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Infused Spirit

After straining out the fruit, you can sip infusions chilled and up, use as the base for a custom cocktail, or add sugar to the infusion to conjure up a cordial.

1 quart jar with lid
Flavoring agents such as 1-2 cups berries or chopped fruit, 1-2 chiles, 3-4 sprigs fresh herbs, dried spices or a combination
1 pint 80 proof spirits
½ cup sugar (optional)

Combine flavorings and alcohol in a clean quart jar. Screw on lid. Give the jar a good shake and set it in a cool, dark place for a few days and up to a week or two, shaking daily until you reach the flavor intensity you like. Strain the spirits through a fine mesh sieve, pressing on solids to release all of their juices, and then through a coffee filter to remove any sediment. Return spirits to the cleaned jar or other decorative food grade bottle. Add sugar, if using, and shake to dissolve. Spirits keep in a cool, dark place for up to a year, flavor improves with time.

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Sherri Brooks Vinton is the author of PUT ´EM UP.

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