How to infuse whisky with your favourite flavours
Whisky is a smooth spirit that boasts many sophisticated flavours. From notes of vanilla and honey, to dried fruits and spice, you’ll identify many different tastes in each blend. But if you want to go bigger and bolder, or try a new flavour combination, there’s something fun and exciting about making infused whisky.
Infusing whisky is a simple process that can turn your beloved spirit into a completely new drinking experience or add a twist to your favourite classic drink. Whether you want to add a touch of sweetness, fruitiness, or spices and herbs, you really can’t go wrong.
Read on to discover how to infuse whisky with your chosen flavours and get making your own unique infusions.
Choose the right whisky
Before picking a whisky to infuse, it’s important to think about how the bottle’s unique flavour profile will work with your chosen ingredient. For example, The Glenlivet’s Founder’s Reserve has a creamy sweetness with hints of zesty fruit that could be elevated through the infusion of orange peel or pear.
For an aromatic infusion that uses spices such as cinnamon and cloves, try The Glenlivet Captain Reserve. This raisin-rich whisky is bursting with fruity aromas that pair perfectly with warm flavours. Take a look at the tasting notes of our whisky collection to find your perfect match
You also don’t want to experiment on your best bottle just yet. Go for a mid-range scotch that you usually enjoy drinking on its own. That way you’ll be able to enjoy taste testing and appreciate the difference each infusion makes.
Pick fresh, organic ingredients
The ingredients you choose to infuse your whisky with should be ripe and high quality. This will ensure you get the most delicious results. Pick fruits and vegetables that are organic to avoid infusing any bad stuff. You can also make use of anything that would otherwise go to waste, such as overripe berries and apples. Chop up bigger fruits and vegetables, and muddle berries so that the juices infuse with the whisky.
Herbs on the other hand don’t always need to be fresh. Mint, basil and other delicate leafy herbs should be frozen first to avoid a muddy infusion.
You can infuse whisky for up to a week. But we recommend tasting your concoction every day to make sure it’s only as strong as you want it. And don’t forget to shake. Get the most out of your flavours by shaking or stirring the whisky each day.
How to infuse whisky
Now you’ve got some top tips on infusing whisky, here’s how to get started:
- There’s no rules on quantity, but start by adding 1 part infusion ingredient to 3 parts whisky, chopping any bigger ingredients such as apples or oranges and cracking any nuts or spices
- Steep your ingredients in the whisky in their original bottles or clean mason jars
- Store in a cool, shady spot in your home
- Shake or stir once a day, tasting every 24 hours until it’s as strong as you want it
- Once you’re happy with the flavour, it’s time to remove the ingredients – take out larger bits with a spoon or by hand, and strain smaller herbs and spices through a fine cloth, strainer or coffee filter
- Pour the infused whisky into a new clean jar or bottle and seal carefully
Infused whisky will last for approximately 12 months, so you have plenty of time to enjoy your new creation. Don’t forget to whip out a round to impress friends and family at your next party. Once done, store in a cool, dark place to keep flavours at their best.
Infused whisky flavour ideas
So what to infuse? There are unlimited flavours you can pair with whisky, from classic spices to more creative pairings such as cheese, pickles and even bacon.
Make sure to only infuse one flavour at a time, that way you’ll know which ingredients you like – and the ones that don’t work so well. Then you can combine your favourites to make your very own whisky cocktail or put a spin on classic recipes such as an Old Fashioned or Hot Toddy.
Here’s some of our favourite infused whisky flavours to get you started:
Herbs and spices
Add an aromatic, earthy taste to your whisky with spices and herbs. They’ll pair perfectly with smooth scotch and citrus flavours.
Fruits, vegetables and nuts
Go nutty for some of these fruity and citrus flavours that will elevate a whisky’s light, creamy finish.
Get as experimental as you like with whisky infusions by trying out some of these fun ingredients.
Once you’ve found some favourite flavours, try combining one or two infusions to make various pairings such as raspberry and chocolate, coffee and hazelnut, and strawberry and basil.
Ready to make some cocktails with your whisky infusions? Check out our whisky drinks recipes to get started. You can also get inspired by our guide to growing a cocktail herb garden or find out how to pair cheese with whisky.