liqueur


It’s a little past six weeks now from when the wild picked blackberries went into there respective alcohol baths. The start of the saga is here. I strained the infused vodka and the blackberry cassis today. There wasn’t too much sediment. One pass through a double layer of cheesecloth got the little that there was. It worked great and took just a few minutes, not the hours that the coffee filter treatment seems to take.

What a treat. Beautiful rich color in the liquid with a strong, true blackberry aroma and mild taste. I continued to follow the recipe for the cassis, adding sugar syrup to the liquor. We compared it to some true French (Dijon) black currant cassis I had opened a few weeks back. It was a favorable comparison.

The creme de cassis is on the left. It is darker in color and wasn’t quite as alcoholic. Amateur Cocktail Gal picked up on that.  I used 100 proof vodka for my infusion and added a fairly concentrated sugar syrup. I suspect the final alcohol level is around 30-35% for the blackberry. The flavor of the blackberry liqueur was also a little less intense. Very enjoyable though because it is a more familiar, local flavor.

I made a half recipe from what the original called for. That gave me one and half wine bottle’s worth which should be plenty. If not, we’ve got around 5 pounds of berries in the freezer to tide us over to next July.

The latest experiment was prompted by a couple of recent visits to South Carolina. If you grew up there, you know that July is peach season. Peach cobbler, peach ice cream, cut up peaches for breakfast. With my current focus, peach liqueur seemed like a good idea. A little searching turned up this recipe. The proportions seemed right. I wanted a little more final volume, so I used 2 and 1/2 pounds of peaches and three cups of liqour all together. We made another trip down this past weekend. More peaches so one more batch. This time I used Bourbon instead of brandy (actually used Cognac instead of brandy because I had some of the former). One other tweek to the recipe: I used 2/3 cup of fructose dissolved in a cup of water instead of the full cup of sucrose called for. It makes sense to me to use fruit sugar for a fruit liqueur. Fructose has greater sweetness per measure than sucrose, so I cut down the amount a bit. If the final product is not sweet enough I’ll add some Agave syrup or honey.

Tonight I strained the first batch and started the second. Here’s the result:

Couple more weeks and I’ll have a tasting of Cognac-Peach Liqueur vs. Bourbon-Peach Liqueur. I’ll have to dig through some old Southern Comfort recipe guides to come up with a cocktail recipe or two.