The first time I had to make a tincture, it was for a spiced Christmas stout. The recipe called for about ten herbs and spices to be added to the secondary, but instead of throwing them in and calling it good, I wanted to make sure I got the most bang for my spice buck. It wasn’t only because the spice bill alone cost more than the rest of the ingredients combined; it was more that I wanted brilliant flavors, making this recipe not just any old stout.
I decided a tincture was the best way to go because it would allow the flavors from the spices to leach into the liquid and also because my poison of choice—spiced rum—would ensure the “go big or go home” result I was going for (it’s not as if I could leave a bottle of just-okay beer on the mantle for Santa, after all).
The result was phenomenal. The richness of the spices was on point, showcasing each one to its fullest potential (and yes, I tasted the heck out of that $11 vanilla bean!). Now, when I need to add some extra somethin’-somethin’ to my brew, I grab some hooch, some flowers or spices, and create a tincture. The result is just what I want, almost every time.