With Covid-19 keeping many of us at home indefinitely, we’re finding all kinds of new projects to provide creative outlets. While some people are busy deep cleaning their bathrooms and perfecting their sourdough starters, we’ve opted to dial in our home drinking game — and maybe you’d like to join us? From whipping up batches of vermouth and bitters, to making quick infusions and syrups, to becoming a home brewing hobbyist, there are plenty of ways to put your at-home time to good use.

That’s the topic on this week’s VinePair podcast, where Adam, Erica, and Zach discuss their own experiences with DIY beverage projects and offer some suggestions on what to make, and how to turn those projects into great drinks.

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Adam: Still from my Brooklyn, NY Apartment, I’m Adam Teeter.

Erica: From Jersey City, I’m Erica Duecy.

Zach: And in my house in Seattle, Washington I’m Zach Geballe.

A: And this is the VinePair podcast and guys, I’m excited about our topic today. Which is getting into alcohol projects you can do at home. I know I’ve been taking on a ton of projects myself, not just obviously alcohol- related. I’ve been baking some bread. I’ve been….well, baking a lot. But also doing some projects around the house but, before we jump in to all of that. What have you guys been drinking? What’s been getting you through for the last week? Anything exciting? Erica?

E: Yeah, I have been tasting through a ton of rosés for the big list that we put out every year – our top 25 rosés. And I’ve been excited by some of the really affordable selections that I’ve found. You know, usually when I’m thinking about rosé, I’m thinking [about] the south of France, but actually there were some sneaker hits out of Italy for me. So, I found the Planeta rosé from Sicily, that’s a $16 bottle. And it’s on the bolder side of the rosé flavor spectrum; it’s got strawberry, guava, crushed peach notes; I was totally surprised. And this would be the type of wine that I would pair with like barbecue chicken, tacos, even pizza, it’s got that kind of bolder flavor profile which is gonna be so wonderful with all of the summertime back-yard barbecue foods.

A: Yeah man, Italian rosés.

Z: That’s awesome!

A: That was a big thing last year, in our list last year; I think Planeta made the list, and the number one was Graci. Both from Sicily, ‘cause I think, yeah those wines are surprisingly amazing. Even though you normally think of France, right? Which is nuts!

E: Totally!

Z: And it makes sense in a way ‘cause you’re dealing with a similar climate, right? You’re Mediterranean, obviously if you’re in Sicily you’re IN the middle of the Mediterranean, but we think of all the great French rosé that, in particular that come from Provence and [have a] very Mediterranean sort of influence, so I think it’s definitely the case that you can find some great rosés from […] other wine regions that border the Mediterranean. Because they’re going to have, I think generally speaking, a culture of rosé drinking that goes back, ‘cause those kinds of wines are, sometimes the red grape… or what you wanna do with red grapes in those kind of places is turn ‘em into rosé.

A: Totally. So Zach, what about you, what are you drinking man?

Z: Well as you might have noticed on Instagram yesterday, as we’re recording this on Friday, I took the opportunity, and I have been taking the opportunity, to go in and pull some bottles out of my collection that I wasn’t saving for the most special of occasions, but might have been a little loathe to open under the general mentality of, “Fuck it, I might as well!”. And as Erica might recall I wrote a piece for the site, which now feels like it ran about a million years ago, but it was I think actually just last month, on the joys of aged Italian white wines. So last night I was looking…

A: Yeah, you’ve also talked about this on the podcast multiple times. This is your thing.

Z: I have, It’s true. It’s one of my things, but for good reason! I had the opportunity…

E: I love old Italian white wines.

Z: Yeah, and I had the opportunity to have a ten-year-old bottle of Arneis, which is one of my favorite varieties, and it’s not the kind of thing that I would necessarily have every single night, but I made risotto and roasted a chicken and it’s a wine that both my wife and I love. And you know, it… I mean look, there’s a lot of horrible news and everything going on in the world and we’re gonna try to kind of sort of steer away from that in this podcast, but for me, it’s like every now and then it’s important to really center my own, or our own joy and pleasure when we can, and wines like that are opportunities to do that. So I was really glad that I was like, “OK it’s the last bottle of this I have, it’s a kind of special wine but we’re gonna open it, we’re gonna enjoy it and then I guess we’re gonna talk about it on the podcast the next day as it turns out,” so that is what I have been drinking. Adam, how about you?

