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bigbear

Homemade Liqueurs

154 posts in this topic

As a Berry fan I've often had the same thought about coffee brandy.

I finally got down to it, brewed 4 oz of Guatemalan Ruta Maya espresso, mixed in 1/2 a cup of sugar and let it cool, then mixed with 6 oz of Paul Masson VSOP brandy. Bam, coffee brandy liqueur, with the highly desireable sweetening power of 1 tsp of sugar to each 1/2 oz of liqueur.

A most excellent idea.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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That is why I am trying to figure out a way to produce it with out fresh or dried apricots. I think that using an apricot jam might be the way to go.

Has anybody tried making a "liqueur" with a jam/jelly/preserve?

Toby


A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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That is why I am trying to figure out a way to produce it with out fresh or dried apricots.  I think that using an apricot jam might be the way to go. 

Has anybody tried making a "liqueur" with a jam/jelly/preserve?

Toby

Pectins are usually encouraged in jam/jellies/preserves. Not something you really want in liqueurs.

Combination of liqueurs made from dried fruit and apricot kernels is probably where you want to go. Maybe macerated separately and blended after.

Fresh apricots are just too subtle and watery to work out well. Not to mention the fact they are only really good for about a week each summer.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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my "creole shrubb" recipe is working incredibly well for our bar. i made a large amount of "seville orange concentrate" (nearing a years worth) then i add it to 92 proof booze with 260 grams of sugar... its getting great reviews and i can mix up the base spirit as i see fit.

i really want to deal with haus alpenz which i think makes the best available liqueurs but i cant' add another distributor so i'm going to make a nice apricot liqueur recipe.

100 proof base spirit infused with x grams of dried apricots, diluted with y grams of sugar (exactly same as brizard), diluted to z proof with whole foods apricot juice (factoring in its sugar). maybe i'll add some pits as they become pastry department scraps.

recipe to follow...

more affordable liqueurs means more affordable cocktails, means better dining culture...


abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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What about making syrups from things like Kearn's Apricot nectar and cutting with brandy or Wray & Nephew rum?

I've not used it in proper cocktails much, but the Masson VSOP has been a great choice so far for liqueur projects, and the price is very right as well.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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I've not used it in proper cocktails much, but the Masson VSOP has been a great choice so far for liqueur projects, and the price is very right as well.

Hey - that's also my go-to brandy for making liqueurs - it really has a perfect profile for a liqueur base. My favorite is a black walnut liqueur. And you can't beat it's price.

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I just tried some Sortilege maple liqueur after reading about it in Imbibe. I thought it was ok, but a bit soft. I put together 1 oz grade B syrup, .25 oz water, .25 oz everclear, .5 oz woodford reserve and it had a much deeper maple and whisk(e)y taste. I ran out of rye so the bourbon had to suffice. Has anyone else tried a maple liqueur?

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900 ML basket pressed organic july strawberry juice (from my freezer) sugared to 400 g/l and centrifuged for 20 minutes at 4000g's approx.

300 ML 80% alcohol brandy constructed of formerly brandymel ("strawberry tree" brandy fortified al garve honey (honey likely derived from the same tree))

the resultant math yields something just under 1.2L of 20% alc. 300g/l liqueur.

the inflections of aroma from the spirit are quite lovely. the color is spectacular. lets see how clear it stays.


abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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i've been making single varietal honey "liqueurs" for years now. the past technique has always been to simply stir the vodka into the honey. the results have always been slightly rustic with waxy sediment and a small amount of haze, but now i have the centrifuge...

equal volumes of vodka (or other spirit for aromatic inflection) & basswood honey from ames farm of minnesota

centrifuge for 15 minutes @ 4000g's.

enjoy the resultant liqueur in cocktails and reserve the wax for single varietal bees wax lip balms.

with the centrifuge you can represent your own favorite apiaries with commercial liqueur technique who might not be commercial liqueur producers like barenjager, drambuie, irish mist, or brandymel of the algarve.


abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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Since I'm in the process of making some Seville orange liqueur, I've got a question regarding the water used to make the syrup for diluting the alcohol: Most recipes I've found tell you to use distilled water. Is there any specific reason for this if your tap water is good (i.e. not hard, not heavily chlorinated)?

