homemade liqueur recipe

Cherry Vanilla Liqueur

 Cherry Vanilla Liqueur

Cherry Vanilla Liqueur

I bought a lot of cherries, with plans to make jam and to dehydrate some. Maybe even make pie filling. But it is really hot here today, so I  decided to use some of the cherries to make cherry liqueur, instead. It is easy, and the reward is having this lovely liqueur to enjoy even when cherries aren’t in season. I added a couple of vanilla beans to mine, but you can leave them out, if you prefer. You could also add 1-2 tablespoons of vanilla extract.

 

Cherry Vanilla Liqueur

2 c. granulated sugar
4 c. vodka or brandy
1 lb. large, washed, stemmed and pitted sweet cherries
2 (6-7 inch) vanilla beans, broken into several pieces

Place sugar and vodka or brandy in a large jar- I used a half gallon canning jar. Stir until sugar is mostly dissolved. Add cherries and vanilla and cover jar. Do not stir. Place in a cool, dark place for 3 months, without stirring or shaking. Strain and filter. Divine! Makes 4-6 cups.

Homemade Cherry-Vanilla Liqueur

 Cherry Vanilla Liqueur

Cherry Vanilla Liqueur

I bought a lot of cherries, with plans to make jam and to dehydrate some. Maybe even make pie filling. But it is really hot here today, so I  decided to use some of the cherries to make cherry liqueur, instead. It is easy, and the reward is having this lovely liqueur to enjoy even when cherries aren’t in season. I added a couple of vanilla beans to mine, but you can leave them out, if you prefer. You could also add 1-2 tablespoons of vanilla extract.

 

Cherry Vanilla Liqueur

2 c. granulated sugar
4 c. vodka or brandy
1 lb. large, washed, stemmed and pitted sweet cherries
2 (6-7 inch) vanilla beans, broken into several pieces

Place sugar and vodka or brandy in a large jar- I used a half gallon canning jar. Stir until sugar is mostly dissolved. Add cherries and vanilla and cover jar. Do not stir. Place in a cool, dark place for 3 months, without stirring or shaking. Strain and filter. Divine! Makes 4-6 cups.

Homemade Peach Brandy

Homemade Peach Brandy

Homemade Peach Brandy

I like to think of making flavored brandy and other liqueurs as just one more type of food preservation. I make jams and jelly with seasonal fruit, so why not preserve some of Summer’s bounty in alcohol?  Peach brandy is one of my favorites. Pretty simple, really. Just combine peaches with brandy and allow the mixture to steep. Once enough time had passed, drain out the fruit. After straining out the fruit I also filter the brandy through either coffee filters or cheesecloth to get it nice and clear. Sweetening is optional. Poured into pretty bottles, they can make fun gifts, too.

 

 

Peach Brandy

10 medium sized ripe peaches
3 c. brandy
1 c. sugar syrup – optional – recipe follows*

Peel and pit peaches reserving only the fruit. Place in jar with brandy and steep at least a week, shaking several times. You can leave the fruit in for up to two weeks. Strain, squeezing out as much juice from the fruit as possible. Filter through cheesecloth, fine mesh strainer or coffee filters for a clearer product. Add sugar syrup, if desired,  and mature 4-6 weeks. Makes 4 cups.

*Sweetening– Simple syrup is made from 1 cup of sugar and ½ cup of water. Bring to a boil, then cool. You will have 1 cup of syrup. Some recipes call for plain sugar and others for honey. Watch when you substitute honey for sugar, as it is sweeter and stronger flavored. Better to use orange or clover honey.

 

Raspberry Liqueur

Raspberry Liqueur

Raspberry Liqueur

I enjoy making homemade liqueurs. You just start with alcohol- I  most often use vodka – then you add ingredients to flavor the alcohol. I have done all sorts over the years and raspberry is one of my all time favorites. Its beautiful color and great flavor make it nice for sipping as is or used in mixed drinks. I like to think of it as just another food preservation method!!! Here is the recipe in case you also want to make it. Makes a great gift, too.

Raspberry Liqueur

1 lb. raspberries
3 c. vodka
1 ¼ c. sugar
Combine fruit and vodka and let stand 2 -4 weeks. Stir in sugar and age 3 months. Strain and filter. Makes 3-4 cups.

Lavender Liqueur

Lavender Liqueur

Lavender Liqueur

I enjoy making homemade liqueurs and cooking with flowers so I decided to combine the two in lavender liqueur. I often bake with lavender and use it in savory cooking, too. I thought I’d try to use the lavender in a different way and see what happened.

I started by combining 2 cups of lavender blossoms with about 4 cups of vodka in a large Mason jar. These were dried blossoms from last year’s harvest. I put the lid on the jar and let it steep together for a few weeks. After a few weeks I strained out the blossoms. Then I poured the mixture through a strainer lined with a coffee filter to get out any fine particles so my end product would be clear. I had expected the mixture to be a lavender color. It ended up a pretty honey brown color instead. It also had a very strong fragrance and flavor of lavender. Quite pleasant.

After tasting the lavender vodka I decided to add sugar to the mixture. I made a cup of sugar syrup by combining one cup of sugar with 1/2 cup of water in a small pot and brought it to a boil. This gave me a cup of sugar syrup. Once the sugar syrup cooled to room temp I added it to the lavender vodka and allowed this to mellow for another week.

The odd thing was that at first the sugar syrup and lavender vodka would not blend. The sugar syrup settled to the bottom of the bottle. No amount of stirring and shaking seemed to matter. I’d all but given up when a friend was over and tipped the bottle a few times. Amazingly it finally combined. On the advice of another friend I decided to add a couple of vanilla beans as well. The flavor is pretty interesting.  Not quite sure what I will do with it yet. Perhaps a lavender martini. I am open to suggestions.