A: So you know I’m going through the eight stages of… I don’t know, mourning, drinking, etc. So I have been drinking a lot of rosé for the tasting, but I won’t talk about any of those here ‘cause I think Erica already hit on that. But you know like last week when we were first like “this is happening,” I drank a lot of brown spirits. So, I found a few bourbons that I really enjoyed. I was drinking a Jefferson’s bottling that was really delicious, I was drinking some Lagavulin, so you know Scotch that I really liked. Somebody gifted me a bottle of Whistle Pig, so I enjoyed a little bit of that last week. And also like dirty Martinis for my wife — I don’t take them dirty, but I was drinking just a classic gin Martini, a little dry with a lemon twist. So I was really drinking liquor last week, and then this week I definitely transitioned back to like beer and wine. So I had a few pretty delicious IPAs that I enjoyed earlier in the week. I’m also trying to go back to my normal schedule of not drinking three to four nights a week. So I guess… so if I didn’t drink Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, so Wednesday night I had a really nice New England style IPA from Monday Night Brewing that was pretty cool, and then last night I did enjoy one of the rosé from the round up that I was like, “wow, this is just amazing.” We featured it a bunch before, Kathleen Inman’s wine, so Endless Crush is just a beautiful wine.

Z: Oh yeah!

E: Yeah, that’s great.

A: And so it was submitted again for the tasting this year, and then I was like, “well I’m not gonna dump this,” so I drank it. I have to say, Erica, I’ve been impressed for the past few years actually that there’s some really stellar rosés coming out of other countries. A lot out of California or just the West Coast in general and you know, a lot of bad ones coming out of Provence. A lot of ones that are really trading on that regional name that are getting away with like a true lack of balance or just like really harsh, off flavors, fruit that doesn’t taste super high quality. But [which] are still being [sold] for over $20 bucks because they put Provence on the label. So I thought that was interesting. There was another one that I really liked a lot that surprised me called Seaglass, that was like I think it’s like $10.99. And I remember… so I’ve been tasting with my wife Naomi which has been fun. ‘Cause you know, she loves wine but never gets to come to our office tastings when we have people in, and she turned to me and was like, “What is this wine? This is really good!” And it had come after a string of not a lot of very good wines… and I was like, “Yeah! This is really good.” And so then like we looked at it and we were like holy shit! And then we looked at the price and we were blown away. So yeah, I think it’s been fun, and then I don’t know this weekend… Tonight is pizza night, so I’m gonna make some delicious pizza and pop something good, who knows? And then maybe get back on my spirits wagon, I don’t know.

E: Yeah, I mean I’ve been going the same way too. I think I’m sort of alternating at this point. So I’ll do wine one night or a cider, and then I’ll switch over and have a cocktail but yeah, I think the things we’re gonna talk about today with the cocktail projects that’s actually gotten me pretty excited to start back into my cocktail experimentation land, I definitely went through a phase of that a couple of years ago, but I’m right back on the train now.

A: I know you’re a wine lover but when I was first introduced to you it was through the fact that you have written this cocktail book and really have this expertise in cocktails. Like the things you tell me you’re trying to do at home, like recreate a classic Martini from… I would never do. Like, I can make a really good Negroni, I can make a really good straight-up Martini, but if you ask me to recreate some of my favorite cocktails from some of my favorite cocktail bars in New York I’d be like, “nah, I’m just gonna wait ‘til they re-open.”

E: ‘Nah, I’m good!’ Yeah, I mean I definitely went through a phase like years ago where I was just making bitters all the time, making bitters from like Buddha’s hand and like all sorts of crazy citruses and so forth so I mean that’s… I think that’s one of the nice things right now, is that if we have a little bit extra time where we’re looking for something creative to do, hey start on those holiday gift projects now, you’ve got nothing else to do, [so] you might as well get creative.

