No, no, no. If you taste bitter almonds, then it's probably cyanide, not arsenic. Arsenic is a metal, and tastes like it.
"Her mother was a French actress, her father was an Italian sculptor, yet she had been born 'in the shadow of the Sphinx.'"
Every time I read another SoCH, I understand another joke in Terry Pratchett's Moving Pictures.
@Vesna@twitter Everclear is what you'll find in most places, though some liquor stores will sell "95% Grain Alcohol," sort of a generic Everclear. From personal experience, get the Everclear if you can. Everclear tends to have a better flavor. (That is, the non-Everclear tends to have off flavors in the 5% that's not alcohol.)
Also, make sure your Everclear is 95% alcohol (190-proof). They make a 151-proof version that's just not the same.
@KevinQ My hobby: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevinq2000/4160740720/
You can (and probably should) let the mixture cool before you add the grain alcohol, so the alcohol doesn't evaporate. This has the double effect of keeping more booze in your booze, and not sending up a cloud of explodable alcohol vapor. (Any booziness to the flavor will temper if you let the liqueur mellow for a while.)
Also, cheesecloth is relatively cheap and makes for good straining. You can pick it up at most grocery stores.
Also also, you can take this basic technique and make a great variety of different flavored liqueurs. Chai Tea Liqueur: tea bags, chai spices, and sugar instead of honey. Pumpkin pie spice liqueur. Anise liqueur. If everything's roughly the same temperature, you can even add cream in place of some or all of the water to make cream liqueurs (the best way to make chai tea liqueur).
@nonvolleyball I second this technique, with a couple of quibbles too small to mention. I've never tried the "turn off the heat" technique, because I don't trust it.
Somebody needs to tell me why this is a bad idea - My humidifier (cool mist) was getting funky pretty quickly - probably a mix of mildew and lime. So I started adding a little dash of shower spray each time I filled the tank - probably a tablespoon or less each time. It makes the house smell nice (flowery) and seems to be keeping down the cooties.
Is there any reason I shouldn't be inhaling that shower spray stuff?