HOMEMADE LIQUEUR ANYONE?
Plum season is upon us. We have some really old wild cherry plum trees, which provide an abundance of both red and yellow plums. I think the yellow ones are called Mirabelles, but that’s by the by. Normally I make a wicked cherry plum jelly which we use not only on toast, but also with sausages, duck and in place of cranberry jelly at Christmas. We are very much in need, but I have no idea of the whereabouts of my piece of muslin, that is normally used as a jelly bag. So… using this excuse to forego the jelly, I will have a go at homemade liqueur. The results of this remain to be seen, or tasted, but I’m quite excited at the prospect of my first ever attempts at liquor making, and, to be honest, anything that can jazz up my cheap fizz at apero time is worth a go.
PERHAPS SOME OTHER HEDGEROW PRODUCTS TOO?
This brings me to wondering what might achievable with other freebies to be found in the hedgerows. Figs, Pruneaux d’Agen (more plums, but bigger purple jobbies), blackberries and maybe something with herbs. I discovered Genepi on our last trip to the Alps to visit our daughter who lives and works there in the winter. It is a herbal kind of digestif, some would say a bit like mouthwash, but I quite liked it. Now how to brew up something similar? There is definitely some more homemade liqueur experimentation to be done.
BUT SADLY, NOT ELDERFLOWER THIS YEAR
I missed the elderflowers again this year, and I’m quite cross about that. Intending every year to make something delicious from them, I never quite get round to it. Years ago we tried to make elderflower wine. It didn’t look good at all and we ended up shoving all three demijohns outside in the yard. We were too lazy to empty and clean them out. Well… about three years later, when we had a clean up in the yard, we finally had to deal with these old jars. They were full of what looked like… well, we won’t go there… Anyway, the most wonderful bubbly elderflower champagne had secretly developed!! So, again this year, that is a loss, but elderflowers inevitably turn into elderberries, so I have a goal of finding another homemade liqueur recipe in readiness for their arrival. The challenge is down. I will keep you in the loop.
WANT THE HOMEMADE LIQUEUR RECIPE…IT’S SUPER EASY!
So, back to the plums… They were picked and washed, checked and pricked over with a fork, before being put into sterilised mason jars with vodka and gin. Vodka was chosen for the red ones and gin for the yellow, for no particular reason really… They will live in the dark for a while in the pantry. I suppose they should be left two or three months, though I doubt that will be the case! Any tastings could always be topped up with more gin or vodka. No-one would know! Then they will be strained, probably through the jelly bag if I have rediscovered it or bought a new one. It’s tempting to squeeze the bag to release every last drop, but this could make the liquid cloudy. Finally the homemade liqueur can be decanted into sterilised bottles.
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These are the Kilner jars I used. They can be sealed really airtight and look nice and traditional on a shelf too>
CLICK HERE FOR KILNER JARS
I found my bit of muslin in the end but it had seen better days, so I invested in a new jelly bag, and I’m so glad i did.
CLICK HERE FOR MUSLIN BAG
When the plums had mascerated I decanted the liqueur into sterilised bottles. I recycled some bottles I already had, but if you were going to give the delicious liqueur as a gift or wanted it to look a little bit special for an occasion, you could use some pretty bottles like these.
CLICK HERE FOR SUPER SMART BOTTLES
AND CORDIAL AS WELL
The left over red plums were boiled up with some water and when well liquified sugar was added. Strained and bottled, it is all ready for non alcoholic creations or even with a splash of fizz.
There is something so satisfying about seeing the shelves of the pantry decorated with multi-coloured bottles and jars of homegrown produce. I hate, hate, hate wasting anything so it’s a great case of win win when you have so much of something to be able to add to my apero repertoire.
Hmmmm…I wonder what I could brew up with courgettes……!
The liqueur was a great success and as a bonus, once strained and decanted into bottles, the remaining plums were amazing with ice cream. A rather boozy dessert that was deemed a complete success after a relaxing summer barbecue on our aperoterrace with family…perfect!