Category Archives: Cocktails O’ Clock

Jack Daniels – through the seasons: New Years

The last cocktail in my Jack Daniels through the seasons themed gift was one of my very own creation. It’s a cocktail that will be at home on any cocktail menu throughout the year but, due to the nature of some of its ingredients (specifically the cranberries), is better utilised during the new year period…

Please note that I use fever tree ginger ale in my cocktails, almost exclusively, so it may taste different to what I intended if you use other brands (just tweak it a little to better compliment the brand you use).

New Years’: The Fervent Shaker Tennessee Mule

cranberry mule fs own recipe

About the Drink:

Created in a top secret laboratory hidden away in an underground bunker, this cocktail has been slowly tweaked and re-tweaked for months. Like a strain of the cold virus, no two versions have ever been the same. Until today.

This cocktail has finally come to fruition and the depth in flavour is superb when compared to other similar mixtures. Its moderately simple combination of Jack Daniels Tennessee whisky, apple juice, lime juice, our in-house cranberry simple syrup, and a top of ginger ale, results in a well-balanced yet slightly sweet cocktail that should take the bite out of the whisky whilst keeping all of the flavours intact. The joy of this cocktail is, of course, its depth in flavour.

Using an in house cranberry syrup recipe we can control the flavour balance that is integral to the core of this drink. Thus the measurements are strict in that this recipe relies on the delicate balance between sweet and dry.

This cocktail is perfect for your new year celebrations but also for almost any other special occasion. Just bear in mind that the use of cranberries may restrict this to being a more seasonal tipple.

Tweak note: The Ginger ale can of course be substituted for a lighter flavoured soda although please be aware that doing so can impair the intended flavour profiles.

Recipe:

  • 1 ½ measures Jack Daniels
  • 1 ½ measure Apple Juice
  • ¾ measure in House Cranberry Simple Syrup
  • ½ measure Fresh Lime Juice
  • Top-Up Ginger Ale*
  • Handful of fresh/frozen cranberries

Method:

  • Combine the all of the ingredients, except for the ginger ale, in an ice-filled cocktail shaker.
  • Shake until well-chilled or until the tin ices over. Around 15-30 seconds.
  • Strain into a glass filled with crushed ice until ¾ full.
  • Top up with the ginger ale and garnish with a skewer of fresh/frozen cranberries.
  • Serve with a straw and enjoy!

This was a really fun and interesting gift to create and put together and should be something you can all emulate for your friends and family!

Disclaimer: All of the pictures used across the previous four posts i’ve shared with you (links below) are from the Official Jack Daniels website and when you’re done here, why not check out their other recipes for a little inspiration?

Spring Cocktail

Summer Cocktail

Autumn Cocktail

Winter Cocktail

Please note: this post is in no way endorsed or supported in any way by Jack Daniels or any of their affiliates. This is all my own thoughts and words people! Go me!

Jack Daniels – Through the Seasons: Winter

The fourth cocktail in the Jack Daniels through the seasons is a Winter themed special.

You’ve all tried the Lynchburg Lemonade served at your local weatherspoons right? It’s a cocktail so easy to make and so refreshing that a lot of cocktail bars/pubs will serve it throughout the summer.

Well this next cocktail is similar in that it is refreshing and a great cocktail utilising the warmth of Jack Daniels but adds a nice seasonal twist to an otherwise standard cocktail…

Winter: Lynchburg Cider

Lynchburg Cider jack daniels

About the Drink:

Perfect for the winter months, especially the colder ones, this cocktail is a simple yet highly effective concoction suitable for most affluent drinkers.

The cider can be of any type but stick to your favourite or research which types work best with which types of whisky. This recipe is best followed by utilising your favourite hot cider mixture – if only so you know what to expect from the cider itself.

The cinnamon and lemon are purely for aesthetics and fragrance, although given enough time they’re sure to add their own imprints to the mix.

The Lynchburg Cider is a hard cocktail to get right but if you used the flavours you love and a good quality cider, there’s not much that can go terribly wrong…

Recipe:

  • 1 measure Jack Daniels
  • 5 measures Hot Apple Cider
  • Cinnamon Stick
  • Lemon Slice

Method:

  • Simple build in a mug (or coffee glass).
  • Garnish with the cinnamon stick and lime slice.

