Grow and Make is excited to announce our new line of Retail DIY Kits. Currently only available wholesale, but soon we will sell direct.
We want to acknowledge and thank all of those who serve and have served in our armed forces. Your sacrifice and service is valued and appreciated.
We’re excited to be included in the Healthline.com DIY Crafter Holiday Gift Guide.
Our products will be available in HomeGoods stores starting in December. We’re very excited about this new relationship.
Grow and Make Deluxe Hot Sauce Making Kit is on Family Living Today’s list of Best Gifts for Dad. Check it out.
We received these two questions this week regarding cheesemaking. Thought we’d pass on our suggestions for those making cheese.
Q: How can I clean my cheese cloth for reuse?
A: It’s a good idea to not use soap for cleaning your cheese cloth. We recommend putting it in your washing machine or dishwasher on ‘quick cycle’ without soap. Make sure to use a hot setting. You can also just do it by hand with hot water.
Q: What do I do with all of the whey left from my cheesemaking?
A: You can substitute for water when baking this will give your baked goods breads a sourdough flavor. You can use it in smoothies for the nutritional benefits. You can also feed it to animals for extra nutrition.
DIY Alcohol Infusions with Recipes
- Mason jars, or large glass bottles with secure lids
- Alcohol of choice (typically vodka, bourbon, brandy or rye)
- Infusion ingredients (included in your kit)
- Fresh fruit, herbs or additional spice
- Labels or ribbons for your jars if you are making gifts
Typically you’ll want to fill a mason jar with the alcohol base and then place in spice and fruit over time based on the flavor profile you are trying to achieve. These recipes are recommendations, but you should feel free to experiment. We do not include the fruit suggested in these recipes.
Be sure to clean your mason jar and thoroughly wash your fruit before placing in infusion.
Store you infusion in a cool, dark place.
The infusion should be for 3 weeks. You can and should taste as the infusion progresses, to make any changes you desire.
When you have achieved the desired infusion, strain the alcohol, removing any of the organic ingredients.
What you should know before you start:
- Typically use a standard brand alcohol at a mid-price range for creating your infusion. Don’t by the top-shelf for infusion, but also avoid the cheap stuff too. Smirnoff is perfect for vodka infusions.
- Create a flavor profile which is for the intended cocktail you are envisioning it’s used in. For example Bloody Mary of Old Fashioned.
- Typically you want to give your infusion 3 weeks to build the flavor profile. If you want to highlight a flavor, keep it in longer and remove something which you want to be a complement.
- Start out with less and add more if and as desired. The longer your infusion sits, the stronger the flavor profile. If you over flavor, you can dilute with more of the foundation alcohol.
- Vodka, brandy and bourbon are what we recommend for infusions. They tend to not have complex flavor profiles and can be more easily infused.
- Generally Rum, Scotch and Tequila are not great for infusions, because they have their own character. We do include a Tequila recipe though.
- When using citrus, use only the peel and make sure to scrape off the bitter white pith before use.
- We don’t have any recipes which include gin, because gin is itself an infused alcohol.
Spiced Whiskey: Gentian, Orange Peel, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Clove
Apple Ginger Bourbon: ½ Sliced Apple, 1 tbs Ginger
Fig Rye: 2 sliced figs
2 Fig & 1 Cardamom pod
½ sliced Apple & 1 Cinnamon stick
Spiced Brandy: Gentian, Orange Peel, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Clove
Cardamom & Anise
1 tsp Lavender & 1 Orange peel
1 teaspoon Juniper Berries & 2 Cloves
Bloody Mary: 1 tsp Coriander, 1 tsp Caraway, 1 tsp Juniper Berry, 1 tsp peppercorns
1 Chipotle Chile & 2 Anise Stars
1 tsp Peppercorns & 1 tsp ginger
Apple Rye – Combine 2 oz of your Apple Ginger Bourbon with 4 shakes of apple bitters. Stir in 1 teaspoon of sugar and serve over crushed ice.
Bloody Mary – Combine 2 oz of your Bloody Mary Vodka with 3 dashes worchestire, small can of tomato juice, dash hot sauce, salt and black pepper to taste, ¼ tsp horseradish. Mix well and serve with celery stick on ice.
Brandy Bean – 2 oz Fig and Cardamom Brandy, add hot coffee, 1 tsp sugar and cream. Stir well and serve on a cold day.
Ta-kill-ya – 2 oz Chipotle and Anise infused Tequila, tropical juice (passion fruit, mango, papaya), splash grenadine, serve over ice.
In these times of labor automation and displacement, it’s important that we all recognize and embrace the importance of those who work in a trade, with their hands and to make things. We at Grow and Make believe in the value and importance of labor.
Interested in learning how to make a shower curtain from discarded sheets? We have an article to show you how.
My kids started school this week and it is always a special time. The excitement of new teachers, seeing old friends, the change of season starting and the symbolic growth and renewal.
I’m a huge fan of the New York Times new ‘The Daily‘ podcast. The reporting is amazing and I hope they win a Pulitzer for it.
I discovered a cocktail that I love last week called an Apple Crye. It’s 1.5 oz of a good rye whiskey, 3 shakes home made apple bitters and a teaspoon of simple syrup. Stir and serve over crushed ice.
We have an updated version of our article on creating an apron from a discarded men’s dress shirt available.