Flavouring sprits is a popular pastime, but some people shy away from it because they think it is going to involve a lot of expensive equipment and ingredients.
This is not true. All you need is a Kilner jar and some simple ingredients. The key to success is to relax and experiment. It’s not an exact science.
To start off you will need a bottle of sprits and some flavouring. Here is a quick and simple guide to get you started.
Options for the Base Spirit
Most people choose a white spirit such as vodka, white rum or gin. It is possible to flavour dark spirits like brandy and whiskey, but it is more complicated as they already have heavy flavours of their own.
Gin is very popular. According to the Good Housekeeping Institute, gin is currently the most popular spirit in the UK. Consumers can choose from a range of over 100 brands and purchase more than 47 million bottles a year.
Chose a middle-of-the-range brand with a clean and uncomplicated taste.
Options for Flavouring
The choice here is almost limitless. Herbs and plants such as thyme and mint are very widely available and delicious. Vegetables such as garlic and chilli deliver a powerful punch, and spices such as vanilla and lemongrass work well with any white spirit. However, fruits are the most popular option for beginners.
Strawberries, raspberries and blackcurrants are widely available and easy to use. If you use fresh fruit, about 200-400g of fruit per litre of spirit will be needed. You can use raspberry food flavouring from a supplier such as http://www.foodieflavours.com/shop/flavours/natural-flavouring/raspberry/ for a more intense flavour.
Best Method for Flavouring Spirits
It is best to use only a quarter of a bottle at a time in case you are not happy with the flavour. Simply pour the spirits into a Kilner jar, but if you do not have one, a pan with a lid will also be suitable. Everything that you use must be scrupulously clean.
Then you leave it in a cool place for the infusion to take place. Strong flavours such as chilli and citrus fruits will only need a day. Spices such as cardamom will need around a week. Raspberries can take as long as three to four weeks.