 

Jack Daniels – Through the Seasons: Autumn

The third cocktail in the Jack Daniels through the seasons is, of course, autumn.

This refreshing cocktail is perfect for the autumn, but tastes so good you can be sure to enjoy it all year round… Especially for those looking for an American escape sometime soon…

Autumn: New York Sour

new york sour jack daniels

About the Drink:

A classic sour cocktail is as simple as it can get: Spirit + Lemon Juice + Simple Syrup + Shake = Sour Cocktail. The spirit used can be anything from Vodka or Rum to Melon Liqueur or Limoncello (and everything in between).

When it comes to the New York Sour the classic whisky sour was taken, added to and sold on as an improvement, so to speak. Some see confusion and a strange muddle, whilst others see the genius in adding further depth of flavour. It’s an odd idea for sure, but once you’ve tried a whisky sour with the wine topper, no whisky sour without it will ever taste the same!

Arguably the most versatile aspect of this drink is its ability for tweaking where needed. When using different types of whisky (Scotch, Tennessee, Rye, Bourbon etc.) you can use different types of red wines to compliment the whisky and get the most out of the cocktail.

Recipe:

  • 1 ½ measures Jack Daniels
  • 1 measure Lemon Juice
  • ½ measure simple syrup
  • ½ measure Red Wine (Shiraz or Malbec)

Method:

  • Combine the Jack Daniels with the lemon juice, sugar syrup, and ice.
  • Shake until well-chilled or until the tin ices over. Around 15-30 seconds.
  • Strain into a small rocks glass.
  • Using the back of a spoon, layer the red wine on top of the sour-mixture…

 

Jack Daniels – Through the seasons: Summer

So continuing with the Jack Daniels Through the seasons cocktails we’re now onto summer!

Yes, it might be a tad pre-mature to start thinking about summery cocktails but the weather here in the UK is on its way down. Into the –OC – shock, horror!

And as the temperature plummets we all look for ways to warm ourselves up. Not only does whisky do this perfectly, this very refreshing Jack Daniels cocktail will have you dreaming of sandy beaches and cocktail bars made of bamboo…

Summer: The Peach Muddle

peach muddle

About the drink:

This cocktail is slightly different to the others on this list as it contains some extremely seasonal fruit. Like the fruit this drink uses, it can vary in taste year to year. This makes it an extremely difficult drink to create year-to-year. There’s always someone who preferred last year’s slightly different taste.

The best way to make this drink is to use the best quality peaches you have available and then tweak the already small amounts of Cointreau, simple syrup and lemon juice to taste.

The beauty of this drink, really, is in its ability to be tweaked year upon year and yet still resemble that of the original concoction.

The Jack Daniels melts fantastically into this very summery mixture of high-quality triple sec, lemon juice, and peaches…

The thyme sprig garnish simply adds a final flourish and an air of savoury fragrance about this already stunning summer cocktail.

Recipe:

  • 1 measure Jack Daniels
  • ½ measure Cointreau
  • ½ measure Simple Syrup
  • ¼ measure Lemon Juice
  • ½ pitted peach (skin on and cut into slices)
  • 1 sprig of thyme

Method:

  • Muddle peaches with the simple syrup in a mixing glass.
  • Add in the Cointreau, lemon juice and Jack Daniels and fill glass with ice.
  • Shake vigorously until the tin ices over.
  • Fill a mason glass with crushed ice.
  • Strain mixture into the mason glass and garnish with the thyme.

 

Jack Daniels – Through the Seasons: Spring

I recently worked on a gift for a couple of friends who love their Jack Daniels.

It was a simple collection of cocktails, presented in menu form and then a collection of recipe cards to help them through the creation process.

These cocktails were set out in a specific way: 1 cocktail for each season of the year and then one extra cocktail especially for new year’s. The latter one being a cocktail of my own creation!

The seasonal cocktail were simply taken from the Jack Daniels official website (it’s hard enough coming up with 1 brand new recipe, and perfecting that – let alone another 4 as well!).

