People have been making infused alcohols for ages. In fact, some say fruit infusions into alcohol has been in practice since the 1400s.
Back in the day people infused fruit into alcohols to add smoothness and flavor to a liquor that might otherwise be quite rough on the palete. Distilleries some 600 years ago just weren’t what they are today!
These days the fruit flavor infusion is massively popular. In fact, flavored vodkas accounted for 25% of all vodka sales in 2011! Sadly most of these fruit-infused vodkas use artificial fruit flavors, not actual fruit.
So for a more natural flavor, why not make it at home? As an added bonus, homemade fruit-infused alcohol is more affordable (no need to go top-shelf in this case) and you can use whatever fruit you like. You can even make bacon-infused alcohol!
This recipe specifically calls for bourbon but you can substitute any hard liquor such as vodka, gin or rum.
- Fresh strawberries
The strawberry to bourbon ratio is up to you. The more strawberries you have, the stronger the strawberry flavor. Just make sure you have enough bourbon to cover the berries.
Rinse the strawberries, then chop off the leafy tops known as calyx. Next, slice up the strawberries into small pieces and place into whatever air-tight vessel you choose. An old alcohol bottle or mason jar works best.
Fill the vessel with your bourbon, making sure it covers the top of the berries with a little room to spare. Affix an airtight lid on the container, give it a little shake and put in a cool, dark space. No need to refrigerate or freeze, a cupboard or cabinet will work just fine. Give it a little shake once a day.
After the bourbon has soaked up enough of the delicious Florida strawberries, about a week, it’s time to strain the strawberry-infused bourbon. If you have a chinois sieve, go ahead and give that a go. Otherwise a colander or funnel lined with cheesecloth or a coffee filter will work just fine. You can either discard the strawberries or use them as a tasty garnish for a Strawberry Shortcake or Strawberry Cheesecake.
The strawberry-infused bourbon will keep in your refrigerator or freezer for up to a month.