Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Delicious booze

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Remember these guys, my progress oranges?  They came out of their brandy soak and the verdict on homemade Cointreau is that it is delicious.  As J said when we were sampling rather liberally on Saturday night, it has all the taste of clementines without the weird artificial orange juice flavor that orange liqueurs sometimes have.

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As per usual, everything that was going to come into contact with liquid got a good sanitization.  The whole shebang got dumped out into a sieve over a bowl, and because I foolishly used ground cloves rather than whole cloves, I let the cloves settle out before trying to pour off the brandy.

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The clementines also kept their shapes really well, but that meant that they'd kept a lot of their deliciousness, so I put on latex gloves and squeezed all the goodness out of them and let that settle as well before pouring off.  Then I got out the bottles to be used, the funnel, and the extra flavoring (in this case, a dash of lemon juice) and got everything ready to go.

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Since I don't believe in measuring strongly enough, I can't say exactly how much brandy went in with the seven clementines into the 24oz mason jar they steeped in, but 2 cups of brandy/orange goodness came out.  More ground cloves did as well, so I let the liquid settle again in a measuring cup before adding the alcohol to the sugar syrup.

The recipe I used called for one cup of 2:1 sugar syrup to every three cups of alcohol.  (2:1 sugar syrup means 2 cups of sugar to a cup of water).  I had two cups, so I made 2/3 cups of sugar syrup.  This was waaaay too much!  I only used maybe 1/3 cup, and because I foolishly didn't cleanse my palate after drinking my very sweet morning coffee, the sample I tasted while making it didn't taste as sweet to me as it ended up being.  Which makes it a good sipping liqueur by itself, but it's going to sweeten whatever it's mixed with quite a bit.  I think it'll make for a good sidecar addition.  

So the final recipe: 

7 clementines
Mason jar to fit
Brandy to cover
2 tsp ground cloves or whole cloves to taste
1 tsp lemon juice
1/3 c 2:1 sugar syrup or less to taste

Now we have to get some more bottles so the blueberry liqueur has somewhere to go when it's ready this week.  We had been keeping all the liquor bottles we go through, but between the beer, cider, and liqueurs, we've gone through 6 months of accumulated bottles really quickly!


  1. I don't know anything about liqueurs, but that looks delicious. Do you sip it, or mix it with other stuff?

  2. It's good alone, but I made it for the purpose of mixing. I'm thinking it'll be good in sidecars, which we drink pretty often. J and I a lot of nights have a cocktail after dinner instead of beer or wine, so I started doing the liqueurs to have more flavors to play around with.