Under-the-sink booze is my favorite kind of booze
March 5, 2013 5:41 PM   Subscribe

Several months ago, the Washington Post had this article about homemade slivovitz.

As fans of the stuff, my friends and I made a batch and recently drank it. It didn't taste much like the commercial slivovitz we drink, but did still taste awesome.
And now we need more recipes and/or sources for these super simple sort of liqueurs.
The recipes need not be super simple, but the "brewing" step needs to be no more complicated than "put in closet, turn upside down every x days".
And also, it should be hard to kill ourselves.
Recipe ideas?
Technical advice?
Websites we should be reading?
posted by atomicstone to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 53 users marked this as a favorite

Limoncello (barely needs a recipe, but this is a novel technique)

Homemade Rock & Rye
posted by pullayup at 5:55 PM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Cherry Bounce (leaving the pits in, as with slivovitz, is important)
posted by pullayup at 5:58 PM on March 5, 2013

Quince liqueur

Nocino (a green walnut liqueur, you can reconstruct a recipe from the comments or Google it)

These are technically mixers, but if you like cocktails, they're really nice to have and easy to make:

Oleo saccharum (herbed variant)

posted by pullayup at 6:06 PM on March 5, 2013

Secărică (Transylvanian caraway brandy; there's another recipe for a plum-flavored spirit in the same article)
posted by pullayup at 6:09 PM on March 5, 2013

posted by mkb at 6:13 PM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

If in the future you're looking for Advanced Topics, Old-time recipes for home made wines, cordials and liqueurs from fruits, flowers vegetables and shrubs is available on Google Books and Google Play.

In general, the internet is positively lousy with this kind of recipe--you can probably just search for "homemade [ingredient] liqueur" or "homemade [ingredient] cordial".
posted by pullayup at 6:19 PM on March 5, 2013


I've made the rum variant, which is also excellent.
posted by pullayup at 6:22 PM on March 5, 2013

Boozed & Infused is a nice blog on this topic.

And, finally:
This is more of a technique than a recipe, but you can use a whipped cream canister to insta-infuse alcohol.
posted by pullayup at 6:28 PM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

How about Licor de Leite, a clear/amber Portuguese liqueur that's actually made from milk and chocolate.
posted by bcwinters at 7:19 PM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Where I come from we have a simple recipe which we apply to all sorts of fruits: strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, quince, apricots (but also the Secărică mentioned by pullyaup) etc. Basically, you put washed fruits into a big jar, cover them with sugar (roughly same weight as the fruit), allow fruits + sugar to macerate for a few days until the sugar has melted (this is where the shaking comes in - shake things up regularly so that the sugar kind of goes everywhere and coats the fruits thoroughly), and then add food-grade alcohol that does not have a taste of its own - we use special alcohol, but you can use vodka, gin, etc. Then forget about it for quite a long time. Once it's don, some people thin it with water if it is too strong.

Here is the most common one, a sour cherry drink called Vişinată (sour cherries have to be used, not cherries, very different taste - cherries are bland in this drink, even if the colour is beautiful). I suspect you can experiment quite a bit, and try it out with all sorts of fruits, or ginger, herbs, and/or spices (most people don't particularly add spices to the base recipe above, the more adventurous might add cinnamon, or vanilla, or almond/apricot kernels). We make a syrup from fir-tree tips, too, so this year I want to try to combine the two, and make a fir-tree liqueur.

Some of these have semi-medicinal purposes, such as blueberries for diarrhea or cranberries for UTIs (don't know if the cranberries work, but for the blueberries liqueur - if you make it, do make sure you don't go tipsy on it, you will regret it for a few days after).
posted by miorita at 11:39 PM on March 5, 2013 [3 favorites]

All these old-world recipes are great, but maybe it's time to get into the modern age and flavor your vodka with Skittles candy. Essentially the same thing: put your flavor-component in the alcohol, wait a while, strain out the goop.
posted by CathyG at 6:54 AM on March 6, 2013

One point of clarification: slivovitz, like brandy or eau de vie, is made from fermented fruit that is then distilled and not (much) further flavored. The stuff described in the article and most of the suggestions here are liqueurs: neutral spirits that are then flavored with something. The alcohol is coming premade, not from the plums. Totally different product, but also delicious.

There's a zillion ways to make your own liqueurs. Basic options are herbal or fruit, with many varieties of flavoring added. I've had a lot of fun turning cheap vodka into herbal liqueurs roughly like Strega, Absinthe, etc.
posted by Nelson at 2:48 PM on March 6, 2013 [4 favorites]

I infused some vodka with Buddha's Hand citrus over the holiday season thanks to some Mefites murmuring about it here and there. Hangar One makes a commercial version that's cited in The PDT Cocktail Book, among other things, but as far as I can tell it isn't available 'round these parts so this was my chance to try it. It's nice, lemony but floral too. Will make excellent spring cocktails with girly light floral and fruity and herbal syrups, I reckon.

Googling "Buddha's Hand Vodka Infuse" will get you lots of recipes but it's really as simple as yeah, stick cut up slivers of the stuff with some vodka in a clean bottle or jar, store a while, shaking gently here and there, eventually strain and enjoy.
posted by ifjuly at 5:10 PM on March 6, 2013

The Awl attempts elderflower cordial.
posted by troika at 7:20 AM on March 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

The Awl attempts elderflower cordial.

Attempts indeed. To be fair, I haven't tried to make it with dried elderflowers--it could be fine--but for me the entire point of elderflower cordial is that it's a seasonal treat prepared with fresh flowers, which are trivially easy to find in May and June in most parts of the rural American midwest (the season outside of DC may be different). They look like this, and those hand-sized inflorescences are super visible along bike trails, fencerows etc. Even if you're not collecting them they make it easy to take notes on where you can find free elderberries in autumn, unless the birds get them first.

Once you've collected your elderflowers, you can make liqueur, socata (a kind of quick-fermented wine), non-alcoholic cordial, and (if you have any left) fritters.

If you go back for the berries (I would start looking right after the first frost, but it could be different where you live), you can make elderberry syrup and liqueur. Protip: freezing the bunches whole is the best way to remove the berries from the stems without making an incredible mess. Once they're frozen, you can pop them off without crushing them. WARNING: plain elderberries are unsweet and kind of nasty.
posted by pullayup at 4:03 PM on March 13, 2013

« Older Office chair for the very tall   |   Help a programmer take care of her eyes, please. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.