Shuttered bars, restaurants, gyms and a boom in e-commerce defined 2020. 2021 is not too different. The pandemic trends persist as we slowly recover to pre-covid life. However, the exponential increase in time spent at home within these two years has impacted most of us as consumers in a good way.
To keep ourselves occupied during the lockdown, we picked up new hobbies and gained confidence in our skills. Hard kombucha being one of the sensational hobbies for clean living enthusiasts and not to mention the rising trend of home bars and homemade cocktails for most of us booze-heads.
Wonders never cease as we unravel our capabilities of bringing the shuttered world into our own home through DIYs. If you are one of those people who love a good challenge and find value in recreating at home indulgence, level yourself up and bring homemade cocktails to a new level with alcohol infusion.
What is Alcohol Infusion?
Infusion sounds like a fancy science term but it just means putting ingredient(s), flavours you like (fruit, herbs or spice) into a liquid (typically spirits or liquor) so that you get a flavoured liquid of your choice. As straightforward as it may sound, infusing your own cocktail does require patience and imagination.
Choices of Spirits for Infusion
With different spirits and flavoured ingredients to choose from, the world of alcohol infusion is limitless and may seem overwhelming for some. We shall delve deeper into the best practices for infusing different spirits next time. But for now, here is a quick summary to help you get started.
Light liquor such as vodka, gin, sake, light rum and tequila are commonly used for spirit infusion. Darker spirits such as whiskey/whisky, brandy and bourbon are a little trickier to work with and require the right choice of flavours to complement the liquor. Coffee is one ingredient commonly used to infuse dark liquors.
Health Benefits of Cocktail Infusion
When it comes to concocting something for ourselves, we tend to be mindful of the ingredients we use. The good news is, homemade infusions, minus the alcohol, are made with only natural botanicals of fruits, herbs and spice. These botanicals each have their minerals, vitamins and health benefits that do not diminish even after infusion.
Although, to be truthful, infusing with spirits will not substitute for a green smoothie or kombucha protein shake that you were going to have after your morning spin class. But if you were planning on having a few drinks, there’s no harm in incorporating some vitamins and nutrients so that your body will not hate you the morning after.
Zero Artificial Flavourings
A great distinction between homemade infusion and flavoured spirits that you buy off the counter, is that a homemade infusion is flavoured with natural ingredients that you infuse it with. Depending on the ingredients used and how you infuse them, great tasting cocktails can be made without having to add any of the sugary artificial flavourings.
Vitamin & Nutrients Boost
During an infusion process, water soluble vitamins (vitamin B and C) permeate into the liquid. Giving your drink a nutrient boost. Additionally, infusions give the benefits of flushing toxins from your body. For example, lemon is commonly used in detox drinks because of its ascorbic acid.
Fruits, Herbs, Spice & Everything Nice
Now that we have talked about the benefits of natural infusions. Let's delve deeper into the various categories of natural ingredients used for alcohol infusions.
Fruit Infused Spirit
Fruits and alcohol are a winning combo. It would rarely go wrong. Think about sangria, mimosa and fruity cocktails etc. There’s no way spiked sweetness from fruits can disappoint. Here is a simple recipe to kick start your creativity.
Fruit Infused Cocktail Recipe
Lazy Grapefruit Gin
- Place grapefruit in the bottom of a pitcher
- Pour 750ml of gin over it - You may try this recipe with Gordon London Dry Gin or Clubman Premium Dry Gin both are quality gins below $50
- Cover the pitcher with plastic wrap and let it rest in a dark corner for a week
- When the week is up use tongs to carefully remove the whole fruit
- Serve with ice cubes any time you feel like having a drink
We are familiar with mojito and mint julep, and we know that these cocktails require a handful of mint. But it’s not the only herb you can add to drinks. Here is a ginger root cocktail recipe to get you inspired.
Herbal Cocktail Recipe
Ginger Root Vodka
- In a mason jar, add 1/2 cup of unpeeled ginger sliced
- Pour 2 cups of Vodka into the mason jar - you may try this recipe with Smirnoff Red Vodka, a quality vodka priced below $50
- Seal the mason jar and set it in a dark location
- Have a taste test after a week. If it is strong enough for your taste you can begin to use it
- Strain with a cheesecloth or strainer and serve on ice whenever you want
Booze Your Creativity
You don’t need to stock the cabinet with a fortune worth of fancy liquor bottles to enjoy the art of infusion. All you need is a few ingredients, a glass jar, and your favourite spirit to get started.
As an abstract piece of the painting you create with colour splatters and a blindfold, take this opportunity to surprise yourself with what you can do. Homemade infusion like abstract art is an evergreen hobby - A thrill you can never get bored off.
At cellarbration, we want to encourage you to try your hand at this serendipitous art of homemade infusion. We assure you that when shopping with us, you can find quality products at affordable prices. On top of that, you can also expect a free alcohol delivery service for orders $99 and above. So fret not and get crafting. Your “ah-hah” moment is near.