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I live in Portland OR. Our water is pretty much mineral free. I just boil the water to get out the chlorine and then let it cool before using it.

Sent from my GT-P5113 using Tapatalk 2


Edited by Keith Orr (log)

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I just went on with it yesterday. I used the bitter orange syrup I had left over from candying a bunch of peels, for that extra bit of orange flavor ;)

Before the whole filtering and mixing step:

PEP70007.jpg

The final liqueur:

PEP70035.jpg

I used one liter of 96 % by volume neutral grape spirit and the peels of 1 kg of Seville oranges. After filtration (and the resulting evaporation loss), I had about 750 g of liquid (wasn't able to measure the volume) and about 800 g of syrup (I've got really no idea what brix, but it did not crystalize even in the fridge, so probably not too high). I was not able to taste the liqueur yet as I'm still healing after tooth surgery, it may be a bit on the sweet side. But oh boy, did it smell great!


Edited by pep. (log)

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for those into making liqueurs. I just found some buried treasure.

I started collecting old issues of Peter Dominic's WineMine quarterly from the 1960's and 70's. inside one of the issues was an amazing account of rural French liqueurs from a journalist named Joe Hollander who retired to Provence.

A La Votre by Joe Hollander from issue #25 from 1973. An account of Provencal drinks “both above and below the legal line”.

above the legal line:

As for aperitifs and digestifs, apart from intensely publicized products like Dubonnet, St. Raphael and Byrrh, and Benedictine and Chartreuse, the floridly labelled bottles of Banyuls, Grenache and Muscat, all naturally sweet wines, and of Verveine de Velay, Izzara, Mandarin, Ambassadeur and other imaginative designations, are seldom disturbed from their resting places behind the bar and their labels would appear to serve mainly a decorative purpose. I have never yet seen anyone order a Suze (based on Gentian bitters), or a Bonal, prepared with Peruvian quinquina bark.

below the legal line:

Throughout the Midi there’s a more or less universal, if not exactly legal, cottage production of spirituous beverages going on behind the shutters of village houses.

Like most country women, Madame Allegre has probably never bought a bottle of branded aperitif or liqueur over the counter in her life. Nor have I ever seen a Vin de Noix, a Vin de Marquis, or a Peach Leaf aperitif served in any auberge, bar, bistrot, brasserie, buvette, cafe, estaminet, guingette or tavern in France–to say nothing of a liqueur 44, made of oranges and 44 coffee beans!

Madame Allegre take two average-size oranges, chiseling their skins so that she can insert 22 coffee beans between the peel and pulp of each. She then steeps the larded oranges in one litre of Eau-de-Vie, together with 22 lumps of No 3 size sugar (the popular domino-shaped sucre de Marseille) and a stick of vanilla. She keeps this infusion going for 44 days (that magic number again!), shaking it from time to time until the sugar is completely dissolved. She then removes the orange, presses them and pours back the juice they yield into the liqueur mixture, which can then be bottled and stored in a cool place.

For her Vin de Noix, seven walnuts are first steeped in a litre of Eau-de-Vie to produce the basic cordial. A quarter litre of this extract, together with 15 to 20 lumps of sugar, are then mixed with one litre of good red wine to yield two pints of Walnut Wine. The heart-warming thought is that you still have enough basic cordial in reserve to make another eight bottles.

The Widow Audibert, Madame Allegre’s neighbor, specializes in making a Vin de Marquis, otherwise known as Vin d’Orange. There are multiple variations of the formula; some use only the orange peel, some use the whole orange, flesh, pips and juice, others add one or more lemons. The wine used can be a robust red, white, or rose; eau-de-vie or cognac in varying quantities is essential, so is sugar. By experimenting, I have found the recipe A la Veuve Audibert to be not only excellent but the most economical.

Five whole, and preferably bitter, oranges cut up into the smallest possible chunks, with a lemon given the same treatment, are popped into a large glass or earthenware receptacle (I use a 10-litre glass bonbonne which I can cork) to which is added a kilogram, say 2/1/4 lb, of ordinary white lump sugar (some specify granulated sugar; others advocate pure cane sugar), then five litres of good red wine and one litre of eau-de-vie. Final additives are a stick or two of vanilla and a baby’s fistful of quinquina or Peruvian bark, obtainable from a chemist or herbalist.

