Home infusions are done by steeping (or soaking) ingredients in alcohol in order to extract their flavor. After the infusion period (which be days or weeks), you filter the ingredients out of the alcohol with a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Leaving you with clean, flavored liquid.
In short, there are no rules for home infusions. That’s part of its appeal. You learn through experimentation, trial and error. You can try anything and make it as simple or complex as you like. And while there aren’t rules per se, here are a few tips to get you started.
The higher the proof, the stronger the extraction power.
That’s why Everclear® is such a uniquely great base for infusions. Its high alcohol percentage gives it the remarkable ability to extract even the subtlest of flavors.
The longer you steep, the stronger the taste.
Infusions will grow stronger and stronger as time allows. So for a more intense flavor, steep for a longer period of time. Or steep for less time for a more subtle flavor.
All ingredients aren’t created equal.
Some ingredients infuse quicker than others. Things like fruits and spices will infuse quickly while nuts and roots will need to steep for a little longer. That’s why some mixologists prefer to steep each ingredient separately and mix to taste after filtration.
Dilution is key.
After the infusion and filtration process, you may want to dilute your mixture with water or something of the like. A 1:1 infusion-water dilution with 190 proof Everclear® will create a 95 proof product. And with a 151 infusion would be about 75 proof. This is for straight infusions. Some recipes already dilute themselves with simple syrup or other liquids. How much you decide to dilute depends on desired proof and how you plan on using your infusion.
Have fun experimenting with infusions of your own. For more inspiration and starter recipes check out our recipe page.