How To Make Mulled Cider, A Year Round Recipe

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Whatever the weather sometimes you need a warming drink to lift your mood. During the winter mulled cider is great but I think even a summer evening when the sun drops down and the air cools mulled cider lifts the spirit. This drink should be a staple in your household because of how easy it is to make and to drink.

Mulled Cider Recipe

Sugar and Spice Make Mulled Cider Nice

The key to any good mulled drink is the spices that you use. Try and steer clear of prepackaged spice mixes if you can, part of the excitement is experimenting and tweaking your recipe to get your perfect spice combination beside if you buy a few different spices they can be used in any recipe you want whether it’s a drink, dessert or main meal. Also I think it’s best to use whole spices which are fresher than ground so you have more flavour and you can easily remove them rather than drinking a load of ground spice in the last few mouthfuls of the mulled cider.

Now for the sugar part, I think the only way to go is for a sugar with flavour to it i.e demerera, muscavado or honey. Plain white sugar, will of course, work but will not add as much depth as other unrefined sugars. Dark sugar will, of course. make the mulled cider darker in colour but will also add rum and caramel flavours. In my recipe, I have added honey which I think is a perfect compliment to the cider.

Also depending on what cider you have there will already be a certain amount of sweetness there, a dry cider has the least then medium or a sweet cider. The sweeter the cider the less sugar you want to add otherwise you’ll end up with something tooth-achingly sweet. What cider you buy is up to you, by all means, go for your favourite.

My Mulled Cider Recipe

How To Make Mulled Cider

Ingredients:

  • 750ml Dry Vintage Cider
  • 2 or 3 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 6-8 Cloves
  • 1 Orange
  • 4 Tablespoons of Honey

Pour the Cider in a pan and put on a medium heat, we don’t want to boil it so slow and steady is the name of the game.

 

Cut the orange into quarters and pierce the skin with the cloves, this make it easier to get rid of them later.

 

Add the clove studded orange quarters, star anise and cinnamon sticks to the cider and allow to infuse whilst the cider is heating.

 

You can leave the cider on the heat for as long as you want as long as you want, you don’t want to boil off the alcohol though so keep the pan down on a low heat. I had mine infusing for about 20 minutes with the spices, the longer you leave it the more time the spices will infuse.

 

When your ready to serve add the honey. Adding it closer to the end will retain more of the honey flavour so it doesn’t get driven off by the heat. Adjust the sweetness to your taste don’t add it all if you think it’s sweet enough.

 

Ladle into mugs or heat proof glasses or a jug and drink!

Experiment To Your Hearts Content

Make your own perfect mulled cider by adjusting the spices, sugar and cider to your liking. Remember you don’t want to overpower the cider but balance the spices with it so be prudent and trial as you go. There is no definitive recipe and half the fun is trying out new things.

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Refreshing Grapefruit Soda Recipe

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Grapefruit

Today I want to post a different recipe, instead of the usual beer I want to return to making soda. If you are a regular reader you may remember that a little while back I discussed craft soda. In that post I covered a little bit about the history of soda and I added a ginger soda recipe.

I’ve been working on a few more recipes and I have to say the best recipes are sometimes the simplest. The recipe that I’ve had the most success with and probably the most enjoyable is Grapefruit Soda.

Grapefruit Soda

The weather is starting to warm up here in the UK and with the warmer weather you sometimes just want a refreshing, cold drink. This grapefruit soda covers those bases, it only takes a few ingredients and 5 or 10 minutes to make.

There are similar offerings for Grapefruit Soda from the notably upmarket San Pellegrino, you know those cans with the foil lids. My recipe for Grapefruit soda is nearly indistinguishable from the San Pellegrino offering and won’t cost you anywhere near as much.

The trick with making any soda is balancing the tastes and flavours of what you’re using. Grapefruit obviously fairly sour and acidic so we need to balance the acidity with sweetness. Getting the right balance means a refreshing citrus drink, not enough sweetness means a mouth puckering experience and too much sweetness and everything becomes cloying.

Of course people have different tastes you may want a sour or a sweet version but you do have to remember that sugar and the sweetness it brings elevates the flavour of the grapefruit bringing it to the forefront.

Grapefruit Soda

As with my ginger soda recipe the basis of this drink is to make a syrup from the grapefruit zest, juice and sugar that is then diluted down with bottled carbonated water (soda water). This is pretty much how all commercial fizzy soft drinks are made. If you are a home brewer and you have kegs around you could always carbonate your own water which would save you having to buy any. You could even make the grapefruit syrup, dilute down with still water and force carbonate in the keg meaning you could have soft drinks on tap alongside your beers. However, there is no issue with using bottled carbonated water in terms of flavour the results will be exactly the same.

