Wódka, wódka, everywhere …

Wódka, wódka, everywhere …

Before Xmas we made some apple liqueur, using apples from our tree, wódka and brandy. Just after Xmas we started some raspberry wódka. Last week we started samplers of three more – black peppercorn, chilli and cranberry.

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But have we drunk any? No, actually, not beyond little samples at the filtering stage. It needs a little time to mature (lol) and to be honest we’re aiming for long drinks for summer, not winter shots – those, of course, may come as the year progresses.

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So, how did we make our liqueur? Not difficult – you need a big jar and a load of apples, plus the patience to clean, chop and core a stack of apples. Peeling is optional – we left ours on, as we reckoned it would add more flavour.

apples  Peeled for chutney and applesauce, left the cleaned-up skin on for the liqueur

Our jar is sold by the local Tesco and Real supermarkets as a juice container and has a wide neck (vital) and a tap. In practice the tap was not much help, as it was easier come time to simply ladle out the liqueur.

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So, take a lot of apples. Clean, chop and core them (peeling optional, but get rid of the skanky bits). Fill your jar up as much as you want to – we half-filled it, which took a surprising number of apples.

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Next, get equal quantities of wódka and brandy. We used two decent brands this time, left over and unopened duty-free, but next time we’re going to give spiritus a try – it’s too strong to drink (seriously, we’re talking going blind here) but you can either use it to make jugs of punch-type drinks, or to add flavour to wódka. The technique here is important, Open your bottles and pour the contents over the apples. The technique part is staying on your feet as the fumes hit you!

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We left our apples soaking for a month before boiling up two cups of sugar with one cup of water, then adding that to the mix.

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Another two months went by and the apples soaked quietly in our summer bedroom – summer because it’s unsealed so it’s lovely and cool in the summer but like an icebox in the winter!

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Then came strain and sample day. The tap was, well, ok at the early stages as we drained off and filtered our liqueur. Later, we just used a ladle to scoop out apples and liquid. We used a coffee filter to strain the bits out and were left with two and a half bottles of crystal clear liqueur, which we capped and put away. Like we said, there was a little sampling, which suggests the finished product is going to be delicious.

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Raspberry wódka followed the same principle – soak (frozen) raspberries in wódka for three months, adding syrup after one month, then strain and store the lovely red wódka. (Sampled, lovely!)

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The others? We’ll try them out for strength as they infuse, but simply put some peppercorns, chilies or cranberries into a jar and pour over wódka. The idea is to use the first two for Bloody Marys and the cranberry wódka … well, we’ll find a use for it!

Quick update

We wrote the post a short while ago but delayed posting until we had pics. Today we sampled and filtered. Wow In brief :

– cranberry is nice and we’ll sweeten it a bit

– black pepper is hot and delicious

– chilli – well, numb tongues and a slight case of watering eye!

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