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Step-By-Step Guide On Infusing Your Own Spirits With Spices At Home

Step-By-Step Guide On Infusing Your Own Spirits With Spices At Home

For bartending enthusiasts, making spirit infusions is one of the most exciting and creative activities! Bonus: infusing spices in spirits is super easy to do at home. Below are stepwise instructions to infuse spices in your favourite spirits.

Step 1: Choosing The Right Spices 

Use a spice that you really enjoy! If you want to make sweeter infused spirits, use baking spices such as cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, cacao nibs, star anise, lemon zest, orange zest, lime zest, lavender buds, and vanilla beans. Spices with savoury flavours such as peppercorns, bay leaves, chile peppers, coriander seeds, dill seed, rosemary needles, thyme leaves.

Step 2: Choosing Whole Or Ground Spices 

Try to use whole spices as ground spices cloud or overseason the spirit. Also it is easier to strain spirits infused with whole spices.

Step 3: Choosing The Right Spirits 

Vodka is great to infuse spices as it has a neutral taste. Infusing with savoury spice flavours will make for a delicious Bloody Marys and Martinis. Spices also blend in well with liquors such as rum, tequila, mezcal, cognac and whiskey (bourbon, scotch or rye). Their natural flavour pairs well with spices. Spices can elevate even a subpar bottle of booze. But avoid spicing gin as it would be like spicing spiced rum. 

Step-By-Step Guide On Infusing Your Own Spirits With Spices At Home

Step 4: Choosing The Right Spirit-Spices Combo

You can be super creative and have endless spirit and spice combinations. Remember: There’s no right or wrong. However, if you are experimenting, for the first time you can try the below combinations.

Combination 1

Use this combination for white rums, young bourbons, VS cognac, a heavy-peated scotch and reposado tequila.

1. ½ Vanilla bean, halved (remove seeds and place in bottle as well for additional flavour)
2. 3 sticks of Cinnamon (about 3 inches in length)
3. 5 whole Cloves

Combination 2

This combination is perfect for a lighter Scotch whiskey or a six-to-eight-year bourbon or dark or aged rums.

1. 4 black Cardamom pods, lightly crushed
2. 7 whole Allspice seeds
3. 2 tablespoon fresh Ginger, peeled and chopped 
4. 4 whole Star anise

Combination 3

The below spices work well with vodka, silver tequila, white rum, rhum agricole and white whiskey.

1. 60 gm dried Hibiscus flowers
2. 1 teaspoon crushed Sichuan peppercorns
3. 1 tablespoon dried Lavender flowers

Combination 4

These spices are great for single-malt Scotch, mezcal, reposado or añejo tequila and VSOP cognac.

1. ¼ teaspoon Saffron
2. 1 teaspoon Cacao nibs
3. 1 whole Ancho chilli, chopped

Step 5: Choosing The Storage Container

You can infuse in the bottle that the alcohol came in or use a jar with a sealable lid. But always use glass, never plastic. 

Step-By-Step Guide On Infusing Your Own Spirits With Spices At Home

Step 6: Storing the Infusion

Store the infusion out of direct sunlight. You don't have to refrigerate it, but ensure you are storing it in a dark place.

Step 7: The Wait and Taste Period

Spices need at least one to three days to be infused in the alcohol. Taste regularly to see how the flavours developed. Ideally, use a cardboard straw to draw in the liquid and touch the end of the straw to get a drop of it for tasting. Once the flavours are up to the mark, it's time to strain off the spices from the alcohol.

Step 8: Filtering The Infusion

Use a fine-mesh strainer or a cheesecloth or a coffee filter to remove the solids. The coffee filter will get you the best results.

While it's great to learn about making alcoholic beverages, it is important to also consume alcohol moderately. Remember to serve and drink responsibly to ensure you and your guests are healthy and out of harm's way. If you know anyone who has trouble controlling their alcohol intake, please refer them to a professional immediately.
 

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