Nov 162011

Yesterday on Facebook we were discussing the cranberry liquor and someone suggested that you’ll achieve a superior result if you wait to add the simple syrup until the end of the process, rather than at the beginning.  Basically you follow the same recipe, infusing the cranberries, spices and vodka for 4 weeks.  At that point, you strain out the solids then add the simple syrup.  This advice comes from “an old hooch maker”.  Heh.

I can see the merits of this, as you’d be able to control the level of sweetness/tartness better.  But I’ve already started my batch with the simple syrup added.  What’s a Shaker to do?

Make a second batch, of course!  Yep, I’m doing a head to head comparison  of cranberry liquor techniques.  Though Batch 2 will be 4 days or so behind Batch 1, I’ll do a side by side taste test at the end of each week.

Check back later for updates.  And a special thank you to my Hooch Making mentor!

Nov 152011

Did you guess?  Shaker One has begun making her own cranberry liquor.

While browsing at apartment therapy (I love that site, it’s a daily stop of mine), I ran across a post on making your own cranberry liquor.  I love cranberries.  My great grandmother would finely dice cranberries by hand to make her holiday cranberry relish (imagine the labor in the days before food processors!).  I like to make a cranberry martini using her relish recipe around the holidays.  But when I saw the post I thought, ‘hey, wouldn’t cranberry liquor be a lovely addition to champagne?  Sort of a holiday champagne cocktail!”…… off I went to the store for fresh cranberries.

The recipe couldn’t be easier.  Simply add chopped cranberries and simple syrup to vodka and leave in the fridge for 3 or 4 weeks, shaking or stirring every other day or so.  I added a cinnamon stick, a vanilla bean, the rind of part of an orange and a couple of cloves to give it a greater depth of flavor.  The shot above is from day 2.  Right away the cranberries imbued the liquids with a lovely deep red color.  When I first mixed everything together all I could smell was the vodka.  Now after 2 days I’m beginning to smell the cranberries as well.  I can’t wait to sample it, which I plan on doing at the end of each week-just to see if any adjustments are needed.

I’ll check back in in a week or two to let you all know how it’s coming along.

Of course, now all I can think about are cranberry champagne cocktails.  Sigh. Oh well, I’m told patience is a virtue.







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