A: I mean yeah, so I guess jumping straight into the topic: Zach, what sort of projects do you have in mind that people could be doing now? Or what are you working on, or wish you were working on?

Z: Well I would say that I’ll let Erica talk about things like bitters because that’s something that I don’t have a lot of experience with personally. But what I would say, and I think this is the operative thing here is, for the most part I think most of us in our daily lives, we don’t have time, and really it’s not even just that we don’t have time because a lot of these things don’t take a lot of active time. It’s just we don’t really want to commit to a couple of week-long projects, even if most of that time is spent sitting in a closet or something. And what I have started doing at home, because I anticipate having some time to commit to this, is working on some infusions. That’s something that I started doing as a bartender years ago. Basically, it’s a simple way to add flavor to a spirit. I’m mostly working with clear spirits at the moment because, while you can certainly do cool things with brown spirits, I find that if I kinda just wanna get like a simple flavor, like a fruit flavor, like I’ve got some blueberry gin going on right now, the idea there’s is basically to extract the flavor from the blueberry into the gin, and I imagine that in a couple of weeks, which is about how long these things tend to take, that the weather in Seattle may have turned to the point where sitting outside and having a drink made with blueberry gin is gonna sound really, really delightful as opposed to [how] it sounds now, which is pretty miserable ‘cause it’s pouring rain. [That’s] kinda what I’m aiming at. And then one thing that I’ve mentioned on the podcast before that I’ve done, and I think is another thing to think about doing especially for people who are home more, maybe opening wine more often but aren’t necessarily drinking a lot is vermouth. Which is a little tricky to make in that you kind of have to find the right balance in ingredients and sweetness but I’ve had some success with making vermouth and I find it actually to be more useful as something to kind of sip, a way to kind of preserve that wine – if you’re not interesting in cooking with it – or making vinegar which you can also do. I like to make vermouth and then it’s just something that I’ll pour over ice, maybe add a little bit of soda water to and it’s my afternoon (maybe while I’m cooking) beverage, ‘cause it’s lower in alcohol. And it retains some of the wine flavor but has some spice notes that you expect from vermouth.

A: So Zach, quickly. ‘Cause you know you’re talking about these things, I’m loving it, I’m getting into it, but now I’m like “how do I do it?” So first of all, with your blueberry gin, can you please explain the process, and also tell me what kind of drinks you’d put it in? And then could you please do the same for the vermouth?

Z: Yeah, absolutely!

A: Thank you.

Z: So I would say, with the blueberry gin, it’s basically, the only things you really need are gin – for one. And I like to look at something that’s not… I’m not going for top shelf gin, I’m looking at something that’s probably like a London dry, cause I want something with a relatively neutral palate, so I’m using Gordon’s ’cause it’s kind of a relatively inexpensive…

A: It’s a very… yeah that’s a good one.

Z: Yeah, I find the flavor unobjectionable, but it’s not that expensive so I’m not putting it in my really premium gin. And then you basically just need a jar or other vessel that you can close. It doesn’t have to be air tight, you don’t have to worry because of the alcohol of the gin, it’s not like anything is gonna go bad, in terms of like the fruit rotting, but you just don’t want it spilling and you do wanna be able to capture the flavor. And then, basically what I do is, I have a [container that] you would put a punch in that’s got a spigot. And so I just put the gin in, and I usually do like 2 liters at a time, and then it ends up being about… oh gosh I should probably measure these things, right? It probably ends up being about 2 pounds or so of blueberries. And I throw maybe a bay leaf or two in also ‘cause I like a little bit of that additional herbal flavor, and I let it sit. And I let it sit for about ten days and then I start tasting it. And really what you’re tasting for is, you want there to be a noticeable blueberry flavor. But what I don’t want, is I don’t want it to start tasting like… if you’ve ever had dried blueberries? Or like really concentrated candy blueberry flavor, then I feel like you’ve extracted a little too much. So at that point then you just literally strain the gin off, you throw the blueberries away. I made the mistake once when I was very young in the restaurant industry of eating them and they are miserable, it just tastes like alcohol. But basically yeah, you just dump that out. I think you could theoretically do something with the blueberries, like maybe you could cook them down but there’s really very little flavor left in them…

A: Put em in pancakes and give ‘em to your kids.

