Fruit-Infused Whiskey for a Hint of Sweetness

Published April 28, 2022
Fruit infused whiskey

Whiskey is enjoying time in the spotlight, especially in the past few years, but that doesn't mean you'll always find the whiskey you're looking for on the shelf. This is especially true if you want an easy, fruit-infused whiskey to enjoy on the rocks or to build a beautiful old-fashioned. With just a handful of fruit, you're on your way to creating a world of fruit whiskeys.

Cherry-infused Whiskey

Cherry-Infused Whiskey

Enjoy a cherry whiskey that doesn't taste like someone spilled cough syrup or 2 cups of sugar into it.

Ingredients

  • 1½ to 2 cups pitted and sliced fresh cherries
  • 750mL whiskey
  • Two large, clean bottles or jars
  • Cheesecloth or other fine strainer
  • Funnel

Instructions

  1. Remove pits and stems from fresh cherries, and slice in half.
  2. In a large, clean bottle or jar, add the prepared cherries and whiskey.
  3. Secure the cap, then firmly shake to begin mixing the cherries and whiskey.
  4. Store the cherry whiskey in a cool, dark place for approximately three to four days, giving the mix a firm shake each day.
  5. After the third or fourth day, sample the flavors by pouring the infusion into a glass. If you want more flavor, allow the cherries to infuse longer.
  6. Otherwise, carefully remove cherries and discard them.
  7. Funnel the infused whiskey into the second clean bottle, filtering with the cheesecloth to remove any remaining cherries.
  8. Carefully seal and store in a cool, dry place.

You can use the whiskey immediately. Store any unused whiskey in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark place for approximately one to two years before the flavor fades. Discard when the flavor starts to dwindle or tastes "off."

Banana-infused Whiskey

Banana-Infused Whiskey

You may think "rum" when you think "banana," but banana softens whiskey in all the right ways.

Ingredients

  • Three to four ripe bananas with no brown spots, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 750mL whiskey
  • Two large, clean bottles or jars
  • Cheesecloth or other fine strainer
  • Funnel

Instructions

  1. In a large, clean jar or bottle, add sliced bananas and whiskey and tightly seal.
  2. Give the mix a gentle shake.
  3. Store in a cool, dry place for approximately three to four days, gently shaking the container each day.
  4. After the infusion has steeped, pour a small amount into a glass to sample. If it meets your expectations, funnel and strain ingredients into a second clean jar or bottle. Otherwise, allow the ingredients to steep further.

Fig-infused Whiskey

Fig-Infused Whiskey

Get figgy with it by adding sweet notes of fig. It'll make for an incredible old-fashioned or to enjoy on the rocks.

Ingredients

  • 2½ cups fresh figs, quartered
  • 750mL whiskey
  • Two large, clean bottles or jars
  • Cheesecloth or other fine strainer
  • Funnel

Instructions

  1. In a large, clean jar or bottle, add quartered figs and whiskey and tightly seal.
  2. Give the mix a gentle shake.
  3. Store in a cool, dry place for approximately three to four days, gently shaking the container each day.
  4. After the infusion has steeped, pour a small amount into a glass to sample. If it meets your expectations, funnel and strain ingredients into a second clean jar or bottle. Otherwise, allow the ingredients to steep further.

Strawberry-infused Whiskey

Strawberry-Infused Whiskey

Make your whiskey take on summery notes with fresh strawberries. Add a pinch or two of brown sugar for a slightly sweeter flavor.

Ingredients

  • 1½ to 2 cups hulled and sliced fresh strawberries
  • 750mL whiskey
  • Two large, clean bottles or jars
  • Cheesecloth or other fine strainer
  • Funnel

Instructions

  1. In a large, clean jar or bottle, add sliced strawberries and whiskey and tightly seal.
  2. Give the mix a gentle shake.
  3. Store in a cool, dry place for approximately three to four days, gently shaking the container each day.
  4. After the infusion has steeped, pour a small amount into a glass to sample. If it meets your expectations, funnel and strain ingredients into a second clean jar or bottle. Otherwise, allow the ingredients to steep further.

