Pop ingredients into a jar, pour in your favorite booze, and a few days later you’ve created bottled deliciousness. Alcohol infusion is pretty magical! We like to keep it simple, but do you know how the whole process actually works? Let’s get into the science and magic of alcohol infusion so you can pour even better drinks come happy hour.
How does it work?
The basics of infusion are simple:
- Pop some delicious fruits, veggies, herbs, and/or spices into a sealable glass container.
- Pour in your booze of choice—make sure you pour enough to completely cover your infusion ingredients.
- Seal your container and wait.
- Keep sampling your infusion until you get the flavor you love. We recommend at least 3 days for our infusions, but you can start checking after 12 hours—especially if you’re infusing something spicy!
- If you want to stop the flavors getting stronger, strain out your solid ingredients.
- Pour, sip, and enjoy!
Now, let’s get into the science.
If you’ve ever steeped a cup of tea, you’ve already started playing with osmotic diffusion. That may make you sound like a mad scientist, but it’s just the technical term to explain how the flavor gets from the tea bag into your drink. It starts when liquid comes into contact with a selectively permeable membrane—aka the cells in plant matter, whether that’s your tea leaves or the fruits and herbs in an alcohol infusion. Given time, those cell walls begin to break down and diffuse their tasty flavors into the surrounding liquid.
Alcohol is even better at this process! The ethanol in booze acts as a solvent, breaking down oils in foods—that’s GREAT when you’re infusing citrus with all those delicious oils in the peel. It might sound intimidating to drink a solvent, but think less dish soap commercial and more “mmmmm, taste that lemon?”
Our alcohol infusion tips:
Now you know how it all works—wanna make your infusions even better? Here are some best practices to knock your next infusion outta the park!
- Use the right booze! A nice mid-tier alcohol (think $15–$50 a bottle) is perfect. You want something that tastes good, but doesn’t cover up the flavors of anything TOO fancy (unless you’re bougie—we support you).
- When you’re using fruits and vegetables in your infusions, we prefer them dried, not fresh! All the water in a fresh, juicy slice of fruit can dilute your alcohol, resulting in a less concentrated flavor.
- Use whole spices—powdered cinnamon is going to make your drink cloudy and impossible to strain, but a cinnamon stick gives you all the flavor in a much prettier package.
- Even if your ingredients are dried, make sure they’re not old. We always supply freshly dried fruits and herbs, because you’re never gonna get good flavor from something that’s been sitting at the back of the pantry for years.
- Make sure your ingredients are cut in nice thin slices. More surface area = more flavor.
Feel like an alcohol infusion expert? We hope so! Infusion is the easiest way to elevate even the simplest drink from something “meh” to something marvelous. Get to pouring and happy sipping!