Making your own fruit liqueurs is easy and inexpensive. In addition to enjoying them on their own, or you can enhance appetizer and entrée recipes with your own custom concoctions. While they make beautiful gifts presented in jars or bottles that have been purchased at a grocery store, I’ve had great luck finding more distinctive gift jars and bottles at Goodwill and the Salvation Army for only a dollar.
The General Process
Select firm, ripe fruit and place it in a crock with a tight fitting lid. Cover the fruit completely in alcohol, allowing none at all to pop up above the spirit chosen. Store in the refrigerator.
You can wait any length of time, from a few days to a few weeks. Just sample it from time to time until you are satisfied with the flavor. Strain the mix by pouring it through a coffee filter placed in a straining cone. Add sugar syrup, and then decant the filtered mixture into sterilized glass containers and cork. Mature for two or three months in a dark cabinet. That’s it!
This recipe yields a gorgeous amber-colored liqueur with great fragrance. It looks like a jewel in cut glass decanters. Any liqueur can be used in recipes, but try this as a starting point, and then develop you own variations on the theme.
1 pound fresh apricots
3 cups vodka
1 cup sugar syrup *
Remove pits from apricots and slice them in half. Combine the fruit and alcohol in crock. Steep about two weeks in the refrigerator, gently shaking the mixture every few days. Squeeze the fruit and strain it until the liquid is clear. Add sugar syrup and decant into bottles and cork. Mature in a dark place for two to three months.
* Recipe for Sugar Syrup: Boil 2 cups of sugar in 1 cup of water, then pour the mixture into a clean glass jar. Cover.