Get a more detailed look at infusions, including sous vide, whipping siphon, and traditional, as well as more than 140 recipes in my Infusions book.

Alcohol Infusions Recipes and Articles

How to Make Infusions for Gifts

Cover image square What better holiday gift than discovering how to make infusions to give as gifts! Here's a step by step look at creating infusions for oil, alcohol, vinegar, and bitters!

Spiced Rum Infused Raisins Recipe

Rum infused raisins Infused raisins are easy to make and take on a great flavor from the spiced rum. Both the raisins and the resulting rum infusion taste great and can be used together or separately.

How to Use Infused Alcohols in Cocktails

Barrel aged alaska There are many ways you can use infused alcohols in cocktails. I highlight my favorite drinks drinks including tasting flights, classic cocktails, composed drinks and more!

Mulled Wine Infusion Recipe

Whipping siphon mulled wine Mulled wine is a traditional spiced wine, usually flavored with cinnamon, raisins, orange, and star anise. Using the sous vide infusion process results in a more flavorful, nuanced mulled wine by preventing flavor loss that normally occurs when wine is boiled.

Rum Punch Infusion Recipe

Dishwasher infusion rum punch Rum punch is a strong, fruity drink that is best sipped on the beach! This infusion takes many of the common rum punch flavors and infuses them directly in the rum. I like to serve the resulting infusion with a splash of orange juice and pineapple juice.

Strawberry Basil Infused Rum Recipe

Strawberry basil infused rum This infusion always reminds me of eating ripe strawberries and relaxing on the deck. With the basil adding a nice hint of spice to the rum infusion, it goes great in a mojito, rum punch and a fizz.

Peach Infused Brandy Recipe

Sous vide infused peach brandy Making your own infusion allows you to produce the exact flavors you are looking for. This peach brandy recipe infuses the sweetness and fruity flavors from ripe peaches into brandy. It also works well with other fruits or berries.

Barrel Aged Negroni Infusion Recipe

Barrel aged negroni You can make nice versions of aged cocktails in a few hours with a Mason jar by taking advantage of the quick and easy sous vide process. It does not give the cocktail as much body as aging it for 6 weeks in a barrel, but it still is a satisfying drink.

Apple and Pear Infused Gin Recipe

Sous vide infused apple pear gin The light, fruity flavors of apples and pears complement the herbal notes from the gin, resulting in a rounded infusion full of flavors. The infused gin is great in martinis and holds up well to other complex cocktails.

Apple Pie Bourbon Infusion Recipe

Apple pie infused bourbon ingredients This bourbon is flavored with fresh apples and classic apple pie spices like cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. It's a perfect bourbon infusion to sip with dessert or make into a liqueur.

Espresso Infused Bourbon Recipe

Expresso infused bourbon sous vide Bourbon holds up wonderfully to the strong flavor of espresso and this infusion results in a rich, bold bourbon that can be used in many different cocktails. For a fun variation you can also add a vanilla bean or cinnamon stick to the infusion.

Black Cherry Infused Rye Recipe

Black cherry sous vide infused rye The fruity cherry notes in this infusion complement the spicy rye and tone down its bite. The cinnamon and clove also contribute background flavors to round out the infusion. The resulting infusion can be enjoyed over ice or mixed into cocktails.

Arnold Palmer Infused Vodka Recipe

Arnold palmer sous vide infused vodka I like to mimic an Arnold Palmer by infusing vodka with the lemon and tea flavors, resulting in a flavorful addition to drinks on a hot day. I infuse the lemons first to fully extract their flavors, then add the tea near the end to minimize the bitterness that can be released.

Spiced Ground Cherry Infused Vodka Recipe

Ground cherry sous vide infused vodka Ground cherries, or golden berries, have a sweet and tart flavor, that makes a flavorful sous vide vodka infusion. I add some nutmeg and ginger to round out the flavors and contribute some spiciness.

Chile Tomato Infused Vodka Recipe

Sun dried tomato chile infused vodka This recipe uses guajillo and chipotle chiles to infuse the vodka with smokey and spicy flavors that complement most Bloody Mary mixes. This vodka is very spicy and made to be mixed but it can be tweaked for a mellow, sipping style infusion.

