recipes wine

Liqueur making

Whilst I’m on the subject of spirits, this is something I believe most of us do not do enough of! It’s quite simple to make very nice liqueurs which can then be drunk straight with tonic water or maybe with a couple of drops of orange bitters. A general recipe:

use lots of passata and put the bottles through the dishwasher to get them really clean, you need these to store your liqueur in & speaking as someone who has tried shoving damsons (small plums) through the neck of a gin bottle, the wide opening is really necessary;

start with decent quality spirits (gin, vodka, brandy all work well as they are dry – I’ve tried rum and it’s natural flavour is a bit too sweet);
prick the fruit a few times (for cumquats, sloes, damsons, apricots etc, not necessary for thin skinned fruit like berries);
put fruit in the bottle up to the half way mark;
depending on the sweetness of the fruit itself add sugar to the 1/4 – 1/3 mark of the bottle;
top up with your chosen spirit (the bottle will then take a little over half it’s volume in spirit (i.e. a 700mL bottle will take about 400mL of spirits);
gently mix every couple of days until all the sugar is dissolved (by gently turning the bottle, don’t shake hard!);
drink any time more than 3 months later – the longer you leave it the better it will taste!

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