Isn't there something about springtime (what with its theme of rebirth), that just makes you want to try something new? You know, decide to finally tackle that hobby or at-home craft project you've been thinking about doing forever but never actually made the time for.
For drink enthusiasts the challenge may simply be deciding which one to start with. Below are ideas for seven different drink-inspired projects to whet your appetite.
DIY Project: Homemade bitters
Difficulty Level: Medium
Consider this an experiment for the card-carrying cocktail geek. As far as process is concerned, making your own bitters at home is deceptively simple. It requires little more than adding a long list of ingredients together and — for lack of a better term — letting them do their thing. The only real caveat is sourcing the more obscure aromatic ingredients like quassia bark and gentian. But hey, that's what the internet is for, right? Plus, the recipe for one base batch should make enough to last the home bartender at least a year.
DIY Project: Liquor infusions
Difficulty Level: Easy
Tired of shying away from or having to adapt recipes that call for ingredients like "bacon-infused bourbon" and "housemade tangerine and serrano vodka"? Good, you should be. Liquor infusions are not something to be intimidated by. Rather they should be seen as an opportunity to express your creativity — play mad scientist behind the bar.
DIY Project: Barrel-aged cocktails
Difficulty Level: Advanced
This burgeoning trend that involves aging pre-made cocktails in used oak barrels may best be saved for the more experienced drink mixer. Introduced stateside by Portland-based cocktail expert and blogger Jeffrey Morgenthaler, it's a project that has been attempted by inspired bartenders across the country — even Grant Achatz has experimented with the concept for his upcoming cocktail bar Aviary in Chicago. Still, if you're interested in the challenge, check out Morgenthaler's blog post documenting his process.