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Dec 8, 2007 02:35 PM

Do you infuse whiskey or bourbon?

If so, with what? I was on a US Air flight yesterday, and the magazine had a recipe for bourbon infused with cinnamon and orange peel. I thought that sounded great for the holidays.

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  1. I'd proceed with caution. That sounds like a recipe for homemade Southern Comfort. Yuck.

    5 Replies
    1. re: lennox53

      You should try a lightly infused whiskey before saying yuck. Think of the flavors that naturally occur in bourbon. Vanilla, spices, wood, etc. adding more similar flavors can complement and amp it up, lightly contrasting flavors can bring out otyher notes. The secret with infusing bourbon/whiskey is keep it lihgt so you don't overwhelm what the spirit is all about.

      1. re: JMF

        Lihgt? How do you do that? ;^)

        I agree it had to be light, but I still question -- for myself only -- why do it at all? I think it's a holdover from being in the wine trade all those years . . . flavored wines are the lowest of the low. I don't mind infused vodka (where, otherwise, it's tasteless -- or should be, relatively speaking). But in the same way that I want to taste the "winemaker's art," and not a bunch of added flavorings that covers it up, so too do I want to taste the distiller's art . . .

        Ah well, different strokes and all that.

        1. re: zin1953

          hell, I'm a distiller, winemaker, brewer, and hard cider maker and while I can see what you are saying, I don't always agree with it. Try looking at it a different way. Cocktails and mixology are like a chef creating a dish that is better than the sum of its parts. In this case with spirits and flavorings.

          1. re: JMF

            The difference -- for me -- is that I wouldn't dream of telling [enter famous winemaker's name here] that he/she should have put more Merlot into his/her Cabernet Sauvignon. The winemaker has crafted the very best wine he/she feels possible in any given vintage*.

            The same is true of [enter distiller's name here]. He/she has crafted the very best Bourbon, Scotch, Rye, etc., etc. that he/she felt was possible (presuming we're talking small, artisinal production here, and not, say, Jim Beam). I like to taste the purity of the distiller's craft.

            Then again, other than a Sazerac, I never drink whiskey-based cocktails, preferring my whisk[e]y neat . . .or perhaps with a little ice.

            But -- like I said -- that's me. YMMV . . .


            1. re: JMF

              I'm intrigued with the whole distillation process. Do you mind sharing who you distill or have distilled for? If you don't want to divulge publicly I understand. I just love the the process, science and art behind it.

      2. I can't imagine infusing a good bourbon with anything, and I wouldn't be buying bad bourbon to experiment.

        If you are wanting to do spiced cocktails for the holidays, check out Sailor Jerry's rum.
        Great flavor, 92 proof, I can imagine it going wonderfully in spiked eggnog and whatnot.

        1 Reply
        1. re: GroovinGourmet

          I'm a big fan of Sailor Jerry's. Egg nog, mulled cider, whatever.

        2. Jacquin's Rock and Rye, whiskey infused with rock candy and fruit, has been a Philadelphia product ( I won't say mainstay) since prohibition
          Walking on a cold day to UPenn football games (and Eagles games) at Franklin Field in the early 70's, we could get a shot and a beer for a buck.

          1. I have done fresh peaches in Jim Beam. Infused for three days.

            I then used it for Peachy Bourbon Sours.

            1. I use whiskey or bourbon to store used vanilla beans, and then use the liquid for various baking recipes. Over time, I have had spirited discussions with other chefs and home bakers, in that I should be using vodka, since bourbon adds flavor that may not be appropriate to recipes simply calling for vanilla extract. P'shaww. It works just fine in everything.