Liqueurs are alcoholic beverages that are made from a base spirit and flavored with fruit, cream, herbs or other things and sweetened. While it is still illegal to distill spirits in the US it is legal to flavor alcohol that you buy, turning it into a Liqueur. The basic way is to add fruit and sugar and let is set for a couple of months so the alcohol can extract the fruit flavor. Then you strain out the fruit (which can be put over ice cream) and you have a drink to be savored. I have only done it a couple of times but the simple process is as below.
- Start with 1 lb of fruit, 1 cup of sugar and 750 ml of a neutral spirit like vodka.
- Combine them in all in a jar big enough with a lid that seals (I use a 2 qt mason jar).
- Agitate it but turning the jar upside down every other day for the first few weeks and a couple of times a week for the next couple of months.
- Strain out the fruit and taste the liquid. If it isn’t sweet enough add some more sugar, keeping in mind it will take some time to dissolve.
Make sure you only do this with fruit that is in good shape and well ripe. I’ve liked making it with black raspberries and in the late spring/early summer I’m going to try making something called nocino that is made with black walnuts that are young and soft. This is not something you want to try to store for years, my personal experience it turns a bit bitter after a few years (4+ years). Also don’t waste your money on expensive base spirit. Give it a try and you will have something special to share with friends and family as an after dinner drink.