Apple-infused Whiskey

Apple-Infused Whiskey

Whiskey and apple together taste like a crisp fall afternoon, so give your friends something to talk about as you toast your successful afternoon carving pumpkins, or mix it up year-round.

Ingredients

  • Three to four whole, sliced apples, cored
  • 750mL whiskey
  • Two large, clean bottles or jars
  • Cheesecloth or other fine strainer
  • Funnel

Instructions

  1. In a large, clean jar or bottle, add sliced apples and whiskey and tightly seal.
  2. Give the mix a gentle shake.
  3. Store in a cool, dry place for approximately three to four days, gently shaking the container each day.
  4. After the infusion has steeped, pour a small amount into a glass to sample. If it meets your expectations, funnel and strain ingredients into a second clean jar or bottle. Otherwise, allow the ingredients to steep further.

Pear-infused Whiskey

Pear-Infused Whiskey

If apple flavor doesn't work for you, or you want something a little bit sweeter or off the beaten path, a pear whiskey is the infusion of your dreams.

Ingredients

  • Three to four whole, sliced pears, cored
  • 750mL whiskey
  • Two large, clean bottles or jars
  • Cheesecloth or other fine strainer
  • Funnel

Instructions

  1. In a large, clean jar or bottle, add sliced pears and whiskey and tightly seal.
  2. Give the mix a gentle shake.
  3. Store in a cool, dry place for approximately three to four days, gently shaking the container each day.
  4. After the infusion has steeped, pour a small amount into a glass to sample. If it meets your expectations, funnel and strain ingredients into a second clean jar or bottle. Otherwise, allow the ingredients to steep further.

Apricot-infused Whiskey

Apricot-Infused Whiskey

Apricot has a gentle sweetness that'll temper the burn of any whiskey without stealing away that perfect bite of a whiskey cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups pitted and sliced apricots
  • 750mL whiskey
  • Two large, clean bottles or jars
  • Cheesecloth or other fine strainer
  • Funnel

Instructions

  1. In a large, clean jar or bottle, add prepared apricots and whiskey and tightly seal.
  2. Give the mix a gentle shake.
  3. Store in a cool, dry place for approximately three to four days, gently shaking the container each day.
  4. After the infusion has steeped, pour a small amount into a glass to sample. If it meets your expectations, funnel and strain ingredients into a second clean jar or bottle. Otherwise, allow the ingredients to steep further.

Lemon-infused Whiskey

Lemon-Infused Whiskey

Brighten any whiskey with bitter notes of sour citrus, making it easy to craft summery highballs or just put a little extra sunshine in a glass.

Ingredients

  • Four to five whole, cut lemons
  • 750mL whiskey
  • Two large, clean bottles or jars
  • Cheesecloth or other fine strainer
  • Funnel

Instructions

  1. In a large, clean jar or bottle, add prepared lemons and whiskey and tightly seal.
  2. Give the mix a gentle shake.
  3. Store in a cool, dry place for approximately three to four days, gently shaking the container each day.
  4. After the infusion has steeped, pour a small amount into a glass to sample. If it meets your expectations, funnel and strain ingredients into a second clean jar or bottle. Otherwise, allow the ingredients to steep further.

Orange-infused Whiskey

Orange-Infused Whiskey

Orange and whiskey are a match made in whiskey cocktail heaven. The best example? Try this infusion out in an old-fashioned to amp up those orange flavors from subtle to spotlight.

Ingredients

  • Two to three whole, cut oranges
  • 750mL whiskey
  • Two large, clean bottles or jars
  • Cheesecloth or other fine strainer
  • Funnel

Instructions

  1. In a large, clean jar or bottle, add prepared oranges and whiskey and tightly seal.
  2. Give the mix a gentle shake.
  3. Store in a cool, dry place for approximately three to four days, gently shaking the container each day.
  4. After the infusion has steeped, pour a small amount into a glass to sample. If it meets your expectations, funnel and strain ingredients into a second clean jar or bottle. Otherwise, allow the ingredients to steep further.

