DIY infused booze

For a while now we have been toying with the idea of making our own spirits. Something like Schnaps or Gin. Turns out you need a license and a lot of knowledge and kit to do that. For now, we don’t have either. As an alternative we thought we could start out by infusing some good quality liquors.

We researched, talked to a couple of friends who have done it before, got stuck in ourselves and here we are, trying to pass on the secrets. It truly isn’t rocket science and mostly down to experimenting, nevertheless here are a five Vital Sister tips for successfully infusing your liquor.

TIPP #1 Experiment in small batches

Alcohol, especially good quality spirits are pricey and unfortunately we learned the hard way that it isn’t a particularly smart idea to use a whole 750ml bottle of lovely gin for your first infusion attempt…  We picked the wrong flavour and probably left it in too long.  Long story short, it turned the Gin into a horrible, undrinkable liquid that still makes me feel sick just thinking about it. Learning from our little mistake we started to make smaller experiment batches. For some reason we chose 140 ml as our golden measure.

TIPP #2 Spend time thinking about flavour combinations

Again returning to our Gin mishab one of the most important things you will have to do is finding the right flavour combinations. A relatively bland liquor, such as Vodka, pairs well with a lot of herbs, spices and fruit, but if you are using other spirits such as Gin or Rum you should take a little longer to decide on what to infuse it with. Get to know your liquor’s distinct flavour  and complement it. This is not unlike cooking really.

TIPP#4 DON’t over infuse

We were quite surprised to find how quickly some infusions are ready. Strong,  fragrant spices, herbs and teas can be quite potent and often don’t take much longer than half a day to give you a good strong flavour. Whereas fruits and vegetables tend take longer, about 3 to 7 days. What you want to do is taste your infusions regularly, there isn’t anything such as a hard rule on infusion times.

TIPP #5 Clean, Clean, Clean

Make sure all the containers you are using are very clean, including lids. If possible even sterile. you don’t want any residue spoiling your creation. Also make sure you remove as much of the produce you used to infuse as possible. We tried a mesh strainer and it was ok, but even after 3 rounds of straining we still had little bits swimming around. While alcohol does preserve, it has it’s limitations and if you want to store your liquor you may want to strain it through a mesh sieve covered with a clean cheesecloth or nut milk bag. Again, those little bits can spoil all the lovely flavours.

 

Now that you have  come reading this far,  why not give one of our tried and tested beginners infusions a go? Seriously they are as easy as one, two, three and the base for three delicious drinks we have made up.

 

LEMON BALM AND LIMe INFUSED GIN

DIY infused Gin --- www.thevitalsisters.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 140ml Gin
  • 1 organic, unwaxed lime
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon balm leaves

HOW IT’S DONE

Cut the lime into thin slices. Put all ingredients into a clean container and leave to infuse for about 24 hours. Strain into a clean bottle.

Chai INFUSED VODKA

DIY infused Vodka --- www.thevitalsisters.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 140ml Vodka
  • 1 1/2 tsp lose Chai tea mix  (we used a wonderfully fragrant mix made by teastories in Vienna)

HOW IT’S DONE

Put all ingredients into a clean container and leave to infuse for about 24 hours. Strain into a clean bottle.

VANILLA INFUSED VODKA

DIY infused Vodka--- www.thevitalsisters.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 140ml Vodka
  • 1/2 vanilla pod, sliced open

HOW IT’S DONE

Cut the lime into quarters. Put all ingredients into a clean container and leave to infuse for about 24 hours. Strain into a clean bottle.

We would love to hear about your experiments with liquor infusions. Any tips, tricks , comments or general wisdom is much welcomed. Just  post a comment below or give us a shout on instagram.

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