How to Infuse Tequila

Infused tequila is now commonplace at fancy cocktail bars and restaurants, but you don’t have to be a bartender to create a signature flavor. Fill your liquor cabinet with strawberry blanco and jalapeno anejo tequila. A batch can be ready in a few days.

Steps

Choosing Ingredients

  1. Decide what flavor you would like to infuse in your tequila. Tropical fruit and spicy peppers are good choices for your first batch. Try one ingredient before moving on to more complex infusions.
  2. Purchase one quart of ripe fruit to use in your infusion. Choose the unbruised and best fruit for this purpose. Try the fruit so you can ensure it is sweet and delicious.
    • Purchase one quart (0.9 l) of berries for strawberry tequila.
    • Buy three large jalapenos for jalapeno tequila.
    • Use half a ripe pineapple for pineapple tequila.
    • Get 10 limes or lemons if you want to infuse citrus rinds.
    • Use three mangoes or stone fruit for mango tequila or peach tequila.
  3. Choose your tequila. Purchase a small to medium bottle of 100 percent agave tequila so that it is smooth and lacks a lot of additives. Blanco, reposado and anejo tequila all work well with infusions.
    • Blanco tequila will work best if you are planning to use it in a cocktail, like a margarita.
    • Try anejo if you want an infused sipping tequila. The aged taste may require a more precise pairing of flavors.

Infusing Tequila

  1. Buy large canning jars or glass storage containers with airtight lids. If you want to do several smaller infusions, you can try eight to 16 oz. (0.25 to 0.5 l) canning jars and split your bottle of tequila between two or three containers. Run the jars through the dishwasher to sterilize them.
  2. Soak your fruit or peppers in lukewarm water for a minute. Then, scrub the surface of the skin.
  3. Chop and divide your fruit. Remove pits, bitter peels and rinds. Cut the fruit up into sections to increase the surface area of the fruit that will be touching your tequila.
    • You can leave peach peels, strawberry skin and other mild fruit skins intact.
  4. Zest your limes or lemons. Use a citrus stripper for best results, because it will remove the peel in strips and leave the rinds. Juice the citrus.[1]
  5. Chop your hot peppers into slices. Wear rubber gloves to reduce the risk of irritating your skin.
  6. Add the fruit or peppers into the clean glass jar. Add the juice if you are doing a citrus infusion.
  7. Pour your tequila into the jar, giving it about two inches (5 cm) of headspace. Seal it and set it in a cool, dark place.

Straining a Tequila Infusion

  1. Let the tequila infusion rest for 12 hours to 10 days. The time you choose should be based on how intense the infusion should be. Jalapeno tequila should be infused for no more than five days the first time you try it.
    • If you are infusing a subtle fruit, like pear or star fruit, you can leave it infusing for up to 21 days.[2]
    • Taste the infusion every three to four days using a clean spoon to test how strong it is.
  2. Shake the infusion bottle once per day. It will break down the fruit and mix the juices.
  3. Cover a clean bowl or wide mouthed jar with a fine mesh strainer. Open your infusion jar and pour it through the strainer to remove the fruit. Repeat with a piece of cheese cloth over the strainer if you still find pulp in your tequila.[3]
  4. Wash your infusion jar or your original tequila bottle. Insert a funnel into the top and pour the infused tequila into the bottle.
  5. Label your bottle with the type of infusion and today’s date. Drink within one year.[4]

Things You’ll Need

  • Bottle of Tequila (blanco, reposado or anejo)
  • Airtight glass jar
  • Water
  • Dishwasher
  • Ripe fruit
  • Peppers
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Citrus stripper
  • Rubber gloves
  • Bowl
  • Fine mesh strainer
  • Cheesecloth
  • Funnel

Sources and Citations

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