Homemade Cocktail Infusion Kits

Gift your favorite drink lover a DIY Cocktail Infusion Kit. These jars are designed to infuse your choice of alcohol with whole spices, dried fruit, herbs and sweeteners. Then, use the resulting infused alcohol to make creative cocktails with delicious layers of flavor. Here are complete instructions for 12 flavors, along with a label template you can print out and add to your jars.

Three jars filled with dried herbs and spices.

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Homemade Cocktail Infusion Kit tutorial

Looking for the perfect cocktail-themed gift to share with your favorite cocktail lover? These infused cocktail kits are just the thing for your favorite mixologist to add to their bar cart!

Each of these jars is filled with a mixture of whole spices, natural fruits, herbs and sweeteners. Then you fill the glass jar with your favorite spirit and let it infuse for a few days. Strain out the solids and use the infused alcohol left behind to craft your favorite drinks.

Making your own signature kit to share with friends and family is so easy to do. These jars are essentially ready-to-go infusion packets so that they can just add booze. 

And if you have a non-drinker on your list, they can use these jars too. Pour hot water over top or boil the ingredients with hot water, and then use the tea-like infusion as a zero-proof spirit.

Infused alcohol recipes: Marshmallow VodkaCinnamon WhiskeyHatch Chile Vodka

A group of jars filled with spices and herbs.

Why you’ll love this DIY

These cocktail kits are such a fun DIY to make!  

  • Infused cocktail kits are easy and inexpensive to put together.
  • They work for so many occasions! Gift them during the holidays, for birthdays, as a hostess gift or as a housewarming present. They’d also be great party favors! 
  • You can make different flavors for different tastes and preferences. (Plus, they’re vegan and dairy-free! And they can be gluten-free if you use grain-free alcohol like rum or potato vodka.)
  • Infusions are a great way to step up your cocktail game and add new flavor to your favorite drinks at happy hour.
Infused cocktail kit in apple pie flavor.

What is an infused cocktail kit?

Infused cocktail kits are used to make infused alcohol that can be mixed into cocktails. Empty jars are filled with pre-measured ingredients like whole spices, dried fruit, herbs and sweeteners.

When these ingredients meet a hard liquor, like vodka, bourbon or tequila, and are left alone for a few days, magic ensues. The alcohol begins to take on the flavor of the additions.

Once the alcohol has reached the desired flavor, the solids are then strained out, leaving behind a flavored version of the original spirit. The full-bodied flavors of this infusion add complexity and depth to yield the perfect cocktail.

Tools & equipment

To make the infused alcohol, you will first and foremost need clean vessels. I used mason jars for mine because they have a wide opening that is easy to drop in bigger items like sliced citrus. 

However, you could also use glass bottles but it is harder to get the infused items out later.

If you want to prepare your own ingredients, such as drying your own herbs or dehydrating citrus, you may need other equipment. Otherwise, you’ll just need to stock up on ingredients and alcohol if you’re making them for yourself.

A jar infused with bourbon.

Best alcohols for cocktail infusion kits

You can use any hard spirit to infuse alcohol. For a 16-ounce jar, you’ll need about 12 to 16 ounces of alcohol, depending on the size and volume of infusion ingredients added. 

Here are the best ones to use in these delicious cocktail infusion kits, but I implore you to use the spirit of your choice.

  • Vodka: Vodka is the perfect canvas for many infused alcohols. If you don’t know where to start, start with vodka.
  • Gin: Gin has a lot of flavor to begin with, but it can be fun to use it to layer flavors with its usual base of juniper and botanicals.
  • Whiskey: For a deep, complex flavor, you can add any kind of whiskey. Try it with bourbon, rye or Irish whiskey.
  • Rum: Silver rum is an incredible, sweet blank slate for infused cocktails. A good example of a rum infusion is spiced rum or coconut rum.
  • Tequila: For the tequila lover, an infused version will make excellent, flavorful margaritas. Make it fruity or even spicy.
  • Brandy: Brandy makes a sweet base for infusions. This plum brandy is made by steeping brandy with prunes.
  • Wine: You can also infuse wine with the ingredients to make sangria or mulled wine.
  • Hot water: Okay, it’s not a spirit, but you can also use these ingredients with hot liquid. The heat makes the infusion happen fast, so you can use them as soon as the liquid cools down to mix them into mocktails. Feel free to use tea or juices, too.

