As any bartender worth their margarita salt will tell you, whiskey is a refined drink. It has shaken off the rough-and-tumble reputation as an American frontier drink and is mainly associated with simply a rocks glass and ice these days. There’s nothing wrong with that either, given whiskey’s naturally rich and deep taste. However, there are plenty of refined drinkers out there who wouldn’t mind improving upon those flavors and to them we say, “Great! We’re here to help.” That’s because Derby Spirits has done its fair share of homework on how to find the best whiskey infusions you can make. While do-it-yourself infusion may be all the rage, that doesn’t mean you’re going to get it right every time. If you want some guidance, read on for tips from Derby Spirits. This Nevada-based producer, which boasts an advanced proprietary process for crafting its products, will release its hotly-anticipated banana-infused whiskey in January 2018. Until then, try these flavors that are sure to compliment the rich notes that this classic spirit is known for.
- What You’ll Need: To tackle an infusion project at home, you’ll of course need whiskey. However, it can be purchased as Irish, bourbon, Tennessee or rye. An older bourbon will be sweeter, while Tennessee is the classic and rye arguably is traditional whiskey with all of its attributes amplified. At Derby Spirits, Irish whiskey that is distilled in the European nation is what’s put to use when creating fruit-infused spirits. Since local laws require any product marketed as “Irish whiskey” as having to prove that it originated in Ireland, you’ll know that you’re drinking a premium product. The type you select is up to you, but the following ingredients aren’t optional. You’ll need mason jars, knives to peel the fruit of your choosing, saucepans to simmer some of the ingredients you’ll choose and a strainer to separate after the days-long infusion process.
- Your Options: The natural flavors that whiskey imparts upon a drink are aspects that you’re just going to learn how to live with. There’s no masking the deep, smoky flavor of whiskey the way you could make vodka taste like Swedish Fish, for example. Industry experts like those from Derby Spirits say so-called “pie fruits” make great ingredients for your next infusion project. That means fresh fruits such as peaches, cherries, blackberries or bananas will sweeten the deal when it comes to whiskey. Similarly, an even sweeter approach would be ingredients like honey, caramel or vanilla beans.
- The Waiting Game: The trick to an efficient infusion is to be prepared to wait. Some experts suggest that your blend should sit in a cool and dark setting for between three and five days. Further, you should shake the mason jar containing your mixture three to five times a day. A taste-test along the way will let you know if the blend has reached the flavor you seek. While a hot pepper-based infusion can be strained in as a little as few hours, the aforementioned fruits could easily take a week to adequately infuse with whiskey. If that’s too long to wait, just hang on for a few more months until the banana blend from Derby Spirits hits the market.