May 30, 2012

Spiced Bourbon

Sharing a recipe on my blog
I'm not much of a drinker.  There are drinks I like and a few drinks that don't like me.  If you ever see me drinking tequila, feel free to either slap it out of my hand or simply steal the drink and imbibe it in front of me.  Punching me in the groin is acceptable too, but triple-check on the drink information first.

A friend of mine loves his bourbon.  He is particularly fond of Old Granddad.  While I'll take a shot now and then, it isn't really my thing.  Now I've had some infused alcohol which appealed to me a bit more so I figured I would try and make some infused bourbon that maybe we both would like.

What got me on this particular kick is that I found a source for some comically large flasks.  I though a great gift would be to get the flask engraved and fill it with a special infusion of bourbon.

Searching for some recipes for infused bourbon got me a few interesting hits, but not really what I was looking for.  I think I'm going to have to experiment.  Cooking up new and interesting alcoholic concoctions can be a blast.

My first attempt was using some 90 proof Ezra Brooks Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.  It is cheaper than Old Granddad, but not the bargain-basement stuff.  Since I knew I was going to dilute this a bit I wanted to come out close to the 86 proof that Old Granddad is.  After a little math I concluded that the liquid ingredients I was adding would bring the final infusion to about 85 proof.

My ingredient list:
1.75 liters Ezra Brooks Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
1/4 c homemade Vanilla Extract
1/3 c honey
6 cinnamon sticks (about 3-4" in length)
6 whole cloves
4 whole green cardamon pods
6 apples, chopped

That's a half-gallon flask of boozy goodness!
I put a little bourbon in a saucepan along with the extract and the honey.  After stirring it up a bit I added the cinnamon, cloves, and cardamon pods.  I brought that up to a simmer while I chopped the apples. What I ended up using were two apples each of the Fuji, Gala, and Braeburn types.  The apples got placed into a 2 gallon plastic bucket and when the saucepan came to a simmer I put all those ingredients in and then emptied the rest of the bottle.  My bucket has an air-proof gamma lid, which seals it up nice and tight.  There is enough room in the bucket to make a double batch, which is what I ended up doing.

After letting this double-batch "infuse" for a couple months I took the spices out and ran the apples through my juicer, returning the heavily spiced alcoholic juice to the booze along with the cinnamon sticks.  The pulp and spices were disposed of, but I almost left them out as a rather cool, if not boozy, air freshener.

The spiced bourbon went back into the bucket for another month or two while I worked on the flask.  I was only able to get one laser engraving place to respond to my inquiry and they wanted way too much money for the engraving.  I thought about trying to do some etching on my own, but that was a bit more dangerous than what I was willing to deal with.

I ended up going with a different look.  Hope you like it as much as the intended recipient.

July 16th Edit: I didn't realize that I hadn't posted a follow-up on this.  Now I'm not a whiskey fan, but dayum this stuff is good!  My preferred method of imbibing is 2 oz of this stuff, which we called "Owlbeast Liver Squeezings" and 12 oz of Ginger Ale.  The resulting drink, which we've dubbed an "Owlbeast Tamer" almost looks like a fresh-poured beer, but is simply pure awesome.  The only "issue" is that you really need to shake the Squeezings up before pouring because there is some tasty sediment you really want in your drink and not stuck at the bottom of the bottle.

I am totally going to start another batch soon.  In the meantime, I've shared this recipe (seriously, it is too good to keep to myself) on the Frugal by Choice, Cheap by Necessity blog.