Then, use these infused alcohols to dress up your favorite cocktails. (Ideas below!)

If you need these to be gluten-free, be sure to use a grain-free alcohol. Vodka can be made with potatoes (like Tito’s), corn or grapes. Rum and tequila are also made with other plants (sugar cane and agave, respectively) so you can feel good about infusing those too.

Most whiskeys are made with wheat, barley and rye, but are safe to drink thanks to the distillation process; however, be careful of additives, suggests Beyond Celiac.

Jars of dried herbs and spices stacked on top of each other.

Ingredients for homemade infused cocktail kits

Infused cocktail kits can be made with natural ingredients that are dried. If you want to dream up your own flavors, go for it! Here are a few ideas for flavor combinations:

Dehydrated fruits

Fruit adds sweetness and sourness to infused alcohols. While you can use fresh fruit and berries to infuse cocktails, it wouldn’t hold up as a gift. 

However, you (or your experienced mixologist) can definitely add fresh ingredients if you plan to add the alcohol the same day. 

  • dried apple slices
  • dehydrated citrus slices (orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit)
  • dehydrated orange zest 
  • candied citrus (orange, lemon, lime)
  • raisins
  • dried apricots
  • dried cherries
  • freeze-dried berries*
  • dried figs
  • dried cranberries 

If freeze-dried fruit meets moisture or humidity, it can get soggy and cause mold and food safety issues. Bake them at a low heat like you would dehydrated citrus.

Whole spices

Stock up on whole spices for these kits. Head to a spice shop like Savory Spice to buy whole spices in bulk. They will add subtle hints of spice to the infusion. 

  • cinnamon sticks
  • vanilla beans
  • dried or candied ginger root
  • star anise
  • cloves
  • black peppercorn
  • cardamom pods
  • nutmeg
  • coffee beans
A set of jars filled with spices and herbs.

Dried herbs

You can use fresh herbs and dehydrate them in the oven, air fryer or a dehydrator. These look a bit nicer in the jars than the crumbled, leafy kind you get from jars, but those can work too.

  • basil
  • mint
  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • sage
  • bay leaf
  • cilantro

Sweeteners

Spirits like rum and whiskey are sweet enough and don’t necessarily need more sweetener. That said, sugar can help to brighten the other flavors and make the spirits more appealing to some people’s taste buds. You can always put the sugar in a separate bag and the gift recipient can add it if they like.

Dried flowers

Flowers can bring a light fragrance to your infusions. Check out my flower ice cubes recipe for more about edible flowers you can use in cocktails.

  • lavender
  • rose petals
  • hibiscus flowers
  • elderflowers

Nuts

To add a nutty flavor to your spirits (think amaretto, which is almond liqueur), you can add a handful of chopped or whole tree nuts to the jars.

  • pecans
  • walnuts
  • almonds
A captivating collage of Cocktail Infusion Kit jars filled with nuts and seeds.

Cocktail infusion kit flavors

For the photos you see here, I created 12 flavor combinations to share with my own friends and family. If you want to make these flavors, you can add the labels I created to your jars.

Here’s what I put in them, how I recommend infusing them and some cocktail recipes to try with the finished results. But the fun of this is in creativity, so feel free to use the above list to improvise or invent your own creations. 

Below are suggested combinations. For full recipes, scroll down to the printable recipe card.