Shake the receptacle well and repeat this at least once a day for a fortnight–but a month is preferably better. Using a large wire kitchen strainer to collect the orange debris, I then decant into bottles and find that I then have over six litres, or eight pint bottles, of first-class aperitif or dessert wine for around 30 francs (about £2.50) which is good going in any currency.

An Antillaise, based on a recipe that the Widow Audibert’s son brought back from Guadaloupe, requires strips of the skins of two fresh tangerines and one orange to be placed in a small bottle, together with a stick of vanilla, split and cut into small pieces, all then being covered with a quantity of rum taken from a litre bottle. Let this mixture infuse for a fortnight, then add the resulting extract to the remaining rum and a syrup made by boiling 1/2 kilo of sugar in a slightly lesser volume of water for ten minutes.


abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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Thanks for that - I just saw Seville oranges for sale in the local grocery store. I'm not wanting to make any marmalade this year - but I think that Vin d'Orange is just what the doctor ordered. I believe I have all the necessary ingredients except the oranges. Might make a slightly smaller batch though.

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for those into making liqueurs. I just found some buried treasure.

This is great stuff. I love these old regional liqueurs; their recipes and preparation are often so inventive and the flavors can be phenomenal. You're doing great work collecting this stuff.


DrunkLab.tumblr.com

”In Demerara some of the rum producers have a unique custom of placing chunks of raw meat in the casks to assist in aging, to absorb certain impurities, and to add a certain distinctive character.” -Peter Valaer, "Foreign and Domestic Rum," 1937

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BA keep these coming please!

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A few days after sugaring my bitter orange liqueur, I've noticed that the sugar has started to crystallize not only at the bottom, but there seem to be tiny crystals floating around, too. Are the oil<br />droplets acting as seeds for the sugar crystals? Otherwise it seems weird because the syrup stayed liquid for more than a month even in the fridge.

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A few days after sugaring my bitter orange liqueur, I've noticed that the sugar has started to crystallize not only at the bottom, but there seem to be tiny crystals floating around, too. Are the oil<br />droplets acting as seeds for the sugar crystals? Otherwise it seems weird because the syrup stayed liquid for more than a month even in the fridge.

what you are most likely encountering is precipitated pectin. the main reason the pith is removed from the peels is because of pectin and not the bitterness that people usually site. peels also shouldn't be over steeped. the oils are easily soluble so infusing longer just means more pectin.

so just let it precipitate and rack it off into a another jar.


abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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A few days after sugaring my bitter orange liqueur, I've noticed that the sugar has started to crystallize not only at the bottom, but there seem to be tiny crystals floating around, too. Are the oil<br />droplets acting as seeds for the sugar crystals? Otherwise it seems weird because the syrup stayed liquid for more than a month even in the fridge.

what you are most likely encountering is precipitated pectin. the main reason the pith is removed from the peels is because of pectin and not the bitterness that people usually site. peels also shouldn't be over steeped. the oils are easily soluble so infusing longer just means more pectin.

so just let it precipitate and rack it off into a another jar.

Ah, that explains the weird floating glitter. However, there is also some sugar crystallization occuring, I've noticed relatively large crystals that have formed at the bottom of the oringinal jar (I only noticed this after I had started bottling, so it will be getting a bit messy - lots of really small bottles). Thanks!

