Saturday, April 7, 2012

One Year Later....An exciting new project with whiskey.

Second year seems to have driven me into the ground, but Step is fast approaching and with it stress I find myself seeking the calming haven of my kitchen. Today what I am about to share with you is a throwback to something I enjoyed doing as an undergrad and I have been meaning to pick it up again for a while...infusing spirits. In the past I have worked primarily with clear liquors with mild flavors, some of my favorites include basil and lime infused gin, mint infused rum and cranberry and orange infused vodka. This time I wanted to try something new, ginger and honey infused whiskey. I grew up in an Indian household where no dinner party was complete without the pouring of the Black Label. My pallet thus is no stranger to whiskey, but I know that whiskey has many layers of flavor so an infusion would have to be well thought out. The plan then was to purchase a cheap bottle of mild whiskey, after some research I went with Canadian Mist an affordable $10 for  a fifth.  
I made 2 small batches with different quantities of ginger and honey. The first the one in the honey jar on the right was about 4 tbs of honey and 2 1/4 inch slices of peeled ginger which was about an inch in diameter. this was the sweeter more honey version the second version had more ginger. The second version, the bottle on the left was 4 slices of ginger to 2 tbs of honey.
To each I then added about 1/3 of the bottle of whiskey. Then close tight and shake till the honey gets incorporated. After that refrigerate for 3-4 days shaking the bottles 3 to 4 times each day. I tasted on day 3 and felt it needed more time and on day 4 they were where I wanted them to be, you will need to taste because the duration of each batch can vary. On day 4 I felt they were ready.
The last step to the process was filtering them. in order to get all the little fibers from the ginger out I used a coffee filter over a tea strainer and let it sit. In the end I personally prefer the more gingery infusion, but both were a significant improvement on the original whiskey. The infusions were good on their own but also really good with a splash of club soda, which made a drink quite reminiscent of a whiskey with ginger beer.
Alas, as it is an exam weekend my neuro notes beckon I must bid you adieu.
Happy Infusing!