Craft Wars: Infusions & Cordials

May 27th, 2013

One of my favorite crafty things to do is to make infusions.

Infusions are simple: you put a fragrant plant solid, such as a spice or a fresh herb, in a liquid, such as vinegar or alcohol, and then let it sit for weeks or even months until the liquid has absorbed the flavor of the solid. Strain away the solid, and you have a liquid that is potent and pungent. Chemistry!

On our ritual Friday evening craft nights, my friend Leslie and I have been steeping several infusions that we bottled up this past Friday night. So gratifying to see our efforts (and patience) come to what turned out to be a very successful fruition on all counts.


I don’t really drink unless a craft project demands it of me. So imagine my enthusiasm for our batch of insomnia cordials, an infusion of chamomile, meyer lemon rind, vanilla bean and honey in vodka. This one sat for about three weeks and basically blew our socks off with its coy deliciousness. Also, it worked. Recipe on Boozed & Infused

insomnia cordials



Quite the opposite of insomnia cordials, these perk ya’ right up. Quite spicy, but also sweet, they have a kick. Recipe on Boozed & Infused

chili agave liqueur



I got this recipe out of one of my favorite homesteading books, Better Basics for the Home, which, incidentally, is where I get most of my skincare recipes from. It’s a cleaning spray made from a cider vinegar base infused with herbs such as rosemary, lavender and a few other herbs that I’m too lazy to get up and look up right now. I usually clean with vinegar anyway, and this gives the tang of vinegar a natural aromatic quality.

Vinegar of the 4 Thieves


This one was a labor of love that I’m sure will pay off when cold and flu season rolls around. Basic idea: chop up hell of onion, garlic, ginger, galangal and hot pepper and let it sit in apple cider vinegar for over a month until the liquid is hyperbolic with aroma. Once the solids were strained out, I could barely even inhale around this stuff, never mind taste it. I did taste it, though, and have guaranteed anti-Vampire breath for at least a week. I’m excited to sic this on germs. Recipe on The Dabblist

Fire Cider Remedy

By the way, labeling things is half to three-quarters of the fun of craft projects. Art school was not a waste of time, apparently.

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