Cocktail Corner: Infusion Basics

Make your own infusions.

By Rose Andres, WAC Bartender

Along with the recent trend of craft cocktails, you may have noticed jars and bottles of spirits filled with fruit, vegetables and herbs on some of your local bar shelves. These infusions are a relatively simple way to create complex flavor profiles. Creating infused alcohol is also a great project for at-home bartenders.

Infused spirits can showcase seasonal ingredients and flavor trends. Use fresh ingredients with attention to what is in season. Think of pleasant pairings, such as gin with cucumber or vodka with citrus. But donít limit yourself. Almost anything edible can be used.

Start with a clean glass vessel with a wide mouth and a secure lid. Next, choose a base spirit and fill your vessel. I donít recommend using top-shelf liquor for this, as you will lose its existing flavor profile. Wash and slice all your chosen ingredients and add them to the jar. Seal tightly and leave it in a cool, dark place.

Taste your infusion after two days. If the flavors arenít intense enough, let the mixture steep for another day or two. Although some infusions can benefit from aging, such as homemade Grand Marnier, most infusions made with fresh produce should be strained within five days to avoid spoilage or oversaturation.

When your concoction suits your taste, use a cheesecloth or strainer to remove fine particles and pulp. Cheers!

Pineapple Cilantro Jalapeño Tequila

  •  ½ pineapple, sliced
  • 1–2 fresh jalapeños, sliced
  • ¼ bunch fresh cilantro
  • 2 cups reposado tequila

Add all ingredients to a quart mason jar and seal. Strain after two days.

As published in the March/April 2017 issue of WAC Magazine.

—Posted March 15, 2017

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