It might seem a bit of a cop-out but I made sure I picked 4 cocktails that my friends would not only like but cocktails that fit their chosen season well. They’re also quite different from each other – that way they could taste the various flavours Jack Daniels works well with…

The gift itself comprised of the following:

1x 70cl bottle of Jack Daniels

2x Limes

75ml (ish) homemade cranberry simple syrup

100g cranberries, whole

2x mason mugs

And the menu + Recipe cards.

This was a small collection of things to make a nice little hamper.

The cocktails are all extremely refreshing so I’ll be sharing them all over the next few days starting with the Spring Cocktail below…


 

Spring: The Tennessee Breeze

Tennessee Breeze

About the drink:

A surprisingly refreshing combination of Jack Daniels, Cranberry Juice, Orange Juice and Tonic water; this cocktail is simple to create yet easy to get wrong.

The balance between sweet and dry is so perfectly poised that the slightest deviation threatens to completely sink this titanic cocktail.

Jack Daniels is a perfect example of American freedom in that The whisky is simple unique in nature. This cocktail appreciates that fact and aims to elevate the spirits’ natural flavours and pepper them with various levels of sweetness. The sweetness is tapered somewhat by the tonic water but the drink in its entirety is one to really get you excited about a summer that is, very nearly, right around the corner!

Recipe:

  • 2 measures Jack Daniels
  • 1 measure Cranberry Juice
  • 1 measure Orange Juice
  • Top-up Tonic Water
  • ½ tsp Honey
  • Ice

Method:

  • Using a blender combine all of the ingredients, except the tonic water, and blitz until the right consistency (try for a slushie-style consistency).
  • Pour into a chilled rocks glass until ¾ full.

Top with tonic water and garnish with a cranberry skewer or cherry (with stem).

Cocktails O’clock: Beauty and the Bison…

Here we have two refreshing cocktails that whilst not very festive, at least in their entirety, they do have subtle festive flavours. However I have tried to keep their refreshing profiles at the forefront because I want them to be available for all year round and not just for Christmas.

Therefore I have decided not to tweak the first cocktail, a classic using Green Chartreuse. And have also decided to share a cocktail I recently came up with and whilst it is not perfected is still a very refreshing combination of ingredients.

#1: Chartreuse Smash

20151130_165436

Recipe:

2 measures Green Chartreuse

1 measure fresh lemon juice

2tsp brown sugar

10 mint leaves

Method:

  • Combine the sugar, lemon and mint leaves in a Boston shaker glass and gently muddle until the sugar dissolves.
  • Add ice to the mixture and then pour in the Chartreuse.
  • Shake well, for around 30 seconds – or until the tin is well iced.
  • Strain into a small glass full with crushed ice.
  • Top up with more crushed ice if necessary and then garnish with a sprig of mint and a lemon twist. Serve immediately and with a straw.

This cocktail is somewhat of a god amongst mortals. In that it is a pretty great drink. I’ve never tried Chartreuse before this drink, shamefully I’ve never had the opportunity, but thought that should change. And boy am I glad I tried it in this cocktail! It’s a perfect balance of sweet and bitter sugar-lemon with the refreshing mint to counter the earthy qualities of the Herbal Chartreuse.

Combined as it is above, over crushed ice – lengthened and well-chilled, it breaks through that barrier of ‘not too sure about this’ we tend to set up with new flavours or ingredients we’ve never tried. It’s a drink I would suggest any one of you try – should you ever have the pleasure of owning some chartreuse, or better yet have the pleasure of being in one of the few bars that actually sell this cocktail!

It’s a great introduction to one of the most stunning liqueurs on the market, an introduction that makes me want to write more about the spirit in a future post (keep an eye out for that one).

I suppose the best thing I can say about this cocktail is that by the time I finished the first mouthful I already had the straw in my mouth for the second. Scarily moreish!

Also if you like Mojito and Sour style cocktails then this is a must!

Continue reading Cocktails O’clock: Beauty and the Bison…

Halloween Cocktails: Spooky Shooters!

So my last post was geared more towards those who like their cocktails classic, simple, and giving them the opportunity to try something they may have overlooked before.