Peach-infused Whiskey

Peach-Infused Whiskey

Look no further than a bushel of peaches if you want your fruit-infused whiskey to have sweeter notes. Its natural sweetness will make any bourbon flavorful and turn any rye from spicy to a well-balanced drink on ice.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups pitted and sliced peaches
  • 750mL whiskey
  • Two large, clean bottles or jars
  • Cheesecloth or other fine strainer
  • Funnel

Instructions

  1. In a large, clean jar or bottle, add cut peaches and whiskey and tightly seal.
  2. Give the mix a gentle shake.
  3. Store in a cool, dry place for approximately three to four days, gently shaking the container each day.
  4. After the infusion has steeped, pour a small amount into a glass to sample. If it meets your expectations, funnel and strain ingredients into a second clean jar or bottle. Otherwise, allow the ingredients to steep further.

Pineapple-infused Whiskey

Pineapple-Infused Whiskey

Whiskey can handle the tropical notes of pineapple, and it'll let bourbon drinkers channel their tropical cocktail aspirations without betraying their best bourbon.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups peeled and cubed pineapple
  • 750mL whiskey
  • Two large, clean bottles or jars
  • Cheesecloth or other fine strainer
  • Funnel

Instructions

  1. In a large, clean jar or bottle, add cubed pineapple and whiskey and tightly seal.
  2. Give the mix a gentle shake.
  3. Store in a cool, dry place for approximately three to four days, gently shaking the container each day.
  4. After the infusion has steeped, pour a small amount into a glass to sample. If it meets your expectations, funnel and strain ingredients into a second clean jar or bottle. Otherwise, allow the ingredients to steep further.

Blackberry-infused Whiskey

Blackberry-Infused Whiskey

Skip all the cloying flavors you find in flavored manufactured whiskey by making your own blackberry infusion.

Ingredients

  • 1½ to 2 cups sliced blackberries
  • 750mL whiskey
  • Two large, clean bottles or jars
  • Cheesecloth or other fine strainer
  • Funnel

Instructions

  1. In a large, clean jar or bottle, add prepared blackberries and whiskey and tightly seal.
  2. Give the mix a gentle shake.
  3. Store in a cool, dry place for approximately three to four days, gently shaking the container each day.
  4. After the infusion has steeped, pour a small amount into a glass to sample. If it meets your expectations, funnel and strain ingredients into a second clean jar or bottle. Otherwise, allow the ingredients to steep further.

Variations of Fruit-infused Whiskey

Whiskey has a strong base that can carry a number of flavors. Better yet, whiskey's palette makes it an excellent liquor for layering several infusion flavors together.

  • Offset the sweeter fruit notes with earthy nut flavors. Include a half to a full cup of coarsely chopped almonds, pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, or macadamia nuts.
  • If you do want yours to be a bit on the sweeter side, go ahead and include a half cup of honey or maple syrup. You can also drop in 10 to 12 unwrapped caramel candies.
  • For an herbaceous flair, toss in a few fresh herbs. A few ideas are three to four fresh sprigs of rosemary or thyme.
  • A spiced whiskey won't miss the mark. Infuse your fruit with three to five whole cinnamon sticks, a tablespoon and a half of whole cloves or star anise, and a whole vanilla bean pod cut down the middle, or a tablespoon and a half of peeled and sliced fresh ginger.
  • Give your fruit whiskey a gentle citrus touch with the fruit by adding two to three whole lemons or a whole sliced orange.
  • Coffee adds complexity to fruit flavors. You can add up to a half cup of coarsely chopped coffee beans or a quarter to a third cup of coarsely chopped dark chocolate.

Fruit-infused Whiskey Flavor Pairings

Consider combining a few unusual fruit flavors together, or opt for classic tried-and-tested pairings.

