The YouTube celebrity scene is quite the spectrum, ranging from sentient garbage pile to some truly life-saving innovators. Ralfy Mitchell and his infinity bottle concept, popularized on the YouTube platform, lies somewhere on that spectrum, depending on who it is that you ask.
As the blend builds with each addition and further reconfigures, the infinity bottle’s flavors can change dramatically throughout the course of its eternal life
So what is the infinity bottle, exactly? An infinity bottle, which also may be referred to as a “fractional,” “solera,” or “living” bottle, is the amalgamation of Whiskeys amassed in one’s personal collection. By combining an ounce or two of the Whiskeys in said home collection, it becomes a very personal, never-ending, documentational blend of all—or a select collection—of the Whiskeys one has ever possessed and (hopefully) enjoyed his/her lifetime. Due to perpetual additions, the flavor profile of the infinity bottle is constantly in flux, evolving as it “lives” forever with each new Whiskey ounce introduction. It’s both an experiment in home-blending and a sort of liquid journal for true Whiskey nerds enthusiasts.
Building the Bottle
Even though it may seem pretty straightforward conceptually, as it really is, there are a few different methods one can go about in creating the infinity bottle. This can depend on anything from overall Whiskey type to region, year, and ratios added. A few standards to keep in mind, however, are that it is generally the last measures from a bottle to be added, and it is an integral part of the process (or journey) to keep a running journal-entry-like label on the bottle, in order to document the whens and whats of each Whiskey involved.
In one camp of infinity-bottle practitioners, the infinity bottle exists as an all-inclusive chronicle of one’s entire Whiskey collection: From Japanese Whisky and Irish Whisky to Rye, Bourbon, and Scotch, to name only a few, they would all be included in the bottle’s blend, typically in equal measures as well. This blanket route is perhaps both the easiest overall and the most comprehensive approach, as in this way the bottle is a collection of every single Whiskey one has ever tried and tasted. As the blend builds with each addition and further rebalances—should a sample be taken along the way—flavors in this blend can change the most dramatically throughout the course of its eternal life.
Other infinity-bottle creators will take to a more purist approach or one with more strict guidelines for blend inclusion. The folks in this camp might see the above, enveloping blend like a four-in-one shampoo: It only exists for dogs, and it is quite concerning that it has never really been clear what, exactly, those four things are. So with that said, rather than of combining all of the Whiskey bought or collected, the creator of this type of infinity bottle would instead stick to one particular categorization, as designated by the intended result. The most common approach here is an infinity bottle built upon a singular Whiskey type: strictly Rye, Bourbon, or, quite popularly, Scotch. Further specification may narrow down to region, label, or a bracket of years.
Sharing one’s own infinity bottle is sharing something that has taken significant time, attention, and the utmost care. And, at that, a little bit of your own liquid history along the way
Crafting to Perfection
Even further still, whether its base is a blend of all Whiskeys in a collection or a more exclusive selection, some take the infinity bottle to be an even greater signature, controlled blend of balancing flavor profiles: Tasting these creations with each addition, these blenders will only include the new Whiskeys in their collections that will complement or complete the flavor profile they are aiming to achieve, which may moreover include uneven measures added.
Whether you go the first route, second route, or somewhere in the middle with the third, the infinity bottle by default is guaranteed to build a blend that is uniquely yours. (That is, of course, unless you follow some recipe. But then you’re doing it very, very wrong. And, keep in mind, there’s only really one way of doing it wrong—and that is how you would do that.)
The infinity bottle is like a one-up on the ever-exploding craft beer and craft spirits market, as it is something that very likely can’t ever be reproduced, even by the original producer himself, consistently both existing in any one state and evolving over time, and is only available in one’s own home in that single-bottle “batch.” It is a much easier, much more legal alternative to home-distilling while still producing a unique product.
Beyond its Whiskey Beginnings
For those that may be less than enthusiastic about Whiskey but still intrigued by the idea, the infinity-bottle concept has already breached the worlds of many other spirits; Thus far, there have been documented accounts of Rum, Gin, and Cognac infinity bottles, as these spirits also lend themselves quite well to very dynamic and varied creations.
While the possibilities are, by definition, truly limitless, it is generally not advised to start crossing over spirit lines. In mixing Rums with Whiskeys and Tequilas, that’s simply a one-way ticket to Long Island Iced Tea—and if you might be thinking it’s not such a bad idea, you may not be legally allowed to be here reading this.
Hospitality at Its Finest
Of course, the agency surrounding the personal creation of an infinity bottle is its main draw, in its ability to be entirely yours at a whim, unreplicable by any other. However, another significant point of attraction, often less identified initially, lies in its hospitality potential; it is the warmest, most personal gesture of welcoming to friends, family, colleagues, and clients alike. That is, sharing one’s own infinity bottle, crafted over years or perhaps decades—and maybe even familial generations past—is sharing something that has taken significant time, attention, and, perhaps, the utmost care in creating. And, at that, a little bit of your own liquid history along the way.