That is all well and good (I’m one of those people after all) but let’s not forget the important thing this weekend: It’s Halloween!!!

Halloween means over the top fancy dress, lots and lots of candy, and of course some great alcoholic beverages (for those of us over the legal drinking age of course!).

And that usually means shots! – Not just simple flavoured vodka shots either. I’m talking spooky, scary, and downright wrong looking shots!

So here below are 5 shots that tick all of those boxes and more! Just remember to enjoy them responsibly!


The Classic Brain Haemorrhage

brain hemorrhage shot

Recipe:

1 measure Peach Schnapps

½ measure Irish Cream liqueur

1 tsp Grenadine

Method:

  • Pour the peach schnapps into a shot glass and layer the Irish cream on top.
  • Drop the grenadine in on top of the Irish cream and serve.

Pumpkin Margarita

pumpkin margarita

Recipe:

2 measures Repsado Tequila

1 measure Lemon-Lime Mix

Splash pumpkin puree

Method:

  • Shake ingredients over ice and strain into a well-chilled, large shot glass.

Green Ghoul

green ghoul

Recipe:

1 ½ measure Anejo Tequila

½ measure Melon Liqueur

Method:

  • Pour the Tequila into a chilled shot glass, then drop the Melon Liqueur into the middle of the tequila. Down in one.

Candy Corn Shooter

candy corn shot

Recipe:

1 measure Banana Liqueur

1 measure Coconut Rum

1 measure Cream

1 measure Orange Curacao

1 measure 80proof Vodka

Whipped cream

Method:

  • Combine the vodka and banana liqueur with ice and shake well.
  • Layer into the bottom of the glass.
  • Combine the Cream, Orange Curacao, and Coconut Rum with ice and shake well.
  • Layer this on top of the first layer and top with whipped cream

Green Goblin:

green goblin

Recipe:

1 measure TY KU Premium Liqueur

1 measure Coconut Rum

Splash lemon-lime soda

Method:

  • Stir the rum and TY KU liqueur together over ice. Add into a shot glass and add a splash of soda.

There you go, 5 spooky Halloween themed cocktails that are perfect if you want to impress your friends and family this weekend. Some are scarily strong and will need to be handled with care – the 80 proof vodka should not be handled near an open flame – and as stated many a time: Please Drink Responsibly!

Halloween Cocktails – Without a Twist…

This coming weekend, if you didn’t already know, is Halloween! And just in time here are some spooky cocktails that are on most cocktail menus all year round. Although you may not have tried them before!

The problem with Halloween, with any seasonal event really, is that it’s easy to buy into novelty drinks that taste super-sweet and contain ingredients don’t actually do anything for the drink they’re in, except maybe mask the taste of too much alcohol…

So for this post I’ve tried to keep away from novelties and go for 5 cocktails you will be able to order in any good cocktail bar at almost any time of year, but by the same token they’re cocktails you may not have tried at all…

So let’s begin with arguably the most themed of the lot…


El Diablo

Spicy and evocative, this cocktail is perfect for your Halloween parties...
Spicy and evocative, this cocktail is perfect for your Halloween parties…

Recipe:

1 ½ measures Reposado Tequila

½ measure Crème de Cassis

½ measure Fresh Lime Juice

2 or 3 measures ginger beer/ale

Method:

  • Combine the tequila, lime juice, and cassis liqueur and shake well, for around 10-15 seconds (or until the tin ices over).
  • Fine (or double) strain into a collins glass filled with cubed iced.
  • Top up with the ginger beer/ale (whichever you prefer) and garnish with a wedge of lime.
  • Serve with a straw.

The Last Word

Strong and fragrant; this cocktail is perfect for the cocktail geeks!
Strong and fragrant; this cocktail is perfect for the cocktail geeks!

Recipe:

1 measure Gin

1 measure Green Chartreuse

1 measure Maraschino Liqueur

1 measure Fresh Lime Juice

Method:

  • Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker, over ice, and shake well.
  • Strain into a well-chilled martini glass and garnish with a lime twist.

