My favorite end-of-day drink has to be bourbon. Most days I'll stick to my favorite brands on the rocks or I'll make a Manhattan, but sometimes I'm up for trying something different. In this case, an orange-cinnamon infused bourbon made with my whipping siphon.
This infused bourbon is very quick and easy to make. The hardest part is peeling the orange, and that only takes a minute if you have a decent vegetable peeler. The infusion process itself takes less than 2 minutes, though you should let the bourbon "breath" for 5 to 10 minutes after it is done infusing to fully release the aromas.
This recipe adds some great citrus notes from the orange peel and spicy sharpness from the cinnamon. I prefer to use Bulleit Bourbon for this infusion but any decent bourbon or rye you have on hand will work well.
The cinnamon and orange infused bourbon is great on the rocks or as a base spirit in your cocktails. It works especially well in an old fashioned or Manhattan but can be used in most bourbon cocktails.
Feel free to experiment with different spices that you enjoy. I've substituted star anise for the cinnamon and it worked well. You could also make a "spiced" bourbon with the traditional spicing ingredients of cloves, cinnamon, allspice, peppercorns, nutmeg, and ginger. A spicy bourbon from chile peppers would also be tasty in certain drinks.
The possibilities are endless once you've mastered the simple art of infusing alcohol. Just have fun and don't drive!
If you like this recipe you can get it and more than 50 other recipes from my book Modernist Cooking Made Easy: The Whipping Siphon. The book covers the three main uses of the whipping siphon: foaming, carbonating, and infusing. It is all presented in an easy to understand format that anyone can follow.
Also, if you are just getting started experimenting with molecular gastronomy and modernist cuisine then I highly recommend one of these molecular gastronomy kits. They have everything you need to do many different dishes.
Make sure the bourbon is at least room temperature or slightly warmer. Wash and dry the cinnamon and oranges. Zest the oranges, either fine or in strips, being careful to remove any pith. Put the orange zest and cinnamon into the whipping siphon. Pour the bourbon into the whipping siphon.
Seal the whipping siphon, charge it, and swirl for 20 to 30 seconds. Let the siphon sit for 1 minute longer. Place a towel over the top of the siphon and slowly vent it.
Strain the orange-cinnamon bourbon and let sit for at least 5 minutes before using.