A growing number of spirits lovers are experimenting with \u201cinfinity bottles.\u201d The practice involves taking a bottle of liquor that\u2019s not quite full and strategically topping it up with pours from other bottles to make unique blends that can\u2019t be found anywhere else.\r\n\r\nAs the bottle drains over time, a splash of this or that is added. Ideally, the bottle is never completely empty, hence the \u201cinfinity\u201d name.\r\n\r\nAlthough there are no precise rules, most people stick to a single category of spirit. Whiskey infinity bottles are the most popular, although rum infinity bottles have gained traction, too. We\u2019ve even heard tales of at least one \u201cgin-finity\u201d bottle.\r\n\r\nIf you want to elevate your whiskey blending skills, it\u2019s not about throwing odds and ends in a bottle, but finding nuance and balance.\r\n\r\nFor collectors, the infinity bottle can be a creative way to try the art of blending at home. It\u2019s a DIY version of how professional spirits producers mix various barrels, finishes or vintages artfully to create desired flavor profile. It\u2019s also a way to use up those almost-empty bottles that sit in the back of your liquor cabinet. The goal is to create a custom blend that\u2019s more than the sum of its parts.\r\n\r\nThe concept is based loosely on the solera system used to make Sherry and some spirits. Small fractions from different vintages are blended together, and as the oldest liquid depletes, a younger vintage is added. In theory, some of the oldest liquid is always part of the blend.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nJoe Beatrice, founder of Barrell Bourbon, drew inspiration from this trend to create an \u201cinfinity barrel,\u201d an infinity bottle writ large. His initial foray combines five different types of whiskey in a single barrel, including Scotch, Irish whiskey and even Sherry-finished rye, to create a mashup that defies the usual whiskey rules.\r\n\r\nBeatrice plans on continuing to add to this barrel over time. We asked the master blender for guidelines on how to create the ultimate custom whiskey blend at home.\r\nHow to blend your own whiskey\r\nPick a base. \u201cStart with a whiskey that really appeals to you,\u201d says Beatrice.\r\n\r\n\u201cEverybody has their go-to, their favorites. What whiskey profiles do you like? Do you like the American corn whiskey flavor, or the malt flavor of Scotch? Irish whiskey? Any of those are very dominant, and can dictate the flavor of the entire bottle.\u201d\r\n\r\nBeatrice recommends labeling your bottle early on, so you can start listing what goes inside.\r\n\r\nAdd a second whiskey. For optimal impact, Beatrice recommends selecting a whiskey that offers a contrast to the base. Did you start with a sweet, vanilla-forward Bourbon? Maybe try a small measure of smoky Scotch to a counter. Was your base a mellow, fruity Irish whiskey? Perhaps add a spicy rye. Taste it, and see what you think.\r\n\r\nFeeling bold? Add a third whiskey, but don\u2019t go overboard. \u201cTry a little bit at a time, see how that goes,\u201d says Beatrice. \u201cIt gets exponentially more complicated as you add other whiskeys.\u201d Have a bottle of Sherry-finished whiskey with less than a dram left in the bottle? Add it, but just a little.\r\n\r\nLet it rest. \u201cIt takes a while for whiskeys to marry,\u201d says Beatrice. After you add to the blend, let it rest overnight. Sample it again and see how the blend has evolved. Beatrice considers 12 hours to be the absolute minimum to allow the whiskeys to combine.\r\n\r\nA word of warning: Don\u2019t shake the bottle. It \u201cmakes the whiskey really angry,\u201d says Beatrice. However, it\u2019s O.K. to gently rock the bottle if you feel the blend needs a little integration.\r\n\r\nHave patience. If you want to elevate your whiskey blending skills, it\u2019s not about throwing odds and ends in a bottle, but finding nuance and balance. \u201cJust because things taste good, they might not taste good together,\u201d says Beatrice. \u201cIt takes a lot of work and experimentation and trial and error to do it.\u201d\r\n\r\nThink young. What if you create a blend, but you don\u2019t like it? Add a very young whiskey. Beatrice suggests a one- or two-year-old whiskey. \u201cIt will neutralize some of the flavor if it\u2019s gone astray a bit.\u201d Let the blend rest, and try it again. \u201cYou can almost always save something,\u201d he says.\r\n\r\nKnow when to stop. It\u2019s tempting to keep tinkering, but when you arrive at a flavor profile you like, hold fast, Beatrice says. \u201cYou have to have the restraint to say \u2018This is it. Don\u2019t add anything else. Stop here.\u2019\u201d\r\n\r\nRepeat. As the bottle depletes over time, consider what else to add to your blend. After all, an infinity bottle should never be completely empty, but it should keep getting better as time goes on, into infinity.