Z: God! Yeah, If you want them to take three naps a day….

A: Like, Yo! I need to get some work done, I made you blueberry pancakes, enjoy!

Z: I would worry that the pan might catch on fire with all that alcohol in there. And then as far as cocktails, one of the things I like to use it in, one of my favorite spring cocktails [is] the Aviation, which is typically made with crème de violette: so gin, crème de violette, lemon and Maraschino liqueur. And what I do is, I basically just cut down a little bit on the crème de violette and Maraschino ‘cause with the fruit flavor in there, even though the gin isn’t sweet, I feel like the whole drink can get a little syrupy if you’re not careful. But I basically just do that, you get this even deeper blueberry, kind of blue color than you would get normally from the crème de violette. That’s one thing. I like it…I mean you can make just a simple gin flip. So basically, again just in, lemon juice and an egg white. [A] little bit of simple syrup or sugar if you want, to kind of sweeten it up. But really, I mean I think it’s pretty versatile, and also just as a gin and tonic, frankly. Like if you just want to pour that over some ice with some tonic water, it’s fucking delicious, it’s got a nice little kind of pale blue color, or pale purple color really and it’s great when and if the weather improves, which it will eventually here in Seattle, I promise.

E: Yeah, that sounds great!

A: So we’ll come back to you on the vermouth tip. But Erica what about you? Gimme a project.

E: Yeah, super simple project. So yesterday we launched this article with 5 simple projects that you can do at home to up your cocktail game, and the thing that I made was oleo-saccharum, which… do you guys know about this? It sounds like a crazy Latin thing but it’s actually a super-simple citrus syrup. So, it’s been used since like the 1700’s if you read David Wondrich, in either of his books, you’ll see him refer to it as really the essential ingredient in punches in classic times. You take the peels from citrus, usually you could use lemon or orange or grapefruit, and you just steep it and mix it with some sugar. And then the sugar pulls out all of those wonderful essential oils to create this beautiful syrup that, you know, in Wondrich’s telling, creates the difference between a good punch and a great punch. So it has a lot of uses other than a punch though, [and] my favorite way to use it, and I’m gonna be posting this all up on Instagram because it’s really one of the best cocktails, is an Old Fashioned. So just a rum Old Fashioned with an aged rum like El Dorado 12 year which is my favorite on its own – it’s such an incredible rum, but then I just do one teaspoon of the oleo-saccharum syrup, and bitters over a big ice cube. It’s such a beautiful cocktail. And really the only thing, like I said, to make the oleo-saccharum is that you steep the orange or citrus peels in sugar overnight, you mix it occasionally and then in the morning, anywhere from 3 to 12 hours later you can decide based on the taste. You’ve got a ready-to-go syrup. From a quantity perspective, just get and peel a cup or so worth of the peels and then you just add about a half a cup of sugar, and it creates about a little bit more than a third-cup of syrup. That can be kept in the refrigerator for a week and used in a variety of ways. You can use it in a French 75, you can use it in a whiskey sour, you can use it in a Sidecar, I mean there’s so many different applications for it. And it’s just such a wonderful lifted citrus flavor that you can’t really get any other way.

A: Dude that sounds delicious. Like…

E: It’s pretty good.

A: I also kinda wanna make some pancakes from [Zach’s] blueberries and then put your syrup on top of it, that sounds pretty good. I mean that sounds pretty good.

E: I mean that sounds pretty good.

A: That sounds pretty good.

Z: Adam, are we recording this before you have lunch or something? ‘Cause I feel like all you wanna do is eat our drinks projects.

