We’re told by people who are supposedly in the know with such things that warm weather is coming soon. I myself am convinced I’m trapped in some Inception-esque dream within a dream within a dream where there’s a perpetual winter and that all “memories” of warm weather and skipping happily and shoeless through fields of thigh-high grass are artificial insertions of said dream within a dream within a dream…but I’m hoping I’m wrong.

Assuming I am, that means that, along with warm weather, invites to lovely outdoor get-togethers and parties are also just around the corner. And yes, reader, you should take that as a not-so-subtle hint.

But what to bring as a gift to your host that says, “No, in fact, I did not just get this from the wine store down the block from you and just peel off the price tag”? How about stocking up now on some classy-ass infused liquors? Katie and I made some over the winter weather months and still have a few sitting around for just such an occasion.

Too much work, you say? You are totally wrong, I say. No, actually, it’s super-easy. Basically, figure out some fun options, buy your ingredients, and then let ‘em sit for a week to a month to however long, depending essentially on the permeability and/or potency of the infusing ingredient. This last time, we infused a number of different concoctions and then transferred to some smaller bottles we came across and made up some fancy-dancey labels. We had:
• Cinnamon Vodka • letting three or so tall sticks of cinnamon sit in a small bottle for at least a week, which turns the whole ting into this really amazing burnt orange color;
• Habanero Tequila • which we’ve written about before and is a big favorite of ours (plus it infuses crazy quickly—you can do it in a day or two);
• Lemongrass Vodka • using a fresh stalk from the farmer’s market and allowing it to sit a little longer, two weeks to a month or more;
• Meyer Lemon Vodka • using two to three meyer lemons, being sure to peel them as much as possible to reduce the bitterness and then letting the whole thing sit for three weeks or more;
• Jalepeño Vodka • another one that’s got a quick infusion time because of the potency of the peppers, of which we used three cut in half with seeds—this one makes some MEAN vegan Bloody Marys;
• Ginger Vodka • just peel the ginger and cut into three- or four-inch strips and steep for a month or so—great with soda water or some citrus syrups.
And we’re hoping to try some new ones in the coming months.

So get yourself infusing. And somehow tip me over so I can wake up from this freaky, chilly world.