This post is sponsored by Curate.
Inspired by a sense of adventure and discovery, today I’m sharing some fruit infused cocktails. First, we’ll whip up two infused liquors, and then we’ll make two cocktails that put these infusions to work.
Being from a small town in Central Pennsylvania, I’m always thankful when I get the chance to travel for work or pleasure. Since I’m also a “foodie,” one of my favorite things to do is discover what unexpected things the local hot spots are serving. So when visiting a new-to-me restaurant, usually the first thing I ask for is the cocktail menu. Many times this menu is a preview of how the dinner menu will look. When I see artful combinations of fresh ingredients to create one-of-a-kind libations, I know I’m probably in for a fun and creative dinner menu as well. It’s a win-win.
After all of my recent travel, I thought it was time to try out some of the unique recipes I’ve found on menus during these adventures. With summer almost here, we also could all use some new and refreshing libations. Bring on the fruit infused cocktails.
Some of the flavor inspiration for these cocktails comes from the new Curate Snack bars. If you’ve been following IBC for the past couple months, you know I’ve partnered with Curate to share colorful ideas and brilliant combinations. (In case you missed them, you gotta check out my DIY painted brushstroke plates and my mason jar salad recipes.) In a nutshell, these Curate bars are made from fruit, nuts, and grains to create a delicious and wholesome snack that has a wonderful texture. If you have yet to try them, keep reading to the end of this post. Curate hooked me up with an Amazon coupon code for IBC readers. (Thanks, Curate!)
Okay, now that we’ve talked inspiration, let’s get into our cocktail creation.
To make these cocktails, you will need infused liquor. You’re probably thinking, “Michael, can’t I just buy flavored liquors at the store? Why should I make them?”
I recommend infusing your own for two reasons. First, you can use fresh, delicious, and natural ingredients. My guess is that most of the manufacturers’ flavored liquors aren’t infused with fresh fruit. Secondly, you can get really crazy with your flavor combinations to create something that you can’t buy in the store.
For your infusions, use whatever flavors you like best. For the purposes of this post, I’m going to show you how to make Strawberry Basil Infused Vodka and Pineapple Infused Rum.
Obviously, the process is pretty simple. Choose a liquor and then select a fruit, vegetable, herb, etc. that complements it. Put them together, wait a week or two, and you’re in business.
One more thing: use quality ingredients. Choose fruits and veggies that are ripe, fresh, and in season. Also, while you don’t need top shelf liquors, buy one that you actually like.
Now it’s time to infuse! Let me walk you through the recipes.
Like the Curate bar’s combination of strawberries, chocolate and pistachios, strawberry and basil go together like peanut butter and jelly, so this combination is delicious. I’d also recommend trying this with gin if you’re a fan of that.
Next up, grab your rum!
This particular infusion was inspired by my adventures in the Caribbean and the light and bright flavors of the Harmonious Blend bar. This infusion just screams tropical.
Okay, now that our liquors have soaked up all of that delicious fruity flavor, it’s time to make cocktails.
Because I love the flavor of the Strawberry Basil Infused Vodka so much, I wanted it to be the star of the show in a cocktail. That’s why I chose a martini.
Complemented by fresh citrus and a splash of St. Germain (You know how much I love my St. Germain!), this cocktail is fresh, earthy, fruity, and quintessentially summer.
This martini happens to be quite gorgeous. And It tastes as good as it looks.
Next up is my tropical spin on a classic mojito.
After deciding to make Pineapple Infused Rum, a Pineapple Mojito was an obvious choice.
I had a mojito for the first time when I moved to Philadelphia after college. The lime, mint, and rum combination always takes me back to that time and place. Isn’t it amazing how a taste can let you time travel?
With this version, throw in fresh pineapple and you’re in business. Let’s stir one up.
And that’s a wrap, friends. With four new recipes, you’re now ready for summer. If you’ve never infused liquors, I definitely recommend it. If you have, I’d love to know what combinations you like best.
Also, as I mentioned above, I wanted to pass along of coupon code for you to get your hands on some Curate Snack bars! The code is: CURATEMAY. It will give you 15% off your Curate Snack bar purchase via Amazon using the links below.
The coupon code is valid until 6/10/16.
Cheers and happy snacking!