A: Nah man I had lunch. I actually had lunch with bread I baked myself… So for me one of the things that’s fun to make is bathtub gin. So like, yes I know it’s not real gin, but basically you take a vodka, and you… I like to again, same with you Zach, not an amazing vodka, but a quality vodka, right? So like, we’re not going out here and putting Ketel [One] in this, but I’ll usually do it with something like, honestly it works really well with Smirnoff or Tito’s or something. So take a 750 ml bottle, dump it in a Mason jar – a large enough Mason jar or some sort of vessel and then it’s the same kind of idea, right? You basically flavor it with gin flavorings. So as opposed to distilling those gin flavorings into the gin, you’re just steeping them into the vodka, so I use like, cucumber peel, lemon peel, dill, you have to use…. I think you have to use juniper berry, some people disagree, but I kinda feel like it’s not gin without the juniper berry, so some dried juniper berries, you can get those at a lot of grocery stores so you shouldn’t have a problem even in the quarantine. But you can throw in a lot of other stuff too, right? You could do different kinds of teas, you can do orange….any other kind of citrus peels, I think grapefruit would be really awesome, you could also do like heat if you like it, some sort of spicy you know note to it. And then you let it sit for basically the same idea, 10 days to 14 days, stirring it I think every other day just to make sure it’s still doing its thing, and then you start tasting. And once it tastes good to you, you strain off the liquid, I like to bottle it and then you have your own kind of gin to use in a lot of different cocktails. I use it to make straight-up Martinis, I use it to make Negronis, I use it to make gin Gimlets, like all these things you would normally use regular gin for but now you have your own gin. And it’s also fun to then give to people, it’s like “hey, here’s this like gin I made.” It’s always like a good time, which is a lot of fun. We’ve talked a lot about spirit style projects, but I know Zach, we’re gonna get to your vermouth, but have either of you ever brewed beer?

E: No

Z: I have not. But you have?

A: Ahh. Yes, the best! I’ve had a lot of explosions too.

E: Really?

A: Yeah, so… I mean, I think the worst explosion was… Josh and I, the other co-founder of VinePair, we attempted to brew a Belgian tripel, that was a really bad idea. And it started re-fermenting in the bottle ‘cause it was just… it’s so much sugar and so much yeast in a Belgian tripel, and they exploded all in his closet, there was beer everywhere.

E: Oh no!

A: So that was when Naomi told me that we were never allowed to brew beer in our apartment, only in Josh’s. [But] brewing beer is super fun ‘cause I think it’s one of the easiest ways to sort of see how alcohol happens, if that makes sense?

E: Yeah.

A: You know, it’s not that… I think people get really freaked out about it because…like “oh, I read that the kitchen has to be super clean.” Like yes, cleanliness is important, but I mean you have to be clean when you cook, right? Like no one is sitting there being like “Oh, I’m gonna make some cookies and there’s like, dirt everywhere.” So as long as the counter is clean and you’ve washed the equipment with hot water and soap, the way you should wash your hands right now, everything is fine and it’s a fun project that takes, you know, four weeks. So, at the end of this whole bullshit you should emerge with a really good beer that then you can take out in the park and drink and there’s lots of amazing recipes online and you can buy kits which I’m sure are still shipping right now, to make beer and it’s a really fun project. I love doing it, we did it for like 2 years and then just sort of moved to places where we felt like it wasn’t as…we didn’t have as much space. Josh was really lucky in that one of his first apartments in New York was a big loft. So we were able to sort of brew… but you know, I bet your husband’s studio would be a perfect place to brew beer, just saying Erica.

E: I bet he does, we’ve got plenty of space up in his studio.

Z: I was gonna say, you’ve got… you can probably start a whole brewery, let alone just home brew. I have a question for you Adam, about brewing though, at home. Which is, are there styles of beer that are easier for people who’ve never done it to kind of take on? Obviously, it sounds like a Belgian tripel is a bad idea for a first beer, but is there kind of an ideal first beer?

A: Ales are the easiest. It’s very hard to do lagers because of the cold fermentations. So lagers are much more difficult than ales. And then pale ales and IPAs are actually very easy to brew at home, as long as you have the right ingredients, which again you can buy online and I have to say like we definitely brewed a bunch of different batches of IPAs and pale ales that came out really well. We actually have a home brew columnist on VinePair that writes I think monthly, or bi-weekly with different ways to brew.