1. Five spice

Includes: Cinnamon, clove, ginger, peppercorns, anise, sugar cubes
Would be great with: rum, whiskey
Use it in: anything that calls for spiced rum, like hot buttered rum or rum punch, or to make an old-fashioned

2. Mulling spices

Includes: dehydrated citrus slices, cloves, dehydrated cranberries, cinnamon, star anise, sugar cubes
Would be great with: red wine, whiskey, rum
Use it in: homemade mulled wine or mulled apple cider (non-alcoholic) — both perfect for the holiday season

3. Hibiscus lemon ginger

Includes: hibiscus flowers, dehydrated lemon slices, candied ginger, sugar cubes
Would be great with: vodka, tequila
Use it in: lemonade, a vodka soda or a hibiscus margarita

4. Citrus & herb

Includes: dehydrated orange slices, dehydrated lemon slices, dehydrated lime slices, dehydrated rosemary sprigs
Would be great with: vodka, tequila, gin
Use it in: Shake it up into margaritas or in a gin & tonic

5. S’mores

Includes: mini marshmallows, cacao nibs, cinnamon stick, graham cracker crumbs (note: regular graham crackers are not gluten-free)
Would be great with: vodka, whiskey
Use it in: a s’mores martini, s’mores old-fashioned or mix it into hot chocolate

6. Hot toddy

Includes: cinnamon sticks, cloves, candied ginger, dehydrated orange slices, dehydrated lemon slices, dried apples, sugar cubes
Would be great with: whiskey, brandy, rum
Use it in: a warm hot toddy or an old-fashioned

Jars filled with dried fruits and nuts.

7. Lavender lemon

Includes: dehydrated lemon slices, dried lavender flowers, sugar cubes
Would be great with: vodka, tequila
Use it in: classic champagne cocktails, a French 75 or a vodka lemonade

8. Old-fashioned

Includes: dried orange slices or dried orange zest, dried cherries, cloves, cinnamon stick, sugar cubes
Would be great with: whiskey, rum, tequila, mezcal
Use it in: an old-fashioned, of course, or even a tequila old-fashioned or mezcal old-fashioned

9. Vanilla berry

Includes: dried cherries, dried blueberries, dried strawberries, vanilla pod
Would be great with: vodka, rum, tequila
Use it in: a strawberry martini or blueberry mule

10. Rosemary fig

Includes: dried figs, dried rosemary, dehydrated orange slices, cinnamon stick
Would be great with: whiskey, vodka
Use it in: a fig old-fashioned

11. Cardamom rose

Includes: dried rose petals, cardamom pods, dehydrated lime slices
Would be great with: vodka, tequila, gin
Use it in: a rose gimlet or rose champagne cocktail

12. Apple pie

Includes: dehydrated apples, dehydrated lemon slices, whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, star anise
Would be great with: whiskey, vodka
Use it in: hot toddies, old-fashioneds or Moscow mules

Other flavors

You could also have fun with your own combinations. A few more ideas for you!

  • Espresso martini: coffee beans + vanilla pods + sugar + vodka 
  • Bloody Mary: dried herbs + bay leaf + dried garlic chips + dried peppers + celery seed + lemon slices + pinch of salt + peppercorns 
  • Spicy tequila: dried peppers + tequila

You can always add flavor to your drinks in other ways, such as by mixing with juices, adding soda or dropping in Angostura bitters.

A set of jars filled with different kinds of spices.

How to make DIY cocktail infusion kits

Making the kits is super simple! They really are an elegant way to make a gift people will love, but it won’t cost you too much time or effort. 

  1. First, make sure your jars are empty, clean and completely dry. You don’t want any moisture in these.
  2. Then drop in all of the ingredients. Start with the smallest ingredients or those that have the largest amount so that they layer nicely on the bottom, then add the bigger pieces on top like dehydrated citrus or cinnamon sticks. (This is more for looks than anything, so feel free to just toss everything in if that’s your speed.)
  3. Add an instruction sheet (included with labels below).
  4. Seal the jars tightly. You can also switch out the regular mason jar lid for one of these reusable shaker lids that turns any jar into a cocktail shaker.
  5. Label them with one of the labels below.
  6. Use immediately or give away to a cocktail lover!
Stainless Steel Mason Jar Shaker Lids
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A set of kraft paper labels with the words yenny & yenny on them.

Cocktail infusion kit jar labels

If you love my labels, you can get your own! I designed a label printable just for you. I’ve included labels for all 12 flavors you see here on their own sheets, two pages of one-off labels, plus blank labels for you to write in your custom creations. There is also a page with a simple instruction guide to cut out and add to each jar.

