Home Made Liqueurs

K9 (teen) liqueur - inspired by Stuart Gobeil. This drink features 19 Kumquats (each stuffed with a coffee bean) and soaked in a bottle of vodka for 19 days. When strained off, it is sweetened with a syrup made by heating 250g of sugar in the minimum quantity of water until fully dissolved. Take care not to caramelise the syrup. Cool it before adding to the spirit. The result is a delectable orangy liqueur with a subtle, almost indistinct, overtone of coffee.

Liqueurs in general

Generally, a liqueur is made by infusing a pleasant volatile substance in a neutral spirit such as vodka. Some more specialised liqueurs use a different spirit such as whisky to add a subtleness of flavour characterised by the raw liquor. In most cases, the resulting infusion should be sweetened up using a sugar syrup. Note: not the syrup that is sold commercially in tins: this is would give a quite unacceptable flavour.
For a single bottle of spirit it is preferable to moisten 250g of white sugar with water in a saucepan; heat it up until it dissolves (you might need to add more water - but keep this to a minimum). Under no circumstances allow the syrup to caramelise. If a slight colour develops - no problem, but no dark colour should be tolerated. A rather unusual flavour will be imparted to your liqueur if you used such material.
Note: allow the syrup to cool before adding it to your infusion.
Sometimes a sweet infusion is not the answer. My Basilime, for example, is unsweetened and drunk with tonic water rather like vodka and lime.

Basilime. This is made by paring the rind from 3 limes, adding a handful of basil leaves and infusing the mixture in a bottle of vodka for 2 weeks. Serve with tonic water and ice for a very superior variation on "vodka and lime".
The classic sloe gin - also sloe vodka (made in precisely the same way).

Sloe gin (and vodka)

Collect fresh sloes (blackthorn trees have VERY sharp thorns!) - enough to half-fill a gin bottle. Old recipes tell you to prick each fruit with a darning needle. A fork works just as well! However, in the 21st century, an even better method exists: simply freeze the fruit in a bag, then allow it to thaw out. This process will break the fruit up and allow the spirit to extract the flavour and colour. You should fill your bottle with your chosen spirit. True - gin does have a distinctive flavour and many people prefer vodka. Allow the extraction process to go on for at least 3 months, strain the spirit off, then sweeten with a sugar syrup. This can be 8oz (225g) of sugar in a small amount of water which is heated until all the sugar dissolves. Do not allow it to caramelise, and DO cool it before adding to the sloe liquor. As you can see in the photograph - it's much more convenient to use a wide-necked storage jar!

Note: if you prefer your sloe gin sweeter - or less sweet - adjust the syrup additions accordingly.

LEMINGER

Leminger

This is a subtle combination of lemon and fresh ginger. It is absolutely delicious!

Pare the rind from two lemons. Peel and chop a 1.5 inch (about 3cm) piece of fresh ginger. Place both into a wide necked storage jar and add 1 bottle of vodka. Leave to infuse for about a month. Filter out the vegetable matter and sweeten the liquid with a sugar syrup made from 8 oz (220g) of sugar in the minimum amount of boiling water.

Bottle and enjoy. This tastes sublime! It is very reminiscent of a famous Italian liqueur - guess which one!

Sunset Passion. This just sublime! 1 Pomegrante (halved), 2 large passion fruits (halved). Infuse in vodka, then sweeten to taste. Complete in one month.

Passion Blush

1 pomegranate (halved)

2 passion fruits (halved)

1 bottle vodka

8oz (220g) sugar made up as a syrup

3 oranges (just pare the rinds - this is all you need)

Infuse all fruits in 1 bottle of vodka for about 1 month. Strain off the liquor (best to filter it through kitchen tissue paper) and sweeten up with syrup to your taste. Note: on first making this, without the orange, it had a rather pleasant, but perhaps overwhelming, flavour of pomegranate. It has a beautifully attractive colour (which is most appealing) but the orange parings transformed it into a truly delicious liqueur! 

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Martin | Reply 28.08.2017 17.37

Hi,
Recently moved to Tonbridge. Are there any good areas you can suggest to pick sloes?

asd | Reply 17.05.2015 12.24

http://www.rec.com

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Latest comments

29.10 | 12:37

I have a Beer Sphere with gas and a number of Demi-Johns which I no longer need. If anyone is interested please contact me on 01892 832684 (Paddock Wood)

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21.09 | 16:11

Hi,
I am just starting wine making so could really use some Demijohns. I live close to S'oaks so easy collecting.
Regards,
bob.goodsir@btinternet.com

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06.09 | 20:39

I have a black grape vine ( just turning black now) probably enough to fill a flexitub. I live in Blean Nr Canterbury if anyone is this way and would like them

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05.09 | 08:40

I see many offers of demijohns! I have about a dozen, clean and sound, near Sevenoaks if anyone would like to take them away. Call me on 01732 463214.

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