December 20, 2011 | 3:00pm
Anyone can buy a bottle of Ketel One, throw a bow on it and call it a (holi)day. So this season, I'm kicking it up a notch with a fun and easy DIY holiday gift; some goodie-infused spirits.
Here's how to do it:
1 liter desired liquor (vodka, rum, tequila, etc.)
Flavorings (fruit, vanilla beans, jalapeno, etc.)
Funnel & Glass bottles with tight seals
Labels & Markers to decorate
World's Easiest Directions
Divide desired liquor among bottles. Fill with desired flavorings. Seal tightly, refrigerate and let infuse for three days to three weeks. Strain, pour back into clean jars, label and gift! (Or for more developed flavor, gift w/ the ingredients inside and instruct the recipient to strain - you can even provide them with cheesecloth for the process).
Tips on Infusion
Infusion times will differ based on your flavorings, with stronger flavored citrus fruits and herbs/spices taking less time (3-4 days) and fibrous fruits like strawberries, mangoes, raspberries and cherries and softer flavors like ginger, and lemon-grass taking longer (1-3 weeks).
For berries, wash and leave whole, piercing the skin on harder berries. Strawberries can be sliced.
Pineapples, mangoes, and other similar fruits, should be washed and cut into chunks.
Wash and slice citrus fruits or use zest or peels.
Cut vanilla beans and peppers in half.
Herbs can be washed and used whole (with stems).
Garlic cloves can be used whole, with skins removed.
Inspired Spirit Ideas
Basil Infused Vodka for the Bloody Mary lover - Gift w/ your favorite Bloody Mary Mix & Hot Sauce.
Jalapeno & Pineapple Infused Tequila for a Margarita fan.
Strawberry & Mint Infused Rum for amazing Mojitos.
Cucumber Infused Gin for a fresh, clean Gimlet.
Bacon Infused Bourbon for a killer Manhattan - Infused with bacon grease and make sure to double strain with a cheesecloth to get out all of the grease.
Other great mixes: Vodka w/ Lavender and Lemon, Ginger, Lemon, or Chai; Chile Infused Tequila; Vanilla Bourbon
Just remember to have fun with it - experiment.
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