Boozy Infusions: Turn Ordinary Alcohol Into a Mixology Masterpiece

Make small batches of flavorful alcohol infusions for delicious cocktails.

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Infused Alcohol

Infused Alcohol

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

If you are looking for a way to spice up your home bar, check out the produce section of your grocery store. Adding fresh herbs, fruit or chili peppers to alcohol is a tasty way to get a new flavor without having to spend extra money on specialty spirits. These alcohol infusions take less than 15 minutes to whip up and only need to sit overnight to achieve their full flavor profile.

Infused Alcohol

Infused Alcohol

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

 Bacon-Infused Vodka

Ingredients

  • vodka
  • 2 slices of thick bacon
  • 1 pint canning jar
  • frying pan
  • small bowl

Fry the two slices of bacon until crispy (Image 1). Reserve the bacon drippings in a bowl and let it cool (save the bacon). Pour the vodka into pint canning jar. Add the bacon drippings to the jar and mix well (Image 2). Let the jar sit at room temperature overnight. When you are ready to use the infusion, pop the jar into the freezer for about 10-15 minutes. The bacon fat will solidify and float to the top. Scoop out the bacon fat with a spoon and discard (Image 3). *Optional: pop the two slices of bacon in a food processor with a 1/2 cup of kosher salt. You can use this to rim a glass for a Bloody Mary.

 Bacon-y Bloody Mary

Makes one serving

Infused Alcohol

Infused Alcohol

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces of tomato juice
  • 1 ½ ounces bacon infused vodka
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon horseradish
  • 3 dashes hot pepper sauce
  • 1 pinch bacon salt
  • dash ground black pepper
  • dash of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • 1 stalk celery
  • pickled okra or hot pepper
  • fresh herbs like parsley, thyme or rosemary

Run the lemon wedge over the rim of a highball or tall glass. Dip the glass rim into the bacon salt you made earlier. Set the glass aside. Stir together tomato juice, bacon infused vodka, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, hot sauce, salt, and pepper in another glass or cocktail shaker. Mix well. Fill salt-rimmed glass with ice and pour the Bloody Mary iinto the glass. Sprinkle in the dash of lemon juice. Garnish with celery stalk, fresh herbs, pickled okra or chili pepper.

 Serrano-Infused Mezcal

Ingredients

  • mezcal
  • 2 serrano peppers
  • 1 pint canning jar

Mezcal is a cousin to tequila. Both distilled alcoholic beverages are made from the agave plant, but taste dramatically different. Mezcal has a distinctive smoky flavor profile which makes its particularly yummy when paired with chili peppers. Slice one to two serrano chilies (Image 1) and add to a canning jar. Pour enough mezcal to fill the pint canning jar (Image 2). The mezcal only needs to sit with the peppers in it for a few hours. If you like things extra spicy, leave the peppers in overnight. Strain the peppers from the jar before use.

 Spicy Margarita

Makes one serving

Infused Alcohol

Infused Alcohol

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces serrano-infused mezcal
  • 1-ounce triple sec (or any orange liqueur)
  • 3/4 ounce freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • simple syrup or agave for sweetening
  • lime wedge and salt for rimming the glass

Rub a slice of lime around the top rim of a margarita glass. Fill a shallow bowl with salt, and dip the rim in the salt until it is covered with your desired amount of salt.  Set aside. Add the serrano-infused mezcal, lime juice and triple sec to a cocktail shaker, and shake or stir until combined. Stir in a half teaspoon of agave or simple syrup until it reaches your desired level of sweetness. Fill the salt rimmed glass with ice. Pour in the margarita mixture over the ice. Serve immediately, garnished with thin slices of lime and a slice of serrano pepper.

 Ginger, Apple and Rosemary-Infused Gin

Ingredients

  • gin
  • half Granny Smith apple
  • 1 small sprig of rosemary
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger
  • 1 pint canning jar

Chop half of a Granny Smith apple, remove the seeds and core (Image 1). Peel and slice a one-inch piece of fresh ginger (Image 2). Add the ginger, apple and sprig of rosemary to an empty canning jar. Pour in enough gin to fill the jar (Image 3). Let the mixture sit overnight for maximum flavor. Strain the apple, rosemary and ginger from the jar before use.

 Hard Apple Rosemary Ginger Ale

Makes one serving

Infused Alcohol

Infused Alcohol

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces of ginger, apple and rosemary infused gin
  • 4 ounces of carbonated water
  • 1 teaspoon of simple syrup (or more to taste)

Fill a 6 ounce glass with ice. Add the gin and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake for 10 seconds. Pour into the glass with ice and top off with carbonated water. Garnish with thin slices of apple or a small sprig of rosemary.

Infused Alcohol

Infused Alcohol

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Infused alcohols are a great pantry staple. You can even use them in marinades for meats.

Infused Alcohol

Infused Alcohol

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Keep a jar or two ready for your next impromptu get together. No matter what time of the year, cocktails are always in order.

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