This was a fun little experiment courtesy of our friend Rob…
- Take an 8 ounce Mason jar.
- Add one teaspoon of bitter orange peel (the kind you would use to make a Belgian Wit. He picked up a bag at his local homebrewer supply shoppe) and a teaspoon of fennel seed.
- Fill the jar with Jim Beam White Label (or whatever Table Bourbon you like).
- Seal the jar and let it rest for two weeks.
- When it’s ready to drink, strain the Bourbon infusion through a paper towel or coffee filter to remove all of the spent flavoring agents. And that’s pretty much it!
This was a nice way to experiment with different flavor combinations without running the risk of ruining one of your favorite Bourbons. I found the bitter orange peel and fennel flavors to be quite subtle and soothing, adding a hint of complexity to a very straightforward Bourbon (I also tried a version with dried clove, but the balance on that one was way off, i.e. the clove flavors were quite overpowering). I really liked this bitter orange peel/fennel infusion on its own, and I bet it would make some really interesting cocktails (Mint Juleps? Anyone? Anyone?).
Have you tried something like this before? If so, we’d love to hear what flavor combinations you’ve come up with. Feel free to tell us all about your experiments in the comments below. Cheers!