Instant Infusion

Sometimes I stumble upon a new cooking technique that gets me so excited that I just have to drop everything and give it a try. Last night, as I was surfing the internet trying to find some inspiration for a tomato themed party I was invited to, I came across this blog. Not only was it one I’d never seen before, but it was one that grabbed my attention in a split second and held it endlessly. I got so engrossed in reading it, and ogling the great photos, that I sort of forgot my task and spent well over an hour completely sidetracked. But then, perhaps serendipitously, I was brought back to my tomato task by way of this same site. I came across a blurb that linked me to this article about infusing flavors into liquid using a whipped cream canister and nitrous oxide cartridges.

According to the article, within about a minute and a half, you can have deeply flavored infused liquids that taste like they've been steeping for days. The first step is to put your liquid in the canister (water, vodka, — something neutral in flavor and light in body) and then add the flavoring (herbs, spices, flowers, the possibilities are endless) and seal the lid. Next, you attach the nitrous cartridge so that the gas is released into the canister, swirl the canister slowly for about 30 seconds and then let it sit for about 30 seconds. At this point, you release the nitrous from the canister by pressing down the lever, just as you would if you were making whipped cream, only you hold the canister upright so the liquid doesn't pour out.

Finally, you remove the lid and strain the liquid into a clean container. The results are pretty incredible.

The way it works is fairly simple. When you charge the canister with the nitrous it forces the gas, along with some liquid, into whatever it is you're using as a flavoring. Then, when you release the gas from the canister, the nitrous escapes your flavoring in the form of bubbles and releases the liquid and flavor out as well, leaving behind a nicely flavored liquid.

For my first attempt, I used plain water and some beautiful opal (purple) basil. I was pretty astounded by the resulting liquid which came out a lovely shade of lavender and tasted like a subtle burst of fresh basil. For my second attempt, I turned my focus to the upcoming party and did a mixture with vodka, fresh tomatoes and basil. This batch came out a bit on the weak side, so I went back and did two more batches with vodka– one using just tomatoes and one using just basil. Then I combined them all which resulted in something that tasted quite like a liquid Caprese salad and that provided the foundation for some really interesting Bloody Mary flavored Martinis.

I'm already thinking of all of the other infusions I'm going to try including Asian flavorings such as star anise, ginger, and lemongrass; flowers such as roses and violets; and vegetables like cucumbers, bell peppers, and beets.

Browse Culinary Arts Schools & Colleges

Refine School Matches
Hide filters

    See More


    See More



    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            4 Program(s) Found
            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
            Show more [+]
            1 Program(s) Found

            Baker College is the largest independent college in Michigan with the most focused approach to education and training available. Our mission is to prepare you for meaningful employment.

            4 Program(s) Found
            Virginia College , Baton Rouge
            • Instructors are typically real-world professionals with many years of experience in their career fields.
            • Ranked #3 in Best for Vets: Career & Technical Colleges 2014 by Military Times.
            • Presents the full tuition cost up front. In most cases, even textbooks are included in the total price.
            • Provides career services associates to help students review their resume, provide career counseling, help with job searches, and more.
            • Has 27 campus locations across the southern United States, plus offers online degree programs.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            2 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 11:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
            Show more [+]
            5 Program(s) Found

            Sullivan University is a private institution of higher learning dedicated to providing educational enrichment opportunities for the intellectual, social and professional development of its students. The institution offers career-focused curricula with increasing rigor from the certificate through diploma, associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree levels. Throughout those curricula, the university seeks to promote the development of critical thinking, effective verbal and written communication, computer literacy, and teamwork as well as an appreciation for life-long learning, cultural diversity and the expression of professionalism in all activities. At the graduate level, the university also seeks to promote a culture of research.