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Here's How You Can Make The Most Of Food Scraps For Flavourful Infusions

How To Make The Most Of Food Scraps For Flavourful Infusions

When you are trying to minimise waste or attempting to use every inch of the fruits, veggies and foods you have at home, one of the ways to go about this ecologically friendly endeavour is to use these leftover scraps as base flavours for crafting delicious infusions.

In fact, fruit and veggie peels, stalks of herbs and leafy vegetables, ginger shavings and skins of varied citruses pack some of the most intense flavours embodied in this fresh produce. This means using them to build tasteful infusions for spirits and syrups actually provides the most potent taste, aroma and texture of your most favoured ingredients.

Some Tips

Food scraps can be used in a lot of different ways while mastering infused drinks in your kitchen. These liquids are stored in big jars or airtight containers for days before they can be used. This process allows all the flavours from the peels and leftovers to seep into the gin, vodka, rum or simple syrup that is being imbued with these ingredients.

Such a drink also enables you to craft several cocktails full of complexity and deep flavour because the infused aromas completely envelope the spirit. And if that’s not enough, preparing these homemade liqueurs and syrups becomes a fun DIY activity that brings together friends and relatives for some quality bonding time.

How To Make The Most Of Food Scraps For Flavourful Infusions

Food Scraps For Infusions

Veggie Peels, Fruit Skins

While veggie peels and fruit skins are some of the more common food scraps that are used to infuse quality spirits like Tanqueray No. Ten Gin or a Smirnoff Triple Distilled Vodka with fruity and herby flavours, there are some other kitchen leftovers too which act as robust core ingredients for crafting flavoured spirits. Making such aromatic flavoured vodkas or rums at home would add a feather in your mixology cap and will cut down on the effort required to source liquors featuring these ingredients.


One such infusion is of course coffee flavoured simple syrup or coffee infused vodka which can be prepared using leftover coffee grounds. If you are fond of drinking a quality cup of joe made from premium grade beans, do not throw away the grounds after you are done brewing your morning elixir. Instead, gather a few days worth of coffee grounds and simmer them in water and sugar to make a thoroughly aromatic coffee infused simple syrup. Follow a similar process for infusing vodka with coffee, and strain the liquids once the grounds have released all their flavour to achieve a smooth texture.

Tea Bags, Brewed Tea

The same process can also be employed to prepare tea infused simple syrup made from used tea bags or brewed tea. This can be added not only to cocktails but also to tea cakes, walnut and date afternoon cakes and raisin and nut pastries to introduce some intense textural notes into the mildly sweet desserts. Such tea and coffee simple syrup infusions can be used in the preparations of the respective beverages too, for accentuating their flavours.

How To Make The Most Of Food Scraps For Flavourful Infusions

Fruit Cores

As well, other scraps like peach pits, apple and pear cores and pineapple cores can be steeped in water or plain alcohol to create infusions that help to build such specific flavour components in slightly more elaborate cocktail recipes.

When treating herbs, one way to use the flavour from the stalks is to soak them in water and then use this infused water as an addition to sherbets or fizzy alcoholic and non-alcoholic mixes. And one of the most obvious flavoured infusions is of course warm broth which is traditionally prepared using onion skins, carrot tops, celery ends, leftover ginger skins and other assorted veggie waste. This is simmered in water and then strained to leave behind a wholesome veggie broth that can be added to soups and curries.

Whatever flavoured infusion you choose to prepare, the best way to go about it is to specifically seek out these leftover parts which are often deemed to be waste but in fact contain some of the strongest and most complex flavours.


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