E: Yep.

A: So there’s a bunch of resources there. But then also, I mean you can go down rabbit holes on Reddit and stuff like that of people who’ve like literally recreated beers. You can brew Heady Topper for yourself at home or someone’s like “Oh, I think I figured out the Pliny recipe,” so you can brew Pliny, which is crazy. So there’s a lot of fun you can have, and then the kits are easy to at least get you started, like the recipe’s there. So like literally “dump into water, boil, strain, you have this style of beer that we’ve already perfected the recipe of,” but it’s just a cool way, again, just to see how fermentation works.

E: Totally, and if you’re looking for the column on our site its BIY, “Brew it yourself,” it’s with national home-brew competition gold medal winner and certified cicerone Mandy Naglich. So that’s where you can check out dozens of articles to get a sense of best practices and projects you might wanna try out yourself.

A: Exactly, so now Zach back to you. How do you make vermouth?

Z: So I think the simplest way to do it, and I’ve mostly done it with red wine, because I find that it’s a little more…. I’ve only talked about making a white vermouth once, and I think I screwed up, so I don’t think that it’s not doable, I [just] think it’s that I didn’t kind of approach it the right way. But I will say that, before we get into the specifics, one I find about making vermouth at home is that, at least so far, I haven’t been able to kind of get the exact texture that you might expect from certain kinds of vermouth. Like if you like a really kind of rich vermouth like Carpano Antica or something like that, without adding a lot of essentially really, really reduced sugar syrup, you’re gonna have a hard time getting that real richness. And I don’t know that I can offer you a suggestion for how to get that at home, I’m not an expert. But otherwise, I mean basically what I’ve done is: I’ll take a certain amount of leftover red wine, in this case usually like you know about, yeah about 2 liters or so. So about two and half bottles, three bottles or something like that. And you take about a third of it and you reduce it over, you know over really low heat. You’re just trying to kind of cook it down a little bit. And then I would say once it’s about reduced in volume by about half, you add about a cup of sugar, and there’s your base syrup. And so at that point that’s had all the alcohol cooked out of it, so you’re not dealing with booze from that. And then basically you let it cool back down to kind of room temp, you add it to the remaining wine along with some…I mean again, you kind of want to use spices. I like to use like there’s certainly black pepper, again bay leaf I throw in there, I like to use things like coriander and cardamom, and a little bit of even cumin seed. Infusion of that along with a little bit of… you want to add some sort of spirit cause you want to bring the alcohol level up a little bit. So I sometimes will use Cognac, it definitely adds more flavor. If you have like… you can use vodka if you’ve got that that you wanna use. If you have… I mean ideally I think you would add a little bit of even higher-proof spirit, but I don’t have moonshine lying around so… that’s not an option for me…

A: What?

Z: I know, right? We haven’t talked about home distilling which is a bad idea. And also illegal most places.

A: I kinda want to do it though, but anyways keep going.

Z: Well we’ll see you at Jono’s studio too. So then… basically again, it’s just a process of waiting. It doesn’t take long. I find that within a week I’m kind of at the place I wanna be flavor-wise. But, you can kind of taste… give it a few days and then taste every day, and then at that point you just again, strain everything off, I put it right in the fridge. I find that it lasts for about a month in a pretty good state, and like I said, you know, my favorite use for it is just drinking it over ice with a little soda water or tonic because it’s kind of the best way to sort of enjoy that flavor. But it works in cocktails… I find that it actually, interestingly, does better in cocktails where you might use a fair bit of vermouth, so it works well in a Negroni. I haven’t loved it in my Manhattans, and maybe that’s just me. Again, I think it’s a texture thing. I think it feels like it waters them down a touch because it doesn’t have the viscosity that a commercially produced vermouth might have.

