Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet? If you're short some gifts, don't worry: we've got you covered with this DIY cocktail tincture recipe! DIYs are always great because it means more that you took the time to make them and because you can personalize them for the receiver.
Have you heard of cocktail tinctures before? I hadn't until recently, though I'm sure I've had them in cocktails I've ordered quite often. Tinctures are extracts, like vanilla or almond, but can be customized to be pretty much any flavor. They can be added to any kind of cocktails to provide a fresh and aromatic vibe. It's the same principle as bitters, but they're much quicker to make and are made with fresh herbs or spices, rather than dried ones.
There's an almost endless list of possibilities of flavors you could make but easy ones might be orange, cardamom, rosemary, cinnamon, jalapeño, blueberry, the list goes on! For our recipes, we're making rosemary, festive spice, and cranberry-orange but, again, just apply this recipe to any fresh herbs, citrus peel, or flavorful fruit or veggie, and go from there! You can also customize the batch size to whatever you'd like.
Everclear (1.5 liters fills 3 mason jars, or about 40 dropper bottles)
Herbs/Spices (my selections are described below)
Small labels (I cut down shipping labels)
Just add whatever herbs and spices you'd like to your respective jars, and top with Everclear. For the rosemary, we used two bunches, toasted and chopped to bring out the flavors. We also generously sprinkled in dried rosemary.
For the cranberry-orange tincture, I crushed fresh cranberries and used craisins and also added orange peel, being sure not to include the bitter white pith.
The festive spice concoction was made up of cinnamon sticks, allspice, crushed nutmeg, and cloves.
Give the jars a good shake and let them sit for a few days, continuing to shake daily, test the flavors in flavorless soda water, and add more spices if necessary.
Check out how much the colors have developed below over the course of a week! It looks like we used food coloring, but it's all natural.
To prepare for bottling, strain each mixture into a new mason jar, using a cheesecloth to strain out all of the solids.
Using a small funnel, pour each mixture into the dropper bottles, filling not quite to the top. Pop in the dropper tops and add handmade labels. Viola! Overall, this process only takes about an hour to assemble initially and about an hour to bottle. This time could be significantly cut if you only did one or two flavors.
Anywhere from a few drops to a dropper full of tincture can be added to soda water, Sprite, or to any cocktail for an aromatic flavored effect.
Keep a look out for my recipes to use the tinctures in soon! Let us know if you make any; we'd love to hear what combinations you come up with!