Blood & Sand

Not as brutal as the name makes out; this cocktail is a classic whiskey cocktail and tastes pretty darn good!
Not as brutal as the name makes out; this cocktail is a classic whiskey cocktail and tastes pretty darn good!

Recipe:

1 measure Scotch Whiskey

1 measure Sweet Vermouth

1 measure Cherry Heering

1 measure Orange Juice

Method:

  • Add all the ingredients to an ice-filled cocktail shaker and shake well for about 10-15 seconds.
  • Strain into a well-chilled cocktail coupe glass and garnish with an orange peel.

Black Velvet

Simplicity is king in this 2 ingredient cocktail. Give it a try, you might be surprised!
Simplicity is king in this 2 ingredient cocktail. Give it a try, you might be surprised!

Recipe:

Guinness (Stout Beer)

Champagne

Method:

There are two ways to make this drink, neither are right nor wrong. It’s personal preference:

  • Pour the beer into the chosen glass and then gently layer the champagne on top.
  • Pour the champagne into the chosen glass and then gently layer the beer on top.

Simple no? Well this cocktail is sublime in its simplicity and is a cocktail everyone should try at least once. You may not like it if you don’t like the beer (like me) but, also like me, you may be surprised at how smooth and drinkable this cocktail actually is!

Chartreuse Smash

A really fun way of using a rather undervalued liqueur...
A really fun way of using a rather undervalued liqueur…

Recipe:

10 mint leaves

1 measure fresh lemon juice

2 measures green chartreuse

2 tsp turbinado sugar

Method:

  • Place sugar, mint and lemon juice into a cocktail shaker and muddle well.
  • Add the chartreuse to the shaker and add ice.
  • Shake well and strain into a small rocks glass filled with crushed ice.
  • Garnish with a sprig of mint and, if you’re feeling it, a sprig of sage…

These cocktails are not only my tip for great drinks this Halloween, but they’re perfect if you’re looking to try something new the next time you head to that swanky cocktail bar, or spend the weekend at a nice hotel (they all have great bars nowadays right?), and they’re also perfect if you plan on a Christmas themed party with a difference…

But don’t think I’ve forgotten all of you that are looking for something a bit novel – the next of my Halloween themed posts is just for you: 6 Spooky Cocktail Shooters!

Have fun and please, as always, drink responsibly – no one enjoys a night in A&E!

Further Reading & original recipes:

El diablo – imbibe

Last word – saveur

Blood & sand – Liquor.com

Black velvet – Liquor.com

Chartreuse smash – saveur

Sweet, Sweet Infusions: Sugar and its Syrup!

One of the infusion types I mentioned in my introduction post was that of sugar syrup infusing.

Every bartender will tell you that sugar syrup is an essential part of their arsenal and that a well-prepared syrup has the potential to raise a cocktail above the realms of normality.

Below you will find the recipes for 4 very different sugar syrup infusions, including a special spicy concoction that is perfect for those heat lovers out there!

Disclaimer: although usually I’d offer up a complimentary cocktail recipe for each of these syrups, to make the post less cluttered I’ve simply stated the spirit(s) they pair with the best!

#1 Rhubarb Simple Syrup

A stunning red hue, this rhubarb syrup is perfect for adding a little colour to your cocktails...
A stunning red hue, this rhubarb syrup is perfect for adding a little colour to your cocktails…

Ingredients:

400 grams fresh Rhubarb

100 grams sugar

100ml water

Method:

  • Add ingredients to a small saucepan and bring to the boil on a medium heat. Stirring consistently.
  • Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Turn heat down to low and simmer.
  • The rhubarb will begin to soften around 5/6 minutes in (this is normal so don’t panic!)
  • Allow mixture to thicken a little (around 2-5 minutes) and then remove from heat.
  • Strain* mixture into a sterile container and allow to cool.
  • Seal and keep refrigerated.

*when straining gently press the fruit pieces to gain a little more juice (flavour) but be careful not to press to hard as it will make your syrup go cloudy!

This is the most versatile of the 4 recipes and works brilliantly with vodka or gin. It is particularly good in a bramble (in place of the blackberry liqueur!) and also pairs well with light mixers or those non-drinkers out there! – Homemade Rhubarb Lemonade anyone?

