Long ago back in the olden days people made their own. If they had an overabundance of fruit and some freshly squeeze corn, they used fruits to improve the tastes of the corn. Its not really a liqueur because it is not distilled again. Anyway a while back I had an abundance of strawberries even after the freezer was full so it was play time. What I’ll show is apricot, but you can use nearly any fruit, citrus you use the peel, and so far I have not figured cherries and lemons out. Other than that what I’ll show has worked for me for any fruit
Here is how I do things. I make 2 quart jars for maceration (sucking out the flavor of the fruit). Two quart jars equals one jar going into the smoothing process.
Wash, pit, and slice the fruit. I leave the skins on, it makes it easier to strain 'em out later sometimes.
In a clean quart jar, any size works but I am using quarts here for easy of illustration, put in 1 1/2 cups of booze. I use either Vodka or Rum, I have used both 80 proof and higher. I suggest you start out low and slow with 80. BTW I suggest a good booze you'd drink, but you need not buy the super delux imported flavored varieties.
I try to wait to add the simple syrup. It helps keep it from clouding so bad while macerating. Once its in the booze, put the lid on and let it make happy happy. I set mine on the counter next to the sink. That way I remember to turn them over or gently shake them twice daily. Want to keep the booze in circulation. As this is going on, you'll notice a change in the fruits color where the booze is sucking those flavors out. It will also cloud as the small particles shake free in the solution. You should do this anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks, let fruit density be your guide. You'll notice that the usual fast evaporating alcohol bubbles will start hanging around longer.
Now its sat around for a couple of weeks its time to strain and filter. I thought this fruit was going to be excellent in bread pudding and on ice cream, etc. If you left it there long enough throw it away, its done all it came to do. Staining is not unusual, I tried filtering in cheese cloth and coffee filter and not only is it messy but terrible inefficient. Every particle you miss while filtering will cloud while the drink smooths and cause sediment. You will get sediment, the trick is to get as little as possible. Then its off to smooth with the other quart jars. Usually they all know each other and its a small dance in honor of the new guy.
AT this point I add the simple syrup. For ever 2 C's of fruit juice I normally add approx. 1/4 cup of simple syrup. I tried using honey once. I ruined a gallon of cleaned strawberry juice, honey tastes good but does not clear. Also remember, this is going to smooth, don't over sweeten it. Its like a good smoke, patience.
After three months, re-filter to clear what you can again of the sediment. That's the makers portion. The bottles you can't see below are beautifully clear. The colors are really unbelievable. For some reason all the neighbors seem to want to come visit more these days.
That's it, its simple, its easy except for the patience. Three months is a long time to wait to see if you like it or not. I have also taken small amounts, before adding the syrup, it is basically extract just like you buy at the store. Strawberry extract only real and better tasting!
So far, I have made Strawberry rum/vodka, Peach rum/vodka, Apricot rum/vodka, Pineapple rum/vodka, Pear rum/vodka, I tried Limencello not so good, I tried fresh ripe cherries not so good either, I did do Praline Butter Pecan it was way to sweet but a great extract for making pralines!
Pop said his grandmother made what she called Dewberry wine this way. I will try it if I ever get any dewberries away from the dang birds!
It doesn't require any special handling, I understand if not tightly capped it loses proof. Alcohol evaporation. I have not used a hydrometer but guessing finished it is 20 to 30 proof. I am not a chemist. I really like it, the neighbors seem to also. Even the church ladies will honest to goodness ask for a taste as long as they are not all grouped up...LOL
Thanks for reading, wish I could pour you one to try.
1 part creek water
2 parts sugar
Its like super charged sugar, used in bars and in the south if you have a yankee to supper who doesn't drink sweet tea.
Edited by Foamheart - 11/24/13 at 4:25pm