Adventures In Infusions

I’ve been interested in making infused spirits for a while now. Despite how easy it seemed to be I kept putting it off. I’m very pleased to say that I got over my hesitations & just jumped right in. I did a bit of research, looking at mostly amounts of fruit & time, & found it to be a pretty subjective process. Once you figure out which base spirit you want to infuse & with what added ingredient, it’s really just about your preference for intensity.

I knew I wanted to use seasonal fruits & my two favorite spirits; bourbon & gin. I’m pretty much always looking at cocktails & ideas & playing around with flavors as I learn what goes together & the different ways other people play with the classics. Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of yummy looking drinks with blackberries & figs so that was my inspiration. Blackberry for the bourbon & fig for the gin. I decided to start easy; smaller, cheaper bottles of stuff I am familiar with already. I chose Evan Williams for it’s sturdiness & New Amsterdam because it’s smooth & relatively dry. I didn’t want either one to become too sweet once the fruit was added in.

All in all I’m really excited about the ways these turned out. The colors are beautiful, muted pink-purples reminiscent of watercolors, & the flavors are quite balanced. The bourbon still has that heat on the back end, but the blackberry comes through smooth & dark & slightly sweet. On initial tasting the fig gin is my favorite; the sweeter of the two with a bit more of the natural fruit flavor. I’m definitely looking forward to sharing some recipes with y’all in the next few days!

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Below you can find the (loose) guidelines for my process. I’d love to know what infusions you’ve tried, or if you try these two yourself!

Fig Infused Gin

5-6 Large Black Mission Figs

750 ml bottle your choice of gin

Blackberry Infused Bourbon

8-9 oz Blackberries

750 ml bottle your choice of bourbon

General supplies

Large jar (800 ml Mason jar or equivalent) for process

Fine mesh sieve

Cheese cloth

Large pitcher

Funnel

Storage container (I found some beautiful blue bottles & sealed them with a cork)

 

Cut up your fruit (blackberries halved, figs quartered) & place in bottom of your jar

Pour spirit over the fruit (I found that about ¾ of the bottle fit in the jar with the fruit added)

Secure lid & tumble fruit in the jar a bit

Store in a cool, dry place (I chose a top shelf in an unused closet)

Let sit for 72 hrs, tumbling once or twice

Taste test after 72 hrs, decide if it should sit longer (I did 72 hrs for the gin, 96 for the bourbon)

When you’re ready to drink, line your sieve with cheese cloth, place it over the pitcher, slowly pour your infusion into the pitcher

Gather the left over fruit in the cheese cloth & gently squeeze it to get every ounce of goodness

Using your funnel, slowly transfer the infusion from the pitcher to your chosen storage container & secure the top

Enjoy!

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