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Food & Drink

How to make infused liquors

Even cheap bastards can get booze-snob cred with this simple project

Photo: Illustrations by Ben Claassen III, License: N/A

Illustrations by Ben Claassen III

1 honeydew melon, seeded and sliced
6 Kirby or pickling cucumbers, sliced
Zest of 3 limes, removed in wide
ribbons with a vegetable peeler
1 tablespoon coriander seeds

1. Place the coriander seeds in a coffee filter, gather up the edges and tie into a bundle to make a teabag.
2. Layer all ingredients in your container, but place the zest and coriander bag somewhere in the middle to prevent them from floating. Cover with gin.
3. It should only take about six hours for the flavor to become apparent, and a day to fully infuse. It will go about a week before the melon starts to break down and will flavor about two refills. Excellent with tonic, but just as good solo on the rocks.

Home-spiced Rum

4 cinnamon sticks
2 vanilla beans, split and tied to the cinnamon sticks
3 pieces star anise
4 black cardamom pods
1 whole nutmeg
Zest of 1 orange

1. Tie the vanilla and cinnamon together with twine.
2. Place the remaining ingredients in a coffee filter and fashion into a teabag as described above. Use two if the ingredients don’t all fit in one.
3. Tie both the spice packet and the vanilla/cinnamon to a weight, e.g. a small coffee cup or a butter knife, so the ingredients remain submerged.
4. This one will take at least a week to fully infuse – the longer the better – and up to a month. If you top off after each serving you dispense, this infusion should last you about a month of steady use, assuming two or three servings a day.

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