Orange Vanilla Infused Vodka Recipe

Vanilla orange infused vodka The resulting vodka from this orange and vanilla sous vide infusion is citrusy with a deep vanilla backbone. It is awesome in a martini but my favorite is in a Creamsicle, a rich and creamy dessert cocktail.

White Sangria Infused Wine Recipe

White sangria infused wine siphon White sangria infused wine is a popular fruity, sweet refreshment. Using the whipping siphon infusion process makes the wine more robust because all the flavor from the fruits is extracted.

Grapefruit Tonic Infused Gin Recipe

Siphon infused grapefruit tonic gin I use a whipping siphon process to quickly infuse gin with tonic flavors, resulting in a tart alcohol that isn't watered down. Infusing grapefruit adds acidity and citrus notes while cinchona bark adds the quinine tonic flavor.

Cucumber and Sour Apple Infused Gin Recipe

Cucumber sour apple siphon infused gin This infusion adds the sweet and tart subtle flavors of cucumber and sour apples to the natural gin taste of juniper and herbs. Enjoy this infused gin over ice with club soda or just a splash of tonic water!

Pineapple Kiwi Infused Tequila Recipe

Pineapple kiwi infused tequila This tropical tasting tequila infusion is fruity and flavorful. The pineapple and kiwi add sweetness with a touch of sour, making the infusion a great liquor to use in sours or margaritas.

Mojito Infused Rum Recipe

Mojito infused rum whipping siphon Mojitos are a combination of tart lime and fresh mint combined with simple syrup and sparkling water over ice. By using a mojito-infused rum you can quickly serve up this refreshing cocktail any time!

Chocolate Mint Infused Vodka Recipe

Mint chocolate infused vodka2 I used the whipping siphon to quickly infuse fresh mint and rich cocoa nibs into vodka for a delightful drink. It is great in a martini and adds a lot of nuance to a White Russian.

Lemon Infused Vodka Recipe

Limoncello low Lemon infused vodka is a citrusy, flavorful drink and the base for limoncello. By using the whipping siphon to quickly extract the flavors from the lemon peels, the final product is a little less rounded but still so refreshing.

Nitrous Oaked Manhattan Infusion Recipe

Nitrous oaked manhattan Nitrous oaking is a take on the barrel aging prepared cocktails process by utilizing the whipping siphon. The high pressures draw out the caramel flavors from the toasted oak chips and infuse them into the liquid.

Chocolate Pecan Infused Bourbon Recipe

Chocolate pecan infused bourbon This infusion pairs rich chocolate and nutty pecans in a bourbon that is robust and full of flavor. It's great served on the rocks but it also makes a mean Manhattan!

Grapefruit Bitters Infusion Recipe

Grapefruit bitters dropper top Grapefruit bitters are a versatile infusion that adds citrus notes as well as the classic aromatics. It provides a bright spark in martinis, mojitos and other drinks made of light spirits.

Barrel Aged Alaska Cocktail Infusion Recipe

Barrel aged alaska Barrel aging is the process that gives whiskey, dark rum, aged tequila and many types of wine their flavor. This barrel aged infusion recipe is for the Alaska Cocktail.

Bushmills Hot Toddy Infusion Recipe

Hot toddy infused bushmills A hot toddy is a classic cold- and flu-killing drink consisting of hot water and whiskey flavored with lemon and cloves. This hot toddy infusion might not cure you of your sickness but it sure tastes great!

Dried Chile Pepper Tequila Infusion Recipe

Dried chile pepper infused tequila shot This tequila infusion takes on a spicy, fruity, smokey flavor of dried chile peppers; it's a great way to add complexity to different cocktails. I really like it in a paloma or Bloody Mary drink!

Blackberry Basil Infused Rum Recipe

Blackberry basil infused rum In this infusion the sweet and tart flavor of blackberries pairs wonderfully with the slightly spicy and herbal basil. It is a fruity, flavorful addition to many cocktails and is especially tasty in rum punch or as a liqueur.

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