Herb Infusions

Herb Infusions

Some examples: Rosemary, lemongrass, clove, lavender, hibiscus, basil, mint, tea, coriander, elderflower, thyme, and sage.

Rosemary Infused Gin

Gin is very aromatic and should be paired with an herb that has similar aroma or flavor, like rosemary.  Because gin contains so many botanicals (naturally occurring herbs, spices, and roots in the earth), it makes sense to infuse herbs into it.  For this infusion, Hendrick’s Gin works well because it contains hints of cucumber and rose petals already that go well with the aroma of rosemary.  Many different fruits, spices and vegetables, including cucumber, basil, and strawberry, can be substituted for rosemary.   

Take a large sprig of rosemary, rinse thoroughly and place it in a 1 liter bottle of gin, preferably Hendrick’s or a London dry gin.  Set it aside in a cool, dark place for 5-7 days, then remove the rosemary sprig.  Fine strain into a seperate container in case small pieces of rosemary are swimming in the gin. Store it in the fridge up to a month.  This infusion works well in a Red Snapper (gin-based Bloody Mary) or a Cucumber Martini, which is described in the vegetable infusions blog entry. You can also infuse with tequila.

Hibiscus Infused Vodka

This infusion will take on a cool, red color.  The clear-less vodka transforms almost immediately. You can also infuse with gin, rum, and tequila, but vodka works best.

Add 2 teaspoons of dried hibiscus flowers to a 750 ml bottle of vodka (preferably a call brand like Absolut) and set aside to infuse for 3 days, then fine strain and re-bottle the vodka.  This works great in a Hibiscus Cosmo (Cointreau or pomegranate liqueur, cranberry and fresh lime juice) or over ice with cranberry juice and/or soda water. You can also add a fresh pansy edible flower as a garnish. I wouldn't recommend a hibiscus flower because they aren't edible.

Green Tea Infused Vodka

Place 5 green tea leaves or bags (bags are easier to find in your local grocery store, but leaves will give you a more intense flavor if you really green tea) in a 750 ml bottle of vodka (Absolut).  Steep for 8-10 hours and remove tea leaves/bags.  Double fine strain into a clean bottle to remove small granules. This works well in my "Skinny T" cocktail with the addition of diluted agave nectar, fresh lime juice and Cointreau or triple sec with a lime wheel garnish. 

Next up...Spice Infusions