Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Booze of the week: Strawberry Nectarine Liqueur

There are only two real ways to get ahead today – sell liquor or drink it. – W. C. Fields 

Pretty colour...

I’m back into the sauce again, after what seems like forever. No, I’m not drinking it, just making it. 

Photo: aMichiganMom, Flickr ccl
The sale of our house seemed to put a wrinkle in my liqueur making. No one wants to see jars full of fruit in varying stages of colour leeching sitting around when they’re looking to buy your house…

But (don’t yell) Christmas is coming and the time has come to make these very special gifts again.

Liqueurs may only take about 1 week to make, but reach their best flavour after at least one month or two. So the time is ripe – as is the fruit – to "put up" some booze. Ahh, the tribulations of life...

Liqueurs are fantastic just on their own, or in mixed drinks or martinis. Some of my previous recipes make amazing mixed drinks with a "je ne sais quoi" quality that can't be described. (Can you say rose martini?)

Photo: stephk, Flickr ccl
Don't forget to bottle in nice containers if gifting. Inexpensive – and perfect – 375 ml bottles can be purchased at Noble Grape here in Halifax, or any other wine making supply store.

My libation forays last year were a great hit. I actually made too many to list. Search “liqueur” on this site for a comprehensive list. I must have made about 20 different ones, including christmas cranberry rum liqueur, hot cinnamon, coffee, oolong tea, multiple fruit-based, peanut and even baklava liqueur.

They’re not very difficult to make, and very impressive. I even made my own vermouth. Very nice, by the way. (Here's the recipe.)

This liqueur's a little delight that combines strawberries and nectarines. The strawberries weren't local, but the nectarines were Canadian. You can use frozen strawberries if you wish. It really doesn’t make much of a difference.

So without further ado, on to the booze making…

3 very full bottles and 2 glasses for the "cook."
Strawberry Nectarine Liqueur
Time: 1 week  |  Yield: 3-1/2 375 ml bottles
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
4 cups strawberries
3 nectarines
750 ml vodka

Bring the sugar and water to a simmer in a sauce pan. Let boil for 5 minutes.

Slice the fruit and place in a large jar with a lid. Pour the hot syrup over the fruit and stir.

Let the syrup cool and then add the vodka. Let steep for 1 week. Strain through a sieve twice and then through cloth to remove as much sediment as possible.

Bottle and let age at least 1 month.


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