Infusing alcohol like vodka, gin, tequila, rum, and brandy is a great way to add your own special touch to a homemade cocktail, and it also makes a great gift. Here are some recipes for making your own flavored liqueur. Prepare yourself—the flavor combinations are endless.
1. Blood Orange Digestif
Blood oranges just start to come on the market as the temperature starts to seriously dip and year is winding down. This recipe relies on the peel from blood oranges to create a wonderfully aromatic digestif that does wonders for margaritas, and is just the thing to sip quietly after a long, rich, and noisy holiday dinner. Get our Blood Orange Digestif recipe.
2. Candy Cane Vodka
If your holidays fill up with candy canes that you don’t know what to do with, try flavoring booze with them. Here. A bunch of broken up stick candy lends its peppermint flavor to a few cups of vodka, infusing for a couple of days. Use the flavored liquor to add some holiday cheer to punch, or to toast somebody’s good cheer. Get our Candy Cane Vodka recipe.
3. Pumpkin Spice Liqueur
Canned pumpkin purée, cinnamon, cloves, brown sugar, and split vanilla beans give aged rum a warm, earthy flavor that just seems to define fall and winter. Use the strained elixir as the basis for a good-cheer hot toddy, or use it to spike your coffee for a celebration brunch. Get our Pumpkin Spice Liqueur recipe.
4. Cucumber Gin
This recipe is a great place to start experimenting with flavors. Pick a midpriced alcohol (top-shelf isn’t necessary) and try out gin with cucumber—it’s an incredibly refreshing combination, and is easy to replicate with vodka or any clear spirit. Get Northwest Edible Life’s Cucumber Ginrecipe.
5. Ginger Liqueur
If you don’t want to throw down megabucks for Domaine de Canton, try this recipe for ginger liqueur that has a hint of vanilla. It’s perfect for specialty martinis or even sipping neat. Try it in a vodka tonic for an unusual twist. Get 5 Degrees of Preparation’s Ginger Liqueur recipe.
6. Meyer Lemon Digestif
Our Meyer lemon digestif recipe is easily adaptable and perhaps the first legitimate use of Everclear grain alcohol that I’ve ever encountered. It’s a great way to keep some summer in your glass while the temperature outside is dropping. Get our Meyer Lemon Digestif recipe.
7. Pecan-Infused Rye
This nut-infused rye can be bitter, so be sure to filter it, and taste it as you let it sit and absorb the pecan flavors. This nutty spirit is a good match for a dessert cocktail and would be great with a simple cookie or biscotti for a light dessert. Get NPR’s Pecan-Infused Rye recipe.
8. Chile-Infused Tequila
Our chile-infused tequila is a tasty base for margaritas and makes for a thoughtful and delicious gift as well. It doesn’t take long to infuse (only a day or two) so you can make this quickly and in bulk. Try it with seltzer or in a Tequila Sunrise—but be sure to taste each batch, as the heat will vary. get our Chile-Infused Tequila recipe.
9. Coffee Bourbon
Coffee bourbon is the best of both worlds. With dark brown sugar, espresso, and vanilla notes, this infusion begs to be added to a boozy milkshake. It’s like the best version of Kahlúa you’ve ever dreamed of. Get Boozed + Infused’s Coffee Bourbon recipe.
10. Rosemary Gin
This rosemary gin and lavender syrup cocktail recipe is as fancy as it gets. You can use dried lavender to make the syrup any time of year, and rosemary is widely available in grocery stores. Try making the infused gin with any of your favorite herbs for a new twist on gin and juice. Get Serious Eats’ Rosemary Gin recipe.
Header photo from Post Prohibition.