Infusions

An infusion is the result of soaking plant material in a solvent, such as alcohol or water. Technically, the term “infusion” applies when the liquid is warm (as with tea), while the term “maceration” is used when the liquid is at room temperature. The use of a hot liquid speeds up the process, but it can also induce chemical changes in the material being infused (sometimes desirable, sometimes not). Alcohol will of course evaporate more quickly when heated. Any given plant material may have some compounds which are soluble in alcohol, while others are soluble in water. For that reason some recipes call for a multi-step process to extract as much as possible from the plant.