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Colorful Liquor

I realize I’ve talked about my plum liqueur (sadly Mitsuwa no longer sells Japanese Plums for delivery so I haven’t been able to make more, but I am experimenting with local plums) and my sorta-failed experiment with sweet potato liqueur. However, I have not shown my other more commonly drunk liqueurs.

Left to Right: Oatmeal-Brown Sugar, Sweet Potato, Blueberry, Strawberry, Cranberry, Sour Apple, and Roasted Pineapple Tequila.

My recipes, based on tweaking over a few iterations are below. The recipes in bold are the ones I intend to keep making while the others were not good enough to justify making them again. Note, I have found it useful to use this fruit press to help get roughly 1-3 cups of extra liqueur out of fleshy fruit recipes that would otherwise get wasted. I also use a silicone filter with a funnel during bottling to keep them crystal clear, and without the liqueur getting absorbed into coffee filters while being fine enough to catch dust and spices.


Bluebery liqueur  4lb frozen blueberries, cook in pan to an even boil, then remove from heat, pour into jars with 8c vodka and 4c sugar. Let sit for a month then strain out solids and filter. 


Cranberry liqueur 4lb cranberries, lightly food processed, then cook in large pot with 3 1/2c sugar and 1c water until the cranberries become soft. Pour into jars with 8c of vodka. Let sit for no more than a  month then strain out solids then filter. 


Umeshu-Plum liqueur 2 lbs of umes, 1 pounds of sugar, 1.75L vodka, 0.75L water. De-stem umes and discard bad ones. Soak in cold water overnight then drain. Add umes, sugar, and vodka/water mix to a sterilized glass jar, should be no more than ⅔ full. Swirl the jar to mix a little every few days for the first few weeks. After 3-6 months, the umes should float, and you can remove them.


Sweet Potato Experimental: wash and peel sweet potatoes. Cut into small chunks. Roast the sweet potatoes for 10 minutes at 450. Fill 2/3 of the jar with sweet potatoes and add ½ cup of sugar-water for each cup of vodka. Add a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg. [Very earth and sweet flavor that is good but I have found few cocktails it works for except with heavy cream/whipped cream as a sort of pumpkin pie cocktail.]


Granny Smith: 3 apples, cored and sliced, to 2 cups vodka to 2 cups sugar to 1 lemon peel to 1 pinch nutmeg. Add to jar, sun for 1 week, strain out solids, and age for 1 month. [Note, wound up very sweet, without a very strong apple or sour flavor, try adding some of that ascorbic acid?]


Pineapple: 1 medium pineapple, cored and sliced into chunks. Scooped out some remaining flesh and poured juice together. ½ cup sugar syrup + 2.5 cups vodka. [Good pineapple flavor, but not that strong, could do with a little less sweetness] 


Roasted Pineapple Cinnamon Tequila: 2 medium pineapples. Cored and sliced into rings. Dusted with cinnamon on both sides. Roasted for 18 minutes at 450. Combine with 2c water and 1L anejo tequila. Soak for 1 month. Strain out the pineapples and filter the cinnamon. 


Brown Sugar Oatmeal: 1c oats, 1/2c brown sugar, 1/2c water, and 2c vodka. Infuse for 9 days. Strain out the oats. Let the oat dust settle and rack if desired.

Maple Bacon Bourbon: 4c bourbon (Bulleit), 1/4c maple syrup, and 1/2c bacon grease (grease from a whole pound of cooked bacon in an oven). Let it sit for three days. Freeze the bacon fat and strain. 

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