To use the template: You’ll need to pick up label stickers. They come in kraft paper like mine (Avery 22808) or plain white (Avery 22830). Then you can print them on your home printer.

I’ve included all 12 labels you see here on their own sheets, plus blank labels for you to write in your custom creations. There is also a page with a simple instruction guide to cut out and add to each jar.

Avery 2.5" Round Labels -- Make Homemade Jar Labels, Gift Tags and Thank You Tags, 225 Kraft Brown Labels (22808)
$9.55
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A person pouring whiskey into a glass jar.
A jar of tea with a slice of lemon in it.

Infusion instructions

Got your hands on one of these must-have cocktail infusion kits? Whether it’s homemade or purchased from the small businesses that make them, the infusion process is much the same. Let’s get to mixing!

  1. Open the infusion bottle or jar.
  2. Fill it to the top with your choice of spirit, such as vodka or whiskey. You will need about 1 ½ to 2 cups for a 16 ounce jar — it varies based on the volume of infusion agents added, but in general that is about half of a standard bottle of spirits. 
  3. Seal the lid. Store in a dark, cool, dry place for about a week.
  4. Every day, open the jar and give it a smell. When you can smell the ingredients well in addition to the strong fragrance of alcohol, it’s probably ready. Give it a small taste. Infuse for up to a month.
  5. Then, prepare a bowl with a fine-mesh strainer on top. A colander or cheesecloth works too. Pour the contents of the jar into the strainer.
  6. Clean out the jar if there are any solids remaining. Pour the infused alcohol back into the jar.
  7. Store in a cool, dry place and use within one year.

When the jars are used up, clean them out and start over! Or reuse them to make some of these infused olive oil recipes.

A mason jar filled with tea and lemons.

Tips & tricks

Here are some tips and tricks for making your own infused cocktail kits:

  • Make sure your jars are empty, clean and completely dry. You don’t want any moisture in these.
  • Give them a taste-test with a straw every day to make sure you don’t over- or under-infuse it. 
  • The kits should be used within a month to ensure the freshness of the ingredients. Once alcohol is added, the kits can last up to a year. Alcohol is a preservative.
  • Use fresh spices for the strongest flavor. Spices can go bad, so always check the expiration date. 
  • If you have extra ingredients, you can make your friends a refill pack to make another batch in their mason jar once they finish the first.
A set of jars with different ingredients in them.

FAQ

What alcohol is best for infusion?

A hard liquor such as vodka, gin, rum, tequila, mezcal, whiskey or brandy can be used to infuse alcohol. Vodka serves as a nice blank slate for letting the infusion flavors shine; however, the others can be used for interesting flavor combinations.

How do you use a cocktail infusion kit?

Cocktail infusion kits are easy to use. Place the dried ingredients into a jar, if they are not already in one. Then pour your alcohol of choice over the ingredients. Cover with a lid and let the infusion take place over the next few days up to a month. Shake gently. Use a straw to taste-test each day until it has reached your desired flavor. Place a strainer over a bowl and pour the alcohol into the strainer. (A cheesecloth can also be used to filter out finer ingredients.) Discard the solids and clean the jar. Then pour the alcohol back into the jar and enjoy within one year.

More cocktail gifts

— Did you make this? —

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Mason jars filled with spices and herbs.

Infused Cocktail Kits

Yield: 16 ounces
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 7 days 5 minutes
Make your own Infused Cocktail Kits to give to family and friends. They can fill them up with their spirit of choice and create delicious infused alcohols to sip and mix into drinks. Make
5 from 2 votes
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ingredients

Infused Alcohol

  • 1 infused cocktail kit in a 16-ounce jar
  • 1 ¾ cup alcohol such as vodka, rum, whiskey, brandy, tequila or gin

Old-Fashioned Cocktail

  • 10 dried cherries
  • 3 dehydrated orange slices
  • 3 cloves
  • 3 sugar cubes optional
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

Lavender Lemon

  • 4 dehydrated lemon slices
  • 1 tablespoon dried lavender
  • 3 sugar cubes optional

