5 DIYs To Get Your Spirits Up At Home
Stuck indoors? Why not learn something new? And incorporate alcohol while you’re at it… Here are our top 5 cocktail-centric DIYs to help you bide the time inside.
TRY YOUR HAND AT INFUSIONS
Now seems like an opportune time to experiment with creating your own uniquely flavored spirits – to sip on their own, or use them in a cocktail. This easy DIY project is great because you can customize it to your personal taste and make with whatever ingredients you have laying around.
First, you’ll need to choose your liquor. Light spirits like vodka, gin, white rum, and tequila are the most common. Darker spirits are a little trickier to infuse but when paired with the right flavor (like coffee or cherry) are *chef’s kiss*.
Choose ingredients like fresh fruit, herbs or whole spices, and then gather your supplies. Any mason jar or similar airtight container should do, however, make sure that it’s large enough to remove your ingredients, ie: no narrow bottlenecks. The last tool you’ll need is a coffee filter, cheesecloth, or fine mesh strainer.
Now for the fun part! Wash your ingredients, place them inside the jar, and fill it with booze. Seal the jar tightly and give it a shake. You should look something like this:
Store your infusion jar in a cool, dark place, shaking it daily. Depending on the flavor intensity you’re trying to achieve, it might be 3 – 5 days of infusing, or as fast as a single day! Taste test it regularly until it’s steeped to your liking.
Once you’ve achieved the perfect flavor, strain out the flavoring agent out of the jar. We like to return to the original bottle, with a label indicating the flavor of the infused-spirit.
After storing your infusion, it’ll have the same shelf-life as the original liquor, given that you haven’t added any sugars.
Think you’ve already mastered infusions? Order our Water Of Youth Old Fashioned and get all the ingredients you need to learn how to infuse rum with tea, AND create beautiful chamomile ice cubes. An impressive quarantine skill indeed.
REARRANGE YOUR HOME BAR
Now that happy hour can only be celebrated in the comfort of your own house, a well-stocked and tailored home bar is more essential than ever. Here are our five quick tips for creating a gram-worthy space.
- Choose your base – repurpose or repaint a vintage cabinet, polish up an old serving tray, or just go ahead and order that bar cart you’ve had on your wishlist for months.
- Stock up on bottles – Starting out, pick 3 or 4 of your go-to spirits, as well as enough liquor to build a few classic cocktails. Consider rotating your selection seasonally-rums and tequila in the summer, whiskey in the fall, for example.
- Organize your tools – Show off your tools of the trade so that guests know you mean business. You’ll need a jigger, bar spoon, mixing glass, muddler, cobbler shaker, and strainer.
- Getting fancy with glassware – If you have space, keep all your bases covered. Try to have at least two each glass on hand at a minimum (old fashioned, collins, coupe, champagne). Store glasses upside-down so they don’t collect dust.
- Don’t forget decor – Make the bar your own with swizzle sticks, cocktail napkins, and recipe books. If you need an excuse to online shop, here it is. We love vintage glass punch bowl sets, snack serving bowls, and other kitschy items for added intrigue.
CREATE A CRAZY, INTRICATE GARNISH
Ever see those insanely detailed, multi-fruit-featuring, cocktail garnishes on your Instagram explore page and think…if only I had the time?….well… Start from the beginning and work your way up. Once you’ve mastered the twist, get inspired by these artsy peel riffs from @garnish_art_book_club.
MAKE USE OF THAT LEFTOVER SIMPLE SYRUP
Have a bottle of or two of simple syrup taking up space in the fridge? There are several uses for that sweet stuff other than cocktails. Start your morning off right with a splash of simple syrup that smoothly blends into your coffee beverage. Looking for a decaf option? It tastes great mixed in iced drinks too, we’re fans of basil lemonade, or rose syrup with black tea.
Everyone is baking bread, but why not bake a cake instead? Brush the sticky syrup on each layer of your cooled layer cake to keep it fresh and moist. Add a little booze if you’re feeling it too.
You can also experiment with swapping in a specialty syrup in place of plain simple syrup in any classic cocktail build. Swap a flavored syrup for that .25oz or bar spoon of agave in the Margarita, or add a smidge to your next stirred whiskey drink. Who knows maybe you’ll invent the next old fashioned?
MAKE A PICTURE-PERFECT DRINK, THEN CAPTURE THE SHOT
No excuses for not curating the perfect feed! Follow these tips to get the best photos of your drinks.
- Set a light source or window directly behind the drink, or coming in from a side angle. Directional, natural light is your friend.
- Upgrade your at-home freezer ice.
- Pour in your cocktail in the glass with a funnel to prevent splatter. Add ice after!
- Make that composition juuuust right. Play with the position of your glasses, add in some texture, and have fun with it!
- Tag us so we can see, and maybe re-gram 😉
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