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The Daily Meal

The Daily Meal

Posted: February 16, 2011 12:52 PM

10 Secrets to Perfect Liquor Infusions


Recipes that call for ingredients like "bacon-infused bourbon" and "housemade tangerine and serrano vodka" needn't send novice home bartenders running. Liquor infusions are not just a trick reserved for experienced and creative-minded mixologists. Just ask Mark Comer, bartender at New York's New Leaf Restaurant & Bar.

His biggest piece of advice for first-timers? "Don't be intimidated." The process is meant to be fun, and experimentation is key. He shared that in the two years he had been infusing alcohol he'd only botched one batch out of dozens. "Most likely, the worst case scenario is not quite getting the flavor you had hoped for. So either infuse it again, or make a drink with ingredients that will make your so-so infusion part of an outstanding cocktail."

OK, so the pressure's off -- he admits that things rarely turn out exactly the way you would expect -- but how about a few helpful industry insider tips? We got Mark to share his top 10, from the more obvious ("start by listing your favorite flavors") to the wisdom that only comes with experience ("go easy on the cloves when you use them").

-- Maryse Chevriere, The Daily Meal

List Your Favorite Flavors First
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Mark recommends to start by listing your favorite flavors -- some of his include orange, vanilla, cinnamon, mint, basil, lemon, lime, cucumber, and huckleberry. He notes that mixing and matching can produce amazing flavors. "For example you could produce a spicy apple flavor by infusing very ripe apples, vanilla, cloves, and cinnamon. (But go easy on the cloves, too many will kill your batch and numb your mouth)."

Related: How to Make Pepper and Tangerine Infused Vodka
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