#2 Honey & Rosemary Sugar Syrup

Infusing honey with rosemary is a quick way to make this syrup. Although it tastes better with the cooked method...
Infusing honey with rosemary is a quick way to make this syrup. Although it tastes better with the cooked method…

Ingredients:

2-3 Rosemary Sprigs

100ml Honey

50ml water

Method:

  • Mix the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil – on a medium heat.
  • Once boiling reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Turn off heat after 2 minutes and leave to cool (covered).
  • Strain out rosemary ad store in a sterile container.

Once this item is cooled seal it and keep it refrigerated. It should keep for up to 4 weeks (although if it looks spoiled at any point please don’t risk it – bin it and make some more!)

This particular syrup is a little more to taste and less sweet than the blueberry syrup but that just means it’s that perfect herbal addition to your favourite Whisky/Bourbon cocktail. It also mixes well with more savoury vodka and gin cocktails and does make a mean G&T.

#3 Cucumber & Mint Simple Syrup

Cucumber & mint - Perfect in your next G&T
Cucumber & mint – Perfect in your next G&T

Ingredients:

100 grams Sugar

100ml Water

½ Cucumber (Diced)

10 leaves fresh Mint

Method:

  • Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  • When the sugar has dissolved turn the heat off and allow to cool.
  • Once cooled add in the cucumber and mint. Leave in for at least 1hr but for a more concentrated flavour leave it in for longer (Keep refrigerated at all times).
  • Strain away the cucumber and mint and store accordingly.

This syrup has an odd aftertaste but is still a great tasting mix regardless. It mixes well with Gin and Vodka (as you’d expect) but also makes a great twist on the classic mojito – blending well with White rum.

#4 Spicy Jalapeno Simple Syrup

The striking green colour is what gives this syrup its WOW factor...
The striking green colour is what gives this syrup its WOW factor…

Ingredients:

100 grams sugar

100ml water

1 Jalapeno (sliced lengthways)

Method:

  • Simmer the water and sugar, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Take of the heat once the sugar has dissolved and cover to cool.
  • Once cooled add the Jalapeno slices and leave for at least 1hr*.
  • After the infusion time has passed, sieve out the jalapeno and store in a sealed container in the fridge.

*as with the cucumber and mint recipe, the longer the jalapeno is in the syrup the more concentrated the flavour profile (and heat). You might want to try creating several different concentrations of this mixture and making a note of which is which – this way you can cater for different palates…

Whilst this mixture blends well with vodka (and surprisingly gin) it is best kept for the most obvious choice: Tequila. Try adding a little bit of this to your next shot of quality tequila. Try with Habanero’s or Cazadores Tequila should you have either in your possession…

So there you go! 4 rather brilliant, and yet rather different simple syrup recipes. They’re all a perfect with their own particular spirit(s) but all have room for a little versatility.

I hope you enjoy them, and if any are not quite to your tastes, feel free to tweak them. That’s the best way to improve them. I’d love to hear your thoughts on these recipes if you try them, especially any cocktails you find them to particularly effective in…

Infusions: An Introduction…

A little of this and a little of that…

Alcohol can be infused with almost anything! Does anyone else feel some experimentation coming on?
Alcohol can be infused with almost anything! Does anyone else feel some experimentation coming on?

Whether you’re aware of it or not, if you’re an avid fan of cocktails then the chance are you’ve probably consumed an infused alcohol or sugar syrup at least once…

DON’T PANIC! This is not the end of the world, in fact it means you’ve more than likely consumed a great tasting cocktail!

After all remember that hibiscus Kir Royale you had last new years’ or that blueberry mojito at last years’ summer fete? Well drinks like these, more often than not, make use of infused alcohols or sugar syrups!

So as you probably guessed it, the next theme for this blog is Infusion! Whether it’s a sophisticated spicy vodka or a simple syrup with a touch of fruit there will always be a place in the world of cocktails and mixology for infused ingredients!

Starting with this introduction and ending with 10 of the more ‘odd’ infusion recipes out there, the next two months will showcase some of the best infusion recipes available and all their recipes will be divulged, allowing you to recreate (and/or tweak?) them to your hearts content!