  • Cherry + almond
  • Fig + pecan
  • Apple + fig
  • Banana + vanilla
  • Fig + almond
  • Apple + orange
  • Apricot + rosemary
  • Lemon + almond
  • Fig + vanilla
  • Apple + cinnamon
  • Pear + almond
  • Orange + ginger
  • Peach + pistachio
  • Pear + cherry
  • Apricot + ginger
  • Pineapple + star anise
  • Blackberry + almond
  • Cherry + hazelnut
  • Peach + cinnamon
  • Pineapple + pomegranate
  • Apricot + cherry
  • Blackberry + peach
  • Banana + cloves
  • Orange + vanilla
  • Cherry + vanilla
  • Banana + walnut
  • Peach + vanilla
  • Lemon + raspberry
  • Orange + walnut
  • Pear + rosemary
  • Blackberry + cinnamon

Fruit-infused Whiskey Cocktails

Once your fruit whiskey infusion is ready, you can dive right in and experiment with those flavors in a whiskey cocktail.

Strawberry Whiskey Sour

Strawberry Whiskey Sour

Liven up your traditional whiskey sour with some lighter fruit flavors. If strawberry doesn't cut it for you, consider blackberry or apple.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Chill a coupe or Nick and Nora glass.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add strawberry whiskey, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white.
  3. Dry shake for approximately 45 seconds to mix ingredients and create a froth.
  4. Add ice to shaker.
  5. Shake to chill.
  6. Strain into chilled glass.
  7. Garnish with a berry and a few drops of bitters, dragging a cocktail pick through to create a design.

Cinnamon Apple Summer Tea

Cinnamon Apple Summer Tea

With some iced tea or even sweet tea, a little apple whiskey takes it from an afternoon refresher to a delicious cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces apple-infused whiskey
  • ¾ ounce cinnamon liqueur
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 4 ounces iced tea
  • Ice
  • Lemon slice for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, apple whiskey, cinnamon liqueur, lemon juice, simple syrup, and iced tea.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into highball glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with lemon slice.

Peach Old-fashioned

Peach Old-Fashioned

Appeal to the traditionalists with an old-fashioned but nudge them just a bit out of their comfort zone using peach whiskey. Alternatively, this goes great in a Manhattan.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces peach-infused whiskey
  • ¾ ounce simple syrup
  • 3 to 4 dashes peach bitters
  • 4 to 5 dashes aromatic bitters
  • King cube
  • Two orange peels for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a mixing glass, add ice, peach whiskey, simple syrup, peach bitters, and aromatic bitters.
  2. Stir rapidly to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over king cube.
  4. Express one orange peel over the drink by twisting the peel between your fingers, then run outside of peel along rim.
  5. Garnish with second orange peel.

Whiskey Fruit Smash

Whiskey Fruit Smash

Typically, a whiskey smash puts citrus flavors such as lemon at the front. This spin puts cherry flavors at the front, with that hint of familiar lemon.

Ingredients

  • Two to three lemon wedges
  • Three to five pitted cherries
  • 2 ounces cherry-infused whiskey
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • Two to three fresh mint leaves
  • Ice
  • Mint sprig for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle lemon wedges and cherries.
  2. Add ice, whiskey, simple syrup, and mint leaves.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Pour -- do not strain -- into rocks glass.
  5. Garnish with mint sprig.

Mixers for Fruit-flavored Whiskey Drinks

If you want to leave your jigger on the shelf or don't feel like stirring up a cocktail, simply add a mixer or two, and your drink is ready.

  • Ginger ale
  • Tonic water
  • Plain club soda
  • Flavored club soda, such as vanilla, orange, coconut, or berry
  • Simple syrup
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • Bitters
  • Vermouth
  • Orange liqueur
  • Almond liqueur
  • Coffee liqueur
  • Cherry juice
  • Apple cider
  • Peach nectar
  • Pear nectar
  • Pomegranate juice
  • Lemon juice
  • Coffee

A Noteworthy Fruit-infused Whiskey

With so many manufactured whiskey flavors skewing toward overly sweet and almost cloying notes, it's refreshing and freeing to make your own fruit-infused whiskey. Good news for you; there is a vast world of fruits just begging to be mixed with whiskey. Skip the premade fruit flavors you find on the shelves and infuse a bottle of whiskey with ease.

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Fruit-Infused Whiskey for a Hint of Sweetness