Sunday, December 07, 2008

Raspberry Liqueur

I bought a book for 25 cents at a garage sale last summer called Cordials from Your Kitchen by Pattie Vargas and Rich Gulling, and in September, I made raspberry liqueur from rasps (as the British call them) that I bought at an apple orchard in Romeo when I was there for work. Here's my recipe, adapted from one in the book, that I made. It came out fantastic. Next summer, when you are looking for ways to preserve all those raspberries, this is a great one to try.

I was interested in figuring out what proof this liqueur was, so I did the math. Proof is just double the number of the percentage of alcohol in a beverage, i.e. 100 proof alcohol is 50% alcohol. Wine is generally about 12% alcohol, which is 24 proof. A typical mixed drink, such as a vodka and tonic, would be about 15% alcohol, which is 30 proof. I calculated the proof of this liqueur to be 34 proof, which 17% alcohol. So it's a bit stiffer drink than a typical mixed drink or wine, but it doesn't taste strong at all, so be careful! Drink it in small cordial glasses to pace yourself.

Raspberry Liqueur

Makes 4 wine bottles

4 pints fresh raspberries, washed

2 cups sugar
2 bottles of cheap white zinfandel wine, or any white wine will work, too
A fifth of the cheapest vodka you can find. Nowadays, I guess a 5th is called a 750 ml bottle. Don't waste your Grey Goose on this liqueur.
4 cups water

Crush berries and sugar in a bowl and let them macerate for about an hour. In a gallon sized container that has a lid (I have a big glass jar that I make picked eggs in that has a cork lid that I use for this) add berries and remaining ingredients. Cover and let stand in a cook, dark place, for a week. Shaking the container at least once a day.

After a week, use a fine mesh strainer to strain out the solids and discard them. Rinse out your gallon container and put the liqueur back in it and let it stand for another week. Then you have to filter the liqueur, read this post I found for a veritable epistle on all the ways you can filter liqueurs. I rack filtered mine, which is fancy talk for using a hose like you would use to drain an aquarium to clean it. I might do a second filtration the next time I make this as I ended up with a little bit of sludge in my bottles. I put my final product in some pretty wine bottles I had been saving, but you can put it in whatever you have - canning jars, liquor bottles, whatever catches your eye. I used old wine corks to close my bottles - I closed them lightly in case there was any gasses that might be generated, but there didn't seem to be any. Let it age in the bottle for at least a month.


Maggie said...

I love homemade cordials but it's something I haven't done myself yet.

BTW, I've used your oil crust a couple of times now and really like it.

Allison said...

hey there- I was wondering if you knew where in Ann Arbor area I could get my own mother of vinegar-- I'm thinking slimy but delightful Christmas presents.

Mom said...

I don't have any mother to spare right now...but you could get some locally. Check out this blog for some Detroit area sources.

You could also buy some organic unpasteurized vinegar like Braggs and use that - check out this blog for more info on what to do

Unfortunately, you won't have enough mother to give away at Christmas - if you started today, using either method, you're probably a couple months off from being able to have enough to give away.

Allison said...

so, I think i may already have a mother (!)
about a week ago, I went to make vinaigrette and ended up using the last dregs of the vinegar bottle. As i was shaking every last little drop out of the bottle, i noticed a large gelatinous mass shaking around it there. It was sorta gross, but i paid it no mind, and moved on.... And just now i remembered about it, dug the bottle out of the recycling, and low and behold, the contents look a LOT like a mother. A whole lot.
should i try it? I don't know anything about vinegar (or chemistry, for that matter) to know if this is even plausible. Thanks for all your help!

Mom said...

Could be! Give it a shot....just add some wine and see what happens.

Edward Vielmetti said...

I found a bunch of liqueur recipes last summer - enjoy