So what exactly is an infusion?

There are three types of infusion recipe that I’ll be covering during the course of this theme:

Alcohol Infusions – Infusion recipes that involve a plain alcohol (like vodka) and result in either a straight up favoured vodka, or a flavoured liqueur (a spirit with a lower abv % than the base vodka)…

Basically this type of infusion is simply adding the chosen ingredients into a base alcohol like vodka and leaving it to steep (or sit) in that spirit for a required amount of time. Eventually the base spirit will draw the flavour profile of those ingredients out and into the liquid. This method can create a range of fantastic ingredients from complicated spicy vodkas to fun and colourful candy flavours!

Sugar Syrup Infusions – infusion recipes that involve the addition of flavour to a simple 2:1 or 1:1 ratio sugar syrup.

This second infusion type takes less time than the alcohol infusion but the end product does have a significantly shorter life-span. This process generally involves first creating your own (plain) sugar syrup as a base before adding a chosen flavour into the mix and allowing the flavours of the chosen ingredients to cook out and infuse the syrup.

Agua Fresca – Or fresh water. This method of infusing fresh water with fruits and vegetables is favoured in Mexico and was even covered in one of my posts a year or so ago (see here). This method is similar to that of alcohol only you leave the fruit in the water and serve immediately!

Agua Fresca is what the Mexicans call their fruit-infused water... It's delicious!
Agua Fresca is what the Mexicans call their fruit-infused water… It’s delicious!

As a side note: I’ll also be looking at the creation of certain liqueur types, at least a way of re-creating them at home. These include liqueurs like limoncello and triple sec…

Hopefully that should have cleared up the two basic types of infusion I’ll be covering throughout the next 7-8 weeks and with any luck you’ll find some new and amazing recipes for you to try in your next batch!

Thank you for reading this post, it is a mere introductory post but I would dream of leaving you without a recipe you can get practicing with:

Homemade Blueberry Sugar Syrup

100 grams Blueberries (fresh or frozen)

100ml Water

100 grams sugar*

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Optional: 1 tablespoon vodka

The best thing about this blueberry syrup is that if you leave the blueberries in, it makes a fantastic syrup for your pancake breakfast!
The best thing about this blueberry syrup is that if you leave the blueberries in, it makes a fantastic syrup for your pancake breakfast!

Method:

  • Combine the blueberries, water & sugar in a saucepan and heat gently (low heat).
  • Stir often and after the sugar is dissolved (should take about 5-6 minutes) turn the heat up to medium. Continue to stir.
  • Whilst the syrup is boiling gently the blueberries will start to burst and shortly after the mixture should visibly thicken – take the mixture of the heat.
  • Strain the pulp and fruit excess out using a simple strainer. Gently press the fruit to get more juice out of them but do not press to hard as you’ll end up with a cloudy mixture.
  • Leave to cool and once it has cooled: stir in the lemon juice.
  • As an optional step you can also stir in a tablespoon of vodka. This won’t change the flavour profile of the syrup but it will allow it to keep for longer (it should add another 2-3 weeks onto the 4 weeks you get as standard).
  • Once the syrup has cooled and you’ve added in the other ingredients, cover and store in the fridge.

This sweet, fruity syrup has a host of uses, both in drinks and food. Its simple recipe is easy to follow and it acts as a great base recipe for you to tweak and add in other ingredients. This recipe can also be followed for other soft fruits like strawberries, raspberries and blackberries, simply use 100 grams of the selected fruit instead of the blueberries. Or a mixture of several to create a summer berry syrup (just don’t go over the 100 gram amount as it will not result in a well-balanced end product.

*in the UK granulated white sugar is our easiest to source ingredient, but you can use demerara sugar or maple syrup to give you a richer, deeper end product. If using maple syrup you need only use 75ml of syrup and 40ml of water – as maple syrup has a higher water content than solid sugar.

So all that leaves me to say is goodbye to the month of Tiki cocktails, and hello to the next 7-8 weeks of glorious infusion related articles and recipes! I’ll even be sure to throw in some great cocktails that make use of an infused ingredient!!!