Flavored whiskey is a touchy subject for lots of people, especially whiskey enthusiasts who often consider adding any flavoring to a good whiskey as sacrilege. But there's a good reason why many famous distillers, such as Jack Daniel's, keep making the stuff: It's just plain fun to drink! Whether infused with apple, honey, or cinnamon, our focus today, flavored whiskeys offer a tasty change of pace from the usual oaky stuff.
Cinnamon whiskey is a standout in the flavored whiskey world. It's made by infusing fresh cinnamon sticks into the liquor, resulting in a one-of-a-kind blend of sweet and spicy flavors that set it apart from sweeter options like apple or honey-flavored whiskey. Flavor-wise, if you ever had those tongue-stinging cinnamon candies when you were a kid, a taste of this liquor will march you right down memory lane. The whiskey starts sweet and then heats up with a distinctive spice that's different from the usual burn of alcohol.
This quick shift from a mild warmth to a bold kick makes cinnamon whiskey (Sazerac's Fireball is particularly popular) the first pick when people feel like having a side of adrenaline rush with their booze. But if you dare, you can push the boundaries even further by adding dried red chili peppers to the mix! The heat from the chili peppers combines surprisingly well with the warmth of cinnamon in the whiskey, resulting in a more invigorating and complex flavor profile that gives the liquor a character as bold as its taste.
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Making Your Own Homemade Chili-Cinnamon Whiskey
Making your own cinnamon and chili whiskey at home is easier than you might think. Here's what you'll need: a standard 750-milliliter bottle of whiskey, about five to six cinnamon sticks, ¾ of an ounce of simple syrup, and four to five dried red chili peppers. Opt for a lower-shelf whiskey since the infusion will wash out all the subtle finishes. Instead, save the good stuff for sipping straight!
Start by pouring the whiskey into a mason jar, then add the cinnamon sticks and simple syrup and give it a good stir for about a minute. Seal the jar tightly, shake it well, and then place it in a cool, dark spot for five days. Give it a good shake every day during this time. After these five days, you'll have your very own homemade cinnamon whiskey ready to enjoy! At this point, you can take a swig and see how you like it.
If it's not spicy enough for your liking, toss in the dried red chili peppers, seal the jar again, shake it up, and let it sit for an extra two days. Give it another taste afterward. Want more heat? Seal it back up and let it infuse for a day or two more. Once you're happy with the spice level, simply run the whiskey through a strainer to filter out the cinnamon sticks and chili peppers and your homemade chili-cinnamon whiskey is ready to go!
Read the original article on Tasting Table.