Feature

How to infuse your own booze on the cheap

Have too many apples from that upstate romp? Read on!

Infused alcohol doesn't have much of a middle ground. There's the lowbrow, fratty side of it all: Gummy bears soaking in cheap gin, a sad watermelon plugged with a bottle of Rubinoff. On the other end of the spectrum is serious mixology, something I'll never be able to get behind — I'm not about to pay $16 for a drink just to relive this Portlandia skit. But by infusing affordable liquor with herbs, fruit, and spices, you'll end up with a quality final product that'll enhance your cocktails without blowing your budget.

Jalapeño-infused tequila

A good starting point for infused booze is jalapeño tequila: The peppers are strong enough that you won't have to wait too long after preparing it to use. Simply add one sliced, de-seeded pepper for every cup of tequila and steep it in a sealed jar for up to 24 hours. When you're ready to use it, strain and serve it up in this traditional margarita recipe.

Apple-infused spiced rum

You'll probably go apple picking at some point this fall. And while it's all fun and games when you're romping around upstate in plaid taking perfectly staged Instagram photos, you'll likely end up with too many apples on your hands. So core and peel them, plug them with cloves, then marinate them in spiced rum. Check out the full step-by-step tutorial on The Hairpin here.

Rosemary simple syrup

I love rosemary this time of year: It's earthy and fragrant, with a depth that perfectly accompanies the cutting crispness in the air. To make a batch of rosemary simple syrup, put one cup sugar and one cup of water in a small saucepan with a handful of rosemary sprigs. (You can also sub in any other sturdy herb, like thyme or sage.) Cook the mixture over medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves, then remove it from the heat and let it sit for an hour before using. A Food52 summer favorite is this Watermelon Rosemary Lemonade, but while it's chilly, serve it up with biting blood orange. The syrup will keep up to a month in your fridge.

Black tea bourbon

Bourbon, neat, is my go-to drink — so I was understandably apprehensive to mess with a classic. But the tea does add a touch of mellowness that works well for a revamped whiskey sour or a Manhattan. Proportionally, you can either go with one black tea bag to eight ounces of bourbon, steeped for 12 to 15 hours; or two tablespoons of loose tea leaf to eight ounces of bourbon, steeped for eight hours.


More from Food52...

This article originally appeared on Food52.com: Infuse your own booze.

Recommended

6 desirable homes in Detroit
House
Feature

6 desirable homes in Detroit

The Week contest: Body window
The human body.
Feature

The Week contest: Body window

Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake dead at 84
Issey Miyake Dies at age 84
RIP

Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake dead at 84

Is no-fault divorce Republicans' next target?
Wedding cake
Briefing

Is no-fault divorce Republicans' next target?

Most Popular

The debate over the Catholicism 'trend'
rosary beads
Opinion

The debate over the Catholicism 'trend'

Starbucks accuses labor board of unfairly helping pro-union workers
Starbucks
union blues

Starbucks accuses labor board of unfairly helping pro-union workers

Senate Republican fund cuts ad spending in key battleground races
Mehmet Oz
2022 ad watch

Senate Republican fund cuts ad spending in key battleground races