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I used one liter of 96 % by volume neutral grape spirit and the peels of 1 kg of Seville oranges. After filtration (and the resulting evaporation loss), I had about 750 g of liquid (wasn't able to measure the volume) and about 800 g of syrup (I've got really no idea what brix, but it did not crystalize even in the fridge, so probably not too high). I was not able to taste the liqueur yet as I'm still healing after tooth surgery, it may be a bit on the sweet side. But oh boy, did it smell great!

judging by these proportions you've used you could likely see some sugar crystalizing. it takes more time than you'd think to happen if you do not have any seed points.

a theory i have is that many of the highest quality liqueurs of the 19th century were sugared to the maximum of solubility. as alcohol increases solubility of sugar decreases. there aren't really any charts that predict sucrose solubility for a given alcohol content but one example might be the curacao analyzed by the german agro-chemist joseph konig in 1879. it had 55% alcohol and 285g/l of sugar. i suspect the sugar content for the early chartreuses was also the maximum of solubility for their very high alcohol contents. there are many liqueurs that decoratively grow rock candy crystals. i've seen elaborate recipes for rock & rye that coat the sides of the bottle with crystals.

i never add syrup to my liqueurs. i prefer to add only a weighed out measure of granular sugar and to stir it in. granular sugar is 1.6 times more dense than water so we can estimate fairly well what the sugar will displace volumetrically. if you want your sugar content to be 250 g/l just divide 250 by 1.6 and you will figure out how much your are displacing. this will help you hit better end points for sugar and alcohol content.

another good trick is to measure the density of that syrup or the alcohol content of your non sugared infusion (if you have lost track of it) with a kitchen scale. density is just mass/volume and a volumetric flask can be made just by filling a bottle to the very top. to find a fairly accurate volume of the bottle just weigh how much water fills it. one gram of water displaces one milliliter. some online converters can be used to turn the mass/volume measure into specific gravity, brix, alcohol content or whatever is most intuitive.


abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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Here's a question (this thread is fascinating reading!) I've got a couple of litres of high-proof vodka (80% by volume) infused with coffee from very nice medium-roast single plantation beans. At the moment drinking it neat, it's like being hit on the head with an espresso sledgehammer.

I've been experimenting with it; thus far the best of the blends has about 1% vanilla by volume and about 100g/L of sugar via a concentrated medium-gold panela syrup. It's still like being hit on the head, but this time by a Cuban coffee sledgehammer.

Any suggestions? It's got a round, complex, bitter profile on its own (enough to make me want to play around with a bit of it and maybe some herbs to create a coffee-centric bitters), and the panela syrup improves it but there's still something missing. I'm seriously toying with the idea of infusing some dark chocolate into it to see if I can get a mochaccino effect, but I'm having a really hard time balancing the bitterness.


Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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A bit of salt or saline solution should help with the bitterness.

I like the flavor profile of Dr. Adam's Aphrodite bitters a lot; they're heavy on the coffee and chocolate, with background notes of ginger, ginseng, and red chili. That's one direction you could take your liqueur. Or you could just add the chili, and be hit in the head with a Mexican coffee sledgehammer instead.

Almond/Maraschino is another direction you could go.

It sounds like you may want to consider diluting it?


Edited by Rafa (log)

DrunkLab.tumblr.com

”In Demerara some of the rum producers have a unique custom of placing chunks of raw meat in the casks to assist in aging, to absorb certain impurities, and to add a certain distinctive character.” -Peter Valaer, "Foreign and Domestic Rum," 1937

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I've tried diluting - I have about 500 mL of it at 40% by volume, and it still kicks like a mule. Diluting doesn't do the flavour any favours either, which is why I'm keeping the rest at a higher proof.


Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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OK, I can report that the solution to the coffee sledgehammer was to add cream and just a hint of dark chocolate ganache to it. That levelled out the unpleasant part of the bitter flavour, brought down the proof, and added a really pleasant chocolate note without sweetening unduly.

And here's a new question: has anybody played with nectarine liqueurs? Is there a trick to them beyond the usual sugar-booze-infuse?


Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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OK, I can report that the solution to the coffee sledgehammer was to add cream and just a hint of dark chocolate ganache to it. That levelled out the unpleasant part of the bitter flavour, brought down the proof, and added a really pleasant chocolate note without sweetening unduly.

And here's a new question: has anybody played with nectarine liqueurs? Is there a trick to them beyond the usual sugar-booze-infuse?

I've made peach infused bourbon. One each: 750ml bourbon, pound of peeled, pitted sliced peaches, cup of sugar. All together in a half gallon jar. Shake daily for two weeks. Let sit for another two weeks and strain through cheese cloth and then a coffee filter. It was pretty good stuff.

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