WINES AND LIQUEURS
FRESH FRUIT LIQUEURS
Simplicity itself, not only producing a sweetish liqueur, depending on how much sugar you add, but also preserving the fruit which can then be used separately as a pudding, served with low fat yoghourt or quark. The sugar and neat, cheap, 40% alcohol by vol supermarket spirit, work together to preserve the fruit.
Take a sterilised bottling jar or other wide opening jars with close fitting lids, and fill with clean, quality fresh fruit which has been pricked all over with a fork. The fruit should be placed in alternate layers, lightly sprinkled with sugar. Do not pack the fruit down, but let it just settle under its own weight. Slowly fill the bottle with the neat spirit until it covers the fruit. Gently stir the contents of the jar to ensure that the alcohol has reached all over the individual fruits. Close the bottle and leave for 6 months, if you can keep your hands off it!!.
Alternatively, if you want the fruit to be slightly soft, you can place the clean fruit in a pan with a close fitting lid and gently heat with a very little water until the fruit softens. It is then possible to easily remove stones and most of the skin from fruit such as plums. Cool the fruit and then fill your jar as before with a neat spirit and some sugar.
While you start off with the alcohol content of the spirit at 40% by volume, fruit juices will dilute the alcohol percentage during the resting period. If you have over-packed the fruit, the alcohol percentage may reduce so much as to allow fermentation or spoilage to take place. This will be indicated by bubbles of gas escaping from the jar contents. If this happens, stir in a crushed Campden tablet, as used in home winemaking.
Once you have eaten the fruit as a pudding with low fat yoghourt, or as a topping for your cereal or porridge, pour off the resulting liqueur into a screw top bottle and use as a liqueur. This method seems to work best with sour fruits, so the resulting liqueur is not too sweet and sickly. Here are some suggestions:-
Morello Cherry Brandy. Use a cheap brandy.
Plum Rum or Brandy. Use a cheap spirit.
Sloe Gin. A well known Country classic. Pick your sloes from country hedgerows, after the leaves have fallen from the Sloe bushes, and convert this incredibly mouth puckering, bitter fruit, into a divine spirit, using a cheap Gin. Pour off the liquid and use as a liqueur. While the sloes are too bitter to be used as a pudding, a few can be added to a meat stew for additional flavour, instead of Juniper Berries. Watch out for the small stones.
HOME WINE MAKING.
This is too big a subject for this site to cover. There are Country Classics, such as Parsnip Wine, Carrot Whisky, Elderberry Wine, and Gooseberry and Elderflower “Champagne”, and many more. Consult a good book, such as “Home Brewing & Wine-Making” by W.H.T. Tayleur.
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