First day of a long needed vacation. Not sure what the day holds, but I plan on it being restful, to say the very least!
Last Thursday, inspired by a book I’ve been meaning to browse, and the delights of a friend’s Limecello, sampled happily, I decided to start some new liqueurs. I started two, making minor deviations, and we’ll see how things turn out in the end. The first is fairly close to Raspberry Rose, from the book Homemade Liqueurs and Infused Spirits. The second played off of memory and remnants of conversations and the Lemon Drop recipe from the same book, a copycat of Lemoncello (maybe successful).
Starting with the Raspberry Rose, I measured out 1 ounce of dried rose bud/petals. I had picked these up recently from a spice store in Florida, and was glad to be able to use them for something fun. That’s why I bought them! In any case, I also measured out 1 cup of raspberries, which amounted to about 6 ounces, picked over to remove bad berries. To this I added the fresh zest of 1 navel orange, though the recipe called for tangerine, which was unavailable at the store.
Then I made my biggest mistake, in hindsight, which was adding 750 mL of 190 proof Everclear. The recipe had called for the same amount of Vodka, at 80-100 proof. The proof was a fact I skimmed over and only realized a day or so later I had missed. I had used Everclear at the suggestion of my friend, and will probably continue to do so, as it is cheaper for the quantity – once proof is reduced. In any case, I muddled the mixture together, sealed and set aside.
The recipe called for 3-5 days of infusing. And today is the 4 day point (well, three and a half). I got up this morning, made coffee, and then set to making up a 1:1 simple syrup (3 cups sugar, 3 cups of water). After straining the infused Everclear off of the rose and raspberries, I added some water (12 ounces) and then 1 cup of the simple syrup (per the recipe). That makes 20 ounces of additional liquid, and if my calculations are correct (with the help of a calculator over at bootlegbotanicals.com), that should reduce the near-190 proof infusion to somewhere around 98 proof, more in the range of Vodka or similar. The infusion had ended with 21.5 ounces of dark red liquid, down from the ~25 ounces (750mL) to start with. I didn’t expect to get all the liquid out, of course, adding the 20 ounces of additional solution, I should have 1.6 750mL bottles worth of liqueur.
I have now thrown that mix in the freezer, to chill for later. Need to pick up some soda water from the store before this evening.
With the lemon drop, I did make the same proofing mistake. But it is not complete, so the final state remains to be seen. Thursday, I zested 10 lemons, per recipe and placed this in a mason jar with 1.5 cups of 190 proof Everclear (rather than the 80-100 proof Vodka) and 1 cup of Vermouth (18% ABV). That is supposed to rest, sealed, for 7 days. Soon. Very soon.
Lemon Drop: In The Beginning
I have plans, or maybe imaginations, for something with ginger and/or cantaloupe. I’m going to hold of on Limecello for just a bit (supplies and containers is an immediate issue). And I’d like to try an Orangecello in the future as well. And if I can find Dutch gin (and maybe even if not) something with cucumber and mint, maybe. Oh, the possibilities are…endless.