Grapefruit Soda Ingredients

  • 2 Grapefruit
  • 300 grams of Sugar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 400ml Water
  • Juice of 2 Grapefruit

The Recipe

 

Grapefruit Zest

 

Begin by zesting the grapefruit, I like to use a peeler to remove large pieces of the peel so that it is a lot easier to remove them later on. You could of course use a zester which shouldn’t be any problem if you have a sieve to remove the zest.

 

DSCF4565

 

Bring the water, sugar and a pinch of salt to the boil and simmer on a medium heat for a few minutes. Add the zest and turn of the heat, cover the pan and allow the zest to steep for 20 minutes.

 

DSCF4569

 

After 20 minutes add the grapefruit juice to the pan, stir and then strain into an airtight container or bottle. Allow the syrup to cool and then refrigerate.

 

Grapefruit Soda Recipe

 

That’s really all there is to it. The recipe couldn’t be any simpler. I like to think that the character that so many brewers strive to get in their IPA’s lies in this soda recipe and it makes a great alternative for when you want a night off drinking beer.

Let me know if you try the recipe and how you get on.

Craft Soda The Next Big Thing? Plus: How to Make It!

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Craft Soda

 

I am willing to bet that Craft soda is going to be the next big thing following on from the popularity of craft beer. You heard it here first.

Whether it’s beer, cider, spirits, chocolate, coffee, all of these things have increased in popularity with small, artisanal producers vying with each other for a small piece of the market. I think the next product that will fall under the eye of small producers may be Soda or fizzy drinks as I like to call them. Fizzy drinks have gotten so much bad press recently primarily because of sugar content and how much is present. If there is one thing in which small, artisanal producers take care over it’s the ingredients they use (that and graphic design/branding of course).

Small independent “craft brewers” sprang up as an alternative option to massive multinational breweries controlling the beer market, they provide a wider, more diverse range of products to the consumer seeking something different. The market for fizzy drinks is similarly controlled by a few super-massive companies and conglomerates it seem uncannily similar to the beer market in that regard.

Until more people start producing soda for the masses I have been mixing up some up my own. There is a really big interest in “craft” products and although the definition is somewhat fuzzy I think we can all agree that it doesn’t get much craftier than producing something in your own kitchen.

That is why I want to dedicate this, and a further few posts to exploring the “craft” of making Soda.

What is Soda?

For everyone here in Britain we don’t really use the term soda a lot. We’re more likely to be asking for a fizzy pop/soft drink or using a brand name like Pepsi, Coca Cola, Dr. Pepper, Fanta or Tango. If the craft soda revolution is going to gain traction though we need to get the marketing lingo right.

Soda gets its name from soda water, a British invention . . . kind of. In 1767 an English chemist called Joseph Priestly devised a way to artificially carbonate water.

The process involved suspending a vat of water over a fermenting beer at a brewery in Leeds. The carbon dioxide produced by the fermenting beer seemed to Joseph to have a pleasant taste. He developed the process further and published a paper titled Impregnating Water with Fixed Air. The process involved dripping sulfuric acid onto chalk (calcium carbonate) to produce carbon dioxide, the gas was passed through water to produce effervescent water.

Johann Jacob Schweppe a young german watchmaker further developed the work of Joseph Priestly and found sodium bicarbonate and tartaric acid produced a similar product. He patented the “Geneva System” to produce his sparkling water or Soda water and sold it on mass under the Schweppes brand created in 1783.

By 1800 soda water had reached Dublin and a company called A & R Thwaites began to produce soda water themselves. They are believed to be the first company to market the water under the term soda water.

During this time soda water was thought to be medicinal. To begin with for instance, Soda water was thought to be a preventative measure against scurvy. Bottled soda-water was among the articles salvaged from the wreck of the Royal George, which sank off Spithead in 1782.

Lord Byron also reportedly claimed soda water as a reviving drink after a night out spent drinking heavily.

Soda Water with Flavourings

The medicinal virtues of soda water didn’t last that long and soon enough soda waters were being flavoured, one of the earliest flavourings used was Lemon. A combination of citric acid, lemon essence and sugar syrup were combined with the soda water to create what we know as Lemonade. One of the first companies to do this was Schweppes and by the mid-nineteenth century soda was growing fast.

This expansion reflected the gradual increase in leisure. It was no coincidence that at the Great Exhibition of 1851 vast numbers of people drank lemonade, ginger beer, Seltzer water and soda-water all supplied by Messrs Schweppes, who paid £5000 for the concession.

