With Kathy Kordalis's book, Infused Booze, in hand, you won't have to shell out for fancy flavored spirits or seemingly unique mash-ups; you can just make them yourself. Like for example, this not-too-spicy jalapeño infusion, which is just as good in a cocktail balanced with citrus as it is served simply over ice. Kordalis suggests adding anything you want, like vanilla, tea leaves, ginger and honey, to the simple syrup. And since you'll have leftover syrup to use in whatever future cocktails you make, you might as well.
Recipe adapted with permission from Infused Booze, by Kathy Kordalis, published by Hardie Grant Books May 2018
Yield: Around 3 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes, plus infusion time
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes, plus infusion time
For the Simple Syrup:
1 cup water
½ cup superfine sugar
For the Vodka:
3 jalapeño chiles, halved
3½ ounces simple syrup
2½ cups vodka
1. Make the simple syrup: Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then remove from the heat and add your choice of flavorings, if using (see headnote).
2. Allow to cool completely, then strain the syrup through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean 500 mL glass jar or bottle, discarding any additional flavorings. Seal the jar tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
3. Make the vodka: Put the jalapeños and simple syrup in a clean 1-liter glass jar or bottle and pour in the vodka. Seal the jar tightly and store in a cool, dark place for 3 days, gently shaking the jar occasionally to help infuse the flavors.
4. Strain the vodka through a fine-mesh sieve into a large container and discard the peppers. Strain again through a sieve lined with cheesecloth or a coffee filter. Transfer to a large, or several smaller glass bottles and seal tightly.