Episode-1923- Making Homemade Liqueurs and More
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I have talked a bit here and there over the years about making home made liqueurs and a few times given out my recipe for Limoncello but I have yet to do a full show on just this subject, today that changes. I am going to talk about a few different things you can do today when it comes to hand crafting your own higher end alcohol products.
These can often be made with simple low priced vodka or grain alcohol (diluted to proper levels), though some require things like rum or brandy. Today I am going to go beyond that and discuss how you can take things like neutral spirts and turn them into say rum or whiskey or brandy by using essences and or aging on various forms of wood.
Why would one wish to do this. First is saving money. A bottle of something like Frangelico for instance will sell for 25-30 dollars, but you can make it with essences for about 8-10 a bottle with mid grade Vodka like say Takka. You can also make it with less sugar, a bit higher in alcohol if you like and we can repete that with many other and even more expensive liqueurs. How about something similar to Gran Marnier for 10-12 bucks a bottle or less, yes we can do that too.
Next think about how valuable this skill would be in a total SHTF break down, anyone can make some “fuel that you drink” but being able to make it into something special well, not just everyone knows how to do that. I am not one that holds to the total collapse theory but I can see several partial collapse scenarios where this skill has value.
How about something to give as gifts to friends. Rather than show up to that party with a bottle of wine being regifted for the 13th time how about some home made peppermint schnapps made from your own peppermint. If you do it that way it will be green instead of clear but trust me it will never be regifted.
In the end it is just plain fun to do and you can create some really cool stuff and you know that fruit that you over produce that is about to go bad, how about turning it into something amazing that will keep almost forever. Today we discuss all this and more.
Join Me Today to Discuss…
- What is liquor vs. liqueur
- What are “alcohol essences” and what are their limits
- Why would use use essences over say fresh ingredients
- Where is the best place to get essences
- Aging on wood, why I prefer oak spirals
- The main types of syrups for liqueurs
- Simple Syrup
- Brown Simple Syrup
- Caramelized Simple Syrup
- Creamy Simple Syrup
- Tangy-Creamy Simple Syrup
- The basic process of making liqueurs
- Muddle your fruit/herbs/etc with alcohol or alcohol and syrup
- Age sufficiently to infuse
- Strain out ingredients
- Sweeten if you didn’t use sugar out of the gate
- Bottle and enjoy
- The basic process of making liquors or liqueurs with essences
- Select the essence of your choice
- Add it to the proper amount of neutral spirit
- Add any other called for ingredients
- Either of these can also be wood aged, further spiced etc.
- How to calculate your approximate alcohol in the final product
- How to use “Everclear” without it being so “expensive”
- A few recipes I have made
- Orange Brandy (like Gran Marnier or Cointreau)
- Chamomile Angel
- Poire William
- Some essences I have tried and enjoyed so far
- Hazelnut – (source) – Note this one requires SS Liqueur Base B – or liquid glucose
- Macadamia Nut – (source)
- Cuban Rum – (source) – Note unlike the others this makes one 750 bottle not three
- Rye Whiskey – (source)
- Final thoughts
- These are for sipping not blowing up your liver
- Recipes are fine the real fun is making them your own
Resources for today’s show…
- Join the Members Brigade
- The Year 1923
- Join Our Forum
- Walking To Freedom
- TSP Gear
- TspAz.com – Support TSP When You Shop Amazon
- The Granddaddy’s Gun Club
- Homemade Liqueurs and Infused Spirits by Andrew Schloss
- Mile Hi Distilling – If you buy anything from them please mention us to them. I am trying to get them into the MSB.
- Calculation of Alcohol Levels in your Liquor
- A Boy Named Sue – Johnny Cash
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I can’t believe no one else has yet commented on this delightful episode to share their own favorites!
Here are some links for a different approach: without sugar.
The Danish site suggests how to use these different flavors to accompany food.
On the Cottage Smallholder site, scroll down for favorite recipes. Of course, you could sweeten any of them if you wanted, but if it’s more one’s habit to have a drink before dinner with a mixer, sugar isn’t really necessary.
Now for a sweet one with historic credentials, there’s Cherry Bounce:
This was a big hit with my friends this year. It also gives a perspective on “to squeeze or not to squeeze”. In general I agree with you: get all the goodie out, unless it might be bitter like citrus pith. But in the case of some fruits, such as the cherries, brandied cherries are just as good a thing to have as cherry brandy, so squeeze them only a little if at all. So far, I’ve used the brandied cherries to bake with pears and (chopped) in honey bread. Function stacking! ?
loved it Jack
just loved it.
As a bartender for far longer than I would like to admit this show really was a hit. Being of Ukrainian extraction, and a beekeeper. I think that you’ll dig this recipe:
A recipe for krupnik (or if you are Lithuanian, “vyrta”). A honey and spiced liqueur that is popular in my hometown of Baltimore. The linked recipe is pretty decent it can be fudged a little bit. Proportions can be played with. The final product is wonderful for the winter. A word of warning…this stuff sells at one bar under the moniker “evil”. Very apt. The base alcohol in this is grain alcohol (people have been known to use rye whiskey too). The longer it ages the more mellow it becomes….However, its grain so don’t drink too much (ask me how I know).
Wow I think I would take my everclear or fuel down to about 140-150 before starting that one!
Also no need to boil the honey. Just dissolve in hot water, then no scum, which is all the good shit. Ill likely try it with those tweaks, go to run the numbers on the final volume and proof it would come out at. I’d try to target 80-90 for this stuff, the way this is done it is more like 120-130 off the top of my head.
120ish seems about right. The versions made with rye whiskey are also pretty good stuff and decidedly lower proof. Personally I like the punch in the gullet every once in awhile. Gets the cobwebs out and occasionally lifts the fog during the dreary month of March here in the Northeast.
A lot of the ingredients in this recipe are also used in a crockpot (it will certainly get ya crocked) party cocktail that I am told is a favorite in the PA Coal region “Boil-o”. My lady who is a Lancaster County native got turned onto it years ago by a friend from Shamokin…We make it in the winter occasionally for parties and such…(the version we make omits the raisins…The base whiskey that we use in this is Old Grandad…High Proof and reasonably priced)
My little story from making liqeur:
One year while I was in college I decided to make some cordials using the fruit from our brambles. I did, and got pretty good batches of raspberry cordial and blackberry cordial.
The “interesting” part came when I explained the whole infusing process to one of my apartment-mates, and he was taken by it enough that he decided to try his hand at infusing a vodka.
He decided to use the fruits from the habanero plant he was growing on our deck.
He did not deseed the peppers before infusing.
(4 months later, cue a half-dozen people desperately guzzling water and shoving wonderbread into their mouths…)