 

Wines, spirits, beer and intoxicating drinks were forbidden at the Crystal Palace, being evidently out of keeping with the high purpose of its promoters. As a result over a million bottles of soft drinks were sold, representing almost half the company’s production for that year. – British Soft Drinks

Nowadays soda water is made by force carbonating water rather than as a chemical process and it is mainly called sparkling water in the UK. Force carbonating water involves placing water in a sealed container and forcing carbon dioxide into the water. The process is exactly the same as kegging beer in a corny keg.

If you are old enough to remember the 1970’s or 1980’s you’ll probably remember the Soda stream which became popular with the slogan “Get Busy With The Fizzy”. In use it is a kitchen appliance to carbonate water with carbon dioxide, the resulting water you add a flavouring to.

The use of sugar syrups is how the vast majority of fizzy drinks or sodas are made today. Go into any pub up or down the country and as for a coke and the staff behind the bar will pick up the soda gun and press a button for Coca-cola or Pepsi. In the cellar a certain amount of cola syrup will be mixed with carbonated water at a ratio of about 1 to 5. The only difference there is when you buy a bottle of coke from the shops is that the syrup is already mixed with the water.

Making your own soda is a case of deciding on a flavour, infusing this into a sugar syrup and then mixing it with carbonated water which you can either buy from the shop or make in a soda stream if you have one. If you’re a home brewer and have a keg setup you can even force carbonate water in a keg.

Craft Soda Recipe – Ginger Soda

Ginger Soda

To make your own soda at home then is simple, all you need is two things:

  • Flavoured sugar syrup
  • Carbonated water

Keeping this in mind I want to share a recipe for one of the earliest iterations of soda flavours Ginger. Although Ginger beer has been around longer in the form of an alcoholic beverage, this version of Ginger soda is more akin to something like Old Jamaican Fiery Ginger Beer but with a lot less sugar.

Ginger Soda Recipe

As I mentioned before, what we are doing is making a syrup which is then mixed with carbonated water, the syrup will last for a week or so in the fridge and you can mix up your soda whenever you want a glass.

All you will need to make around 250ml of Ginger Syrup is these ingredients:

  • 6 inch piece of fresh Root Ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of Ground Ginger
  • 150g Sugar
  • 450ml water

 

To make the Ginger Syrup chop the ginger into matchsticks, I didn’t even bother peeling it, just give it a wash

Place in a pan with the sugar and the water and bring to the boil.

Once boiling whisk in the ground ginger and reduce the liquid by half which will take around 10-15 minutes at a moderate simmer

Strain the syrup to remove the root ginger into sanitised bottles.

To make the ginger soda mix the syrup with carbonated water in a ratio of 1 part syrup to 5 parts water. You can adjust the ratio to suit your taste and of course if you like your ginger soda even spicier up the root ginger a bit more.

More Craft Sodas?

This is the first of a few recipes I want to post up here. I have a Pineapple and Basil Soda I like and Kiwi and Juniper that is nice and refreshing both recipes inspired by this book, I mean it doesn’t get more craft than that, surely. The other recipe I’m working on is for Cola so stay tuned for more.

How To Make Elderberry Liqueur

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Out of all the berries that you can forage in the UK, elderberries don’t seem to be high up on the list of peoples favourites. This liqueur recipe utilises these underused berries and creates a drink that is rich and complex and perfect for mixing.

Elderflowers get a lot of attention. Elderflower cordials and champagnes but I’m not so keen on the perfumed aroma of these drinks. I much prefer the berries in terms of flavour.

 

Elderberry Liqueur

 

Elderberries are so easy to collect so long as you can beat the birds to the bushes before they all disappear. The berries grow in large clusters which can be easily snipped off the bush. Collecting a dozen heads won’t take more than 10 minutes and you’ll have enough to make 500ml of elderberry Liqueur.

When picking your fruit you are need to make sure they are ripe, if any berries are still green or only burgundy coloured then they will be really bitter and not good for making drinks with. You want plump, really dark berries and the stems they are on will be reddish-purple. Elderberries are in season between July and October so it’s around this time you want to check whether any of the bushes around you have ripe berries.

I collected my elderberries last summer and put them in the freezer, it’s only now that I have finally gotten around to using them. This is what is so great about making drinks like liqueurs, you can store your ingredients for a period of time and then when you are ready, begin crafting your recipe. Freezing breaks down the berries and helps to release the juices, colour and sugar and it’s these components we want to infuse into the base alcohol.

