How can I make fruit-infused grappa?
December 12, 2005 7:15 PM   Subscribe

How can I make fruit-infused grappa?

At an Italian restaurant a couple of weeks back, I had the most delicious fig-infused grappa. It was made in-house, although unfortunately that's all I know about it.

I'd love to make it as a holiday gift, or even just for my own use... but I have no idea how to go about doing this. (dried figs or fresh? fruit-to-grappa ratio? etc.)

Any help would be much appreciated. Grappa is pricey and I don't want to screw it up!
posted by mandlebrotz to Food & Drink (7 answers total)
Don't F*** with the grappa!!!!!!!!

Mmmm, if you must, (sacrilege) just drop some of the flavoring bits in and let it steep, like tea, except it takes weeks or months depending upon how quickly whatever you put in releases its flavors.

With citrus, the rind is important. Grate some and put it into a filter paper or cloth bag in the brew or filter the liquor later. Whole slices are great too, but you really want to release the fresh flavor from the rind.

There are two schools here: put in an overabundance of flavor and pull it out when ready, or put in a bit and leave it forever. I think the first is best, when done well, but the latter provides a more complex, yet less intense, flavor profile (usually).

Here is the big problem with grappa, if you use cheap grappa the result will taste like cheap grappa with fruit. If you use good grappa it can be great, but sometimes it isn't. Good grappa costs a lot and failures are expensive. Have fun.
posted by caddis at 7:52 PM on December 12, 2005

Fruit-infused liqueurs: made 'em. Some good, some not. Easy to make. Difficult to make well.

Bad news: it usually took me at least a month--Christmas may be too soon.

I always used vodka or white rum. Subtle flavors that you might associate with really good vodka or grappa would likely be overwhelmed by your flavorings.

Strawberries usually worked well, but one bad bit of fruit could throw the whole batch off. Lemon or orange peel is okay. Spices will work, but only in tiny amounts, otherwise you'll end up with tootache medicine. Anything involving fruit will need to be heavily filtered at the end to get the floating crud out.

(I've heard it called a ratafia--Googling for that turned up this blog entry by a familiar-sounding name.)
posted by gimonca at 8:20 PM on December 12, 2005


(I doubt your toot will be feeling any pain...)
posted by gimonca at 8:22 PM on December 12, 2005

The motherload as translated by Google.

The fig grappa translated:

1 liter grappa
4 small well ripened figs
1 gram of cinnamon
1 clove
1 small piece of lemon rind (yellow part only)
4 teaspoons of honey

In a hermetically sealed jar, cover the figs with the grappa 6 honey & marinate for 2 months. After this period has passed, add the other ingredients & let the mixture sit for another week. Filter the liqour & bottle it; let it mature in the bottles for another 2 months.

That's basically what the recipe says. Ancedotially speaking, my grandfather's recipe for a cherry liquor calls for the mixture to be gently shaken once a day, though I haven't yet attempted to make it as I end up eating the cherries instead of bottling them...
posted by romakimmy at 3:11 AM on December 13, 2005

err, that should be cover the figs with the grappa & honey and marinate.... Not enough cappuccino this morning.
posted by romakimmy at 3:31 AM on December 13, 2005

A friend did quite some experimenting on the making of apple flavored vodka. The best results were obtained by immersing the apples whole, after running them through top to bottom with a skewer, and soaking for at least a few weeks.
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:21 AM on December 13, 2005

immersing the apples whole, after running them through top to bottom with a skewer

Probably a good way to handle the figs, too. Cutting them up a lot just makes for more floating nasties to filter out.
posted by gimonca at 8:50 AM on December 13, 2005

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