Hot Toddy

  • 8 dehydrated apple slices or 1 tablespoon diced dehydrated apple chips
  • 5 dehydrated orange slices
  • 3 pieces candied ginger root
  • 3 sugar cubes optional
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 dehydrated lemon slices
  • 1 cinnamon sticks

S’mores

  • 1 graham cracker crushed
  • 1 tablespoon cacao nibs
  • ½ cup mini marshmallows

Vanilla Berry

  • 10 dried cherries
  • 10 dried strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon dried blueberries
  • 1 vanilla bean

Citrus & Herb

  • 4 dehydrated orange slices
  • 4 dehydrated lemon slices
  • 4 dehydrated lime slices
  • 2 sprigs dried rosemary

Mulling Spices

  • 6 dehydrated orange slices
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 3 sugar cubes optional
  • 2 dehydrated lemon slices
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 star anise

Five Spice

  • 6 pieces candied ginger root
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 3 black peppercorns
  • 3 sugar cubes optional
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 star anise

Hibiscus Lemon Ginger

  • 10 dried hibiscus flowers
  • 5 pieces candied ginger root
  • 3 dehydrated lemon slices
  • 3 sugar cubes optional

Apple Pie

  • 15 dried apple slices or 3 tablespoons diced dehydrated apple chips
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 3 sugar cubes optional
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 dehydrated lemon slice

Cardamom Rose

  • 12 cardamom pods
  • 2 tablespoons dried rose petals
  • 2 dehydrated lime slices

Rosemary Fig

  • 12 dried figs
  • 2 dehydrated orange slices
  • 1 dried rosemary sprig
  • 1 cinnamon stick

instructions

  • First, prepare the jars. Add the ingredients to a jar. Seal with a lid until ready to use. Use within 1 month of preparing.
  • Before infusing, make sure your jars are empty, clean and completely dry.
  • Fill the jar to the top with the alcohol of your choice. You may need 1 ½ cups or a full 2 cups depending on the amount of ingredients are in the jar.
  • Seal the lid. Shake gently. Store in a dark, cool, dry place for about a week.
  • Every day, open the jar and give it a smell. When you can smell the ingredients well in addition to the strong fragrance of alcohol, it’s probably ready. Give it a small taste. Infuse for up to a month.
  • When it is ready, prepare a bowl with a fine-mesh strainer, colander or cheesecloth over top. Pour the contents of the jar into the strainer. Discard the solids.
  • Clean out the jar if there are any solids remaining. Pour the infused alcohol back into the jar.
  • Store in a cool, dry place and use within one year.

notes

Nutrition will vary depending on ingredients and type of alcohol used. 
The kits should be used within a month to ensure the freshness of the ingredients. Once alcohol is added, the kits can last up to a year. Alcohol is a preservative.

Tips & tricks

  • Make sure your jars are empty, clean and completely dry. You don’t want any moisture in these.
  • Give them a taste-test with a straw every day to make sure you don’t over- or under-infuse it. 
  • Use fresh spices for the strongest flavor. Spices can go bad, so always check the expiration date. 
  • If you have extra ingredients, you can make your friends a refill pack to make another batch in their mason jar once they finish the first.

recommended products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

nutrition information

Yield: 16 ounces

amount per serving:

Serving: 1ounce Calories: 91kcal Carbohydrates: 8g Protein: 0.4g Fat: 0.2g Saturated Fat: 0.02g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.04g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.04g Sodium: 1mg Potassium: 63mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 5g Vitamin A: 4IU Vitamin C: 0.4mg Calcium: 21mg Iron: 0.4mg
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Comments

  1. Amy Fassler says

    I am making the fig/rosemary kit and am wondering about drying the rosemary; it turns brown and falls off the stem. The pictures look like fresh rosemary is used. Do you need to add this at the last minute or will the rosemary last in a sealed jar?

    • Susannah says

      Hey Amy! Good question. I dried the rosemary in the microwave using these instructions. Even though it stayed green, it was actually quite crisp and felt fully dry and did lose some leaves. After a few days it did lose more color, but not before I snapped photos!

      However, it is totally fine that it turns brown and falls off the stem — it will still taste great in the infusion even though it’s not quite as pretty. Fresh could also be used.

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