The Mixology Talk Podcast, Episode Thirty Five
This week we’re talking about some DIY ingredients that are super simple – no unicorn tears required!
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In today’s Episode…
We’ve made our fair share of cocktail ingredients that you can only find in fancy cocktail bars, but that doesn’t mean we’re against making your own stuff!
Today we’re going over a couple super easy things that you can create cheaply at home, and which will give you a ton of fun flexibility with your cocktails.
1. Flavored Simple Syrup
Chris makes flavored simple syrups ALL the time. Flavored syrups are a great way to personalize a cocktail without breaking the bank.
They are also a great place to start, because if you ruin a batch you won’t lose anything expensive – just a bunch of table sugar, water, and whatever you were flavoring with.
Here are some resources to help you get started:
Infusing different flavors into alcohol is another easy DIY project, but it’s definitely more expensive than working with Simple Syrup.That’s because you’ll typically be using vodka or overproof spirits for your infusion.
While it’s fairly easy, here’s a couple of things that you might want to keep in mind:
- Different ingredients infuse at different rates.
- Know the strength or proof of your infusing liquid.
- The size of the item you’re infusing matters.
- Make sure that the item you are infusing is totally covered in alcohol.
- Keep the infusion in a cool, dry and preferably dark place.
Here is a lot more detail on how to do a vodka infusion at home: How to Infuse Vodka at Home Part 1, Part 2
3. Tinctures and Bitters
Tinctures and bitters are both just very strong infusions, typically used in very small amounts. The difference between Tinctures and Bitters is that bitters always have a bittering ingredient, making them taste bitter.
I think tinctures are a great DIY project to make at home, because they aren’t much more difficult than a “normal” infusion and can actually be cheaper since you’re typically using less volume of spirit.
Bitters can be made at home too, but be careful: some natural bittering ingredients can be dangerous in large doses. So do your research first!
Want to see what happened to all of my Spice containers? Here’s Chris’ Flavor Library!
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Thanks for Listening!
Add a ton of flavor to cocktails by creating your own infusions, tinctures or bitters. It’s a great way to personalize your cocktails without having to spend your life savings at the local liquor store!
What are you making at home? Let us know in the comments!
I really enjoyed this podcast! I love infusions and DIY ingredients since I think it can set apart your homemade cocktails from what you can find in bars. My favorite infusion are very quick and very easy. I use tea to infuse everclear or vodka. I like Earl Gray tea and Lapsang (a smoked tea). Bot are great additions to cocktails in very small amount. The infusion is usually done with in 3-4 hours. Any longer and the vodka will pick up many of the tannins. The other infusions I like are rose and lavender starting with dried flowers and again everclear. This is even faster. 30 mins tops. Longer and the infusion will pick up this strong grassy notes that will make any cocktail smell like fresh cut lawn. Finally (sorry for taking so long) I like to make spice extracts like that. Getting the essence of cinnamon, cardamom and other spices in a cocktail.
Georgios I love the tea infusions idea! I agree – DIY ingredients are a great way to add flavor and complexity to cocktails without having to empty your bank account on specialty liqueurs and bitters!
This May I soo want to try to do infusions with elderflower and sweet woodruff. I am just not quite sure yet if i want to be adventurous and do both herbs together or if I should do it seperately…
Why not try both? At the end you can have 3 different infusions (one Elderflower, one sweet woodruff and one combination) and compare them side by side.
I’m assuming that the flavor will be more integrated in the combined infusion, but you will have more control over the final flavor profile if you were to blend them separately.
I’d love to hear your results.