A: Right

Z: So in a Negroni I don’t mind it as much in part because Campari already has a lot of, you know, kind of richness and body, so it being a little lighter in flavor isn’t such a big deal. Or no, not lighter in flavor but lighter in body. But in something like a Manhattan I do find that I miss it a little bit, I miss that body that you get from vermouth a little bit. But you know you can find it… you can put it in a lot of different things. But like I said, I just like it a thing to sip over ice, with a little bit of soda water or just as is. Which is one of my favorite ways to enjoy vermouth period, so it’s not like I’m only doing that with this. But yeah… and again, if you’ve got open bottles, the nice thing about it is, you can just kind of combine stuff together. I haven’t found any issue with mixing… as long… I mean maybe if you’re mixing Beaujolais and Zinfandel you might find it a little weird but frankly even then I don’t think so. It all kind of comes together in the end. You might find slightly better results or more sort of homogenous results if you use the same wine but I don’t think any of us are at that stage so your leftover bottles… and I’ve used it with wine that’s been open for a week and it’s fine.

E: Wow!

Z: You know, you’re not looking for freshness and brightness in your vermouth for the most part, at least I’m not in the way that I would be in my wine. So you know, I wouldn’t use a three-week-old bottle. You know, another thing you could do is go buy a relatively inexpensive box of wine, you know a three liter and use that and probably end up with a very cost-effective vermouth solution.

E: Sure, sure. Yeah, that sounds like a great idea, I’d try it.

A: I dig.

Z: Well I would share it with you guys but that’s probably not gonna happen for a little while.

A: I think these have been like some really good ideas. I mean, Erica, have you got anything else?

E: Yeah, I mean I do have one more.

A: Yes!

E: I would say that a lot of people don’t realize that bitters is just a pretty simple infusion. So for that…

A: I didn’t.

E: Everyone’s talking about Everclear and how you can make your own hand sanitizer from it, but you can also use Everclear as the base for your bitters. So, really all you do to make bitters is you can take some like zest of lemons or oranges or whatever you want that main flavor base to be. And then you add cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, lemongrass, coriander, pepper, and then kind of the bittering agents that you wanna have in all bitters which are cinchona bark and gentian root, you know you can get those at natural stores or even at some bigger grocery chains. So for those things you just, you really just prepare the ingredients, divide them out into some Mason jars, and fill it up with grain alcohol. And for that you just let it sit there and kind of agitate it maybe once or twice a week for a month. And then portion it out into tiny little dropper bottles, and that’s one of my favorite holiday gifts that I typically make for people. Like to package that up with a cocktail book or something like that. And it’s a fun way to go. Maybe in this case it’s gonna be a post-apocalypse drinking gift that you can give to all your friends once you finally see them this summer.

A: I dig, I dig. Cool, so I guess you know, go home….well stay home, make one of these projects, and if you do shoot us an email at podcast@vinepair.com and let us know that you made one of the things we suggested, take a picture and share it with us, that would be awesome! Agreed?

E: Agreed.

Z: Yeah absolutely! And if you have other projects too. I would love to hear if people are trying other stuff out there that’s not stuff we covered too, cause I need some new projects.

E: Yeah, definitely. And try the sourdough, gotta move on, gotta keep going.

A: Well, as always everyone, thank you so much for listening, we hope you’re also checking out our podcast [Covid-19] Conversations, our corona diaries if you will, that we’re running in the feed three times a week. We’d love to know what you think about those as well. As always if you enjoy the podcast, if you feel like you’re getting a lot of amazing information and we’re helping make your day a little bit better please drop us a review or rating in iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever else you get our podcast. It really helps other people discover the show. And Erica, Zach, I’ll talk to you again right here, next week.

Z: Sounds great

E: See you then.

A: Thanks so much for listening to the VinePair podcast, if you enjoy listening to us every week please leave us a review or rating on iTunes, Stitcher, spotify, or wherever it is you get your podcasts, it really helps everyone else discover the show. And now for the credits:

VinePair is produced and hosted by Zach Geballe, Erica Duecy, and me: Adam Teeter. Our engineer is Nick Patri and Keith Beavers. I’d also like to give a special shout out to my VinePair co-founder Josh Malin and the rest of the VinePair team for their support. Thanks so much for listening and we’ll see you again right here next week.