Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Experimental spirit

Last summer my sister made a raspberry liqueur that by Christmas was so lovely you would almost swallow your tongue to get every bit of that summery berry taste. I'm not really that into liqueurs, but because of the tartness of the raspberries this wasn't too sweet, so this summer I thought I'd have a go. The recipe is quite simple: fill a jar with raspberries until it is completely full. Add sugar until it is completely full- the sugar runs down between the berries so the jar isn't completely full after all. I used a kilo of berries (just over two pounds), and half a kilo of sugar.
Add spirit. I used vodka because that doesn't have a distinct taste of it's own, and chose the prettiest bottle I could find - that's how much I know about vodka... Again, fill the jar.
Close the lid firmly - this canning jar has a rubber seal to make it completely tight - and shake gently to dissolve the sugar. The idea now is to keep turning the jar about once a week until Christmas, letting all the berry juice add flavour to the vodka/sugar mix and produce a ruby red liqueur. Apparently the berries lose their colour during the process. The contents of the jar has to be filtered, of course, to separate the berries from the liqueur.
After filling my jar I had vodka left and started looking around for something else to experiment with. I watched Nigella (on TV, not in real life...) searching her pantry the other day and she pointed to a bottle of lemon liqueur she had brought home from Italy. Hm, I wondered - could I get good results witht he same method using lemons...?
Nothing ventured, nothing gained, so I decided to have a go. I used a smaller jar, this being an experiment and all... filled it with slices of lemon, sugar and the remaining third of the vodka. We'll see. I might have ruined some perfectly good vodka, but as I rarely touch the stuff (I prefer a good whisky), I would just have had it sitting in my cupboard for ever, so never mind. Now the deed is done and the big question is: will I be able to wait until Christmas to sample these...


Debi said...

I bet they are both going to turn out wonderful. I might have to try this myself. Thanks for sharing.

Sherry said...

Gee, I wonder if this would work with everything?? I'm thinking strawberries. . .or perhaps blueberries. Hmmm, I know I have vodka in the house. . somewhere. . I may have to join you in the experimentation -- and then we can all compare notes at Christmas.

Thanks for the idea!


Anonymous said...

Yes, it works (well) with all of those, also blackberries, peaches, oranges, pears and apples... your imagination and your local farm stand are the limit. Although I never tried it with fresh corn. Or tomatoes. More expensive vodka helps the flavor at the end, cheaper stuff makes for a rougher taste.

Marisa said...

Wow, this is a cool idea. Maybe I'll try it with some strawberries or something. What a cool idea. Thanks!