Spirit Infusion

There are many ways to infuse alcohol. The most popular technique is maceration. Maceration is where you steep a ingredient you want to infuse in alcohol and then let it sit for a couple of hours, days or weeks depending on the ingredient. Shaking periodically. Its the easiest, less technique and cheapest way to infuse a spirit.

How To Infuse A Spirit With Maceration

he technique is easy. You take the spirit you want to infuse, pour it in a sealable jar and add whatever it is you want to infuse it with. Leave it in a cool dark place, shake it periodically, and eventually, it the spirit will draw out the flavours and viola! You have a infused spirit.

The difficulty comes with the ingredients you’re using. You want to get the best infusion you can. if you’re trying to say, make an orange vodka then you need to decide what part of the orange you will use. I mean sure, the peel is the obvious choice, but using the peels alone might end with more of a perfume orange taste rather then a natural one, and leaving the pith come end with to much of a bitter flavour. at the end of the day, alot of it comes to your own experiences. 

Anytime i’m trying a new infusion that i haven’t done before, i spread it out over a few jars. lets say i’m trying my hand at a grapefruit vodka. Then i’ll split one 700ML bottle of vodka equally over 4 or so small jars. In one ill add fresh grapefruit peels, the pith and all, in another i’ll add dehydrated grapefruit peels, in another i’ll add dehydrated grapefruit wheels, and in the last i’ll add fresh grapefruit wedges. ill then label the jars and taste test them everyday, once i feel they are at there peek (which is all personal preference) i will strain them out and see which i prefer. I might even blend a few together. When i did try this i ended up blending 20% of the grapefruit vodka with fresh peels, and 80% of the grapefruit vodka with dehydrated wheels. Each one had subtle differences from bitterness to freshness. blending them together is like a cocktail of its own. i then let that sit in a jar for a further week before i used it so the 2 flavours had time to, as the spice girls would say, for the two to become one.

The Science Of Macerating Alcohol To Infuse

I’m no scientist. lets just start with that, but from what i know (read online) about the science behind macerating spirits, there are two processes which occur when infusing a spirit, that make it happen. Osmosis and Dissolution. It explains why i find it preferable to mix both dried fruits and fresh fruits to create my infusions. and why it could be beneficial for you to do the same. But what the hell is Osmosis and Dissolution…

Osmosis

Basically, fresh ingredients like fruits and vegetables contain plenty of water, and alcohol not so much. so water from the fruit/vegetable flows naturally to an ingredient which has less water to even things out and reach the equilibrium. It’s nature striving for balance. it combines with the alcohol and you get fruit flavoured spirits.

Dissolution

Dissolution happens with dried flavourings where there is no water to be exchanged. so the process is about releasing and dissolving compounds into the alcohol. for this method, the higher proof the alcohol, the more effective the infusion 

How To Make Vanilla Vodka

1) Cut one vanilla bean length ways to release the beans

2) Add to a jar and pour in 700ML of Vodka

3) Seal and store in a dark cool place, shaking periodically 

4) Allow to infuse for 1-2 Weeks then strain into a bottle

How To Make Spiced Rum

1) Cut one vanilla bean length ways to release the beans

2) Add vanilla bean to a jar with one cinnamon stick, the peels of one orange three Star anise and 5 Clove

3) Pour in 700ML of Dark Rum

4) Seal and store in a dark cool place, shaking periodically 

5) Allow to infuse for 1-5 Days, Shaking and tasting everyday. Once flavourful strain into a bottle

Infusion Tips:

  • Try using our flavour guide and infusing two or more ingredients

  • If you can get your hands on some. Higher proof alcohol will make for better infusion, afterwards you can bring dilute it to a drinkable strength of about 40% (with some maths)
  • Separate different variables of the same infusions, then blend them once done as i describe in the above how to infuse section
  • Dark, cool areas work best for the infusion process. somewhere like a cupboard, or on a high shelf