Infuse a little love. Recipes for infusing vodka, sugar, and water for entertaining, gifting, or just enjoying.

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infusion: an infusion is the outcome of steeping plants with desired chemical compounds and/or flavors in water or oil. Source: wikipedia
Water. Oil. Alchohol? Sugar? Lately I’ve been infatuated with recipes for infusions. After discovering a fun recipe for vodka infusion over at The Backyard Bartender, I went on the hunt for more recipes you can create just by mixing a little of this with a little of that. Here are some of my favorites.
1.) Adventures in Vodkaland. Infusing vodkas in a simple process and certainly easier than making moonshine. Not to mention legal. All you need is a great vodka – who wants a hangover, right? – an airtight jar, some edible herbs, fruits, veggies and spices, and time. The Backyard Bartender offers several infusion recipes. Combos include Vanilla Bean + Cardamom, Celery + Bay Leaf, and Fennel + Lemon. While not all of her ideas were entirely successful, it’s really the fun of coming up with your own recipes then trying them out on your friends.
For more vodka infusion recipes ideas, visit Taylor Takes a Taste. There are recipes for tried and true Bubble Gum Vodka and Limencello as well as new test recipes for combinations like Pineapple + Red Pepper, Honeydew + Cucumber, and Cranberry + Orange + Nutmeg.
2.) Inviting Waters. If alcohol’s not quite up your alley, try making infused water instead. Martha Stewart recommends using rosemary sprigs, lime, and orange zest for a citrus-rosemary water. Or combine sliced ginger, cucumber, and mint for another refreshing alternative.
Donna Hay suggests flavoring your water with green apple and mint leaves, raspberries, or lemongrass and pieces of ginger as another tasty option.
3.) Make: Infused Sugars. Issue 3 of Joie Magazine offers some great ideas for making your own infused sugars on page 28 along with presentation ideas for those of you who love to give handmade gifts.
You can also grab ideas for scented sugars from Martha Stewart and a recipe for Vanilla Infused Sugar from Soap Deli News.
Sugar not quite your thing or just looking for a twist from the obvious? Style Me Pretty offers a diy for tangerine flavored sea salt. Sea salt with some zest from tangerines and lemons is a great way to finish off a fish or poultry dish.
Do you have a favorite infusion combo you like to add to your cooking? Please share!

Make Infused Sugars for a Little Spice to Everyday Life

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Sweeten up your culinary style by creating your own infused sugars. Sprinkle them on fresh baked cookies and pies or use them in place of plain sugar in coffees and teas!
Vanilla Sugar

Here’s a recipe for making vanilla infused sugar. Use more or less vanilla to taste. Click here for the recipe. Also give orange and lemon infused sugars a go by adding the dried zest from three fruits to two cups of your sugar of choice, then grind together in a food processor. Get creative with a variety of other herbs and spices as well. Try adding not just vanilla  bean pods but whole cloves,  star anise, cardamon pods, lavender buds, fennel seeds, cinnamon sticks, crystallized ginger, fresh rosemary, fresh mint, and even organic rose buds to create your own unique blends. Layer these tasty options with your sugar and allow to infuse for at least one week before use, shaking jar daily to insure a thorough infusion. Store in pint jars for future use or for gift giving.