It is of course important that you know exactly what you are picking, if you are in any doubt over whether you are picking elderberries of some other berry then do not pick them. You need to be 100% sure you have correctly identified the elderberries as some other berries can be toxic.

Preparing The Elderberries

Once you have collected the elderberries you need to remove the stalks and stems so that you have just the small berries.

Take a fork and use it to kind of comb the berries away from the stems. I have read that the stems are inedible and you should remove them. In any case we only want the flavour from the berries and not the green plant material. Using a fork to remove the berries does the job perfectly.

Once you have removed the stems, take your elderberries and wash them, fill a bowl of water and put the elderberries in. The debris and dried flowers will float to the top and can easily be removed and the elderberries that sunk to the bottom will all be good. Strain and let the berries dry. You can then freeze the berries in bags ready to use whenever you want.

Elderberry Liqueur Recipe

As I mentioned previously, I like to freeze the elderberries as it breaks down the cell membranes releasing the juices. When you are ready to make the liqueur remove the fruit from the freezer and allow to thaw.

Ingredients

12 heads of Elderberries or around 250ml in Volume
250ml Vodka or Brandy
125g Sugar
125ml Water

  • Take a clean jar with a lid and add the thawed elderberries and their juices. To the jar add the alcohol, either vodka or brandy is a good choice. The elderberries should be completely covered by the alcohol.

elderberries

  • Let the fruit sit for around a week. The alcohol will have turned completely purple within a few days.
  • After a week prepare a sugar syrup by boiling the water and sugar for a few minutes. After boiling, let the sugar syrup cool down to room temperature.

sugar syrup

  • Whilst the syrup is cooling strain the elderberry and alcohol infusion. I strained straight into a clean jug. The elderberries can now be put aside.

Strain elderberries

  • Pour the cooled sugar syrup into the elderberry infusion, which can now be poured straight into a clean bottle and sealed.

Elderberry Liqueur Finished

The elderberry liqueur is now ready and can be used straight away. It’ll keep for a couple of months and once you open it I like to keep it in the fridge.

A Recipe To Make Coffee Liqueur

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Today we have an Coffee Liqueur recipe by a guest author and friend of mine Lindsay. I actually received this coffee liqueur as a gift over christmas and I thought it tasted so good I asked for the recipe. Lindsay kindly wrote up the process and has allowed me to post it here.

It really does taste great and is an ideal first liqueur to make. You can do it at any time of year where as with fruit based liqueur you often have to wait for the fruit to be in season.

It also makes a great White Russian which is a nice simple cocktail. I have included the recipe for at the bottom of the page.

Anyway, over to Lindsay

Coffee Liqueur

Coffee Liqueur Recipe

By: Lindsay

Over the last 2 years, Neil has introduced me to several really yummy products from his home-brewing passion. And as Christmas approached, I thought it was about time I returned the favour by making a tasty and drinkable Christmas present!

There was only one slight problem…. I didn’t have any of the home-brewing kit. So what was I to do?
One evening in the pub, I asked Neil about making alcohol that didn’t require a beer brewing kit, trying to be surreptitious with my questioning. The last thing I wanted to do was to spoil my Christmas present idea! Neil opened my eyes to the possibility of infusing alcohol, suggesting a huge variety of ideas for alcohol bases and the spices, fruits and flavourings I could add. This gave me an excellent foundation to start searching for the perfect Christmas present.

As both Neil and his wife Jenni (my best friend ☺) both enjoy drinking coffee, I decided to base my infusion on a coffee flavour. This made coffee liqueur or Kahlúa the perfect choice! Simple and tasty, I could easily make this in my own kitchen without any special equipment. Coffee liqueur is way cheaper to make yourself, and is just as delicious.

Homemade Coffee Liqueur (Kahlúa)

Ingredients:

150g instant coffee
450ml boiling water
450g brown sugar
280g white sugar
70cl vodka
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Place the coffee in a large glass bowl and pour over the boiling water. Stir the liquid until most of the coffee has dissolved. Add both of the sugars and stir the liquid. The sugar will not fully dissolve – this is ok, what you will have now is quite a thick liquid. Once the liquid has cooled, stir in the vodka and vanilla essence.
  2. If you would like a creamier coffee liqueur, add 55ml of a butterscotch flavoured liqueur at this point. For my recipe, I added 10 drops of chocolate bitters instead. This recipe is tasty without either addition, it’s just for personal taste.
  3. Once you have added everything, cover the bowl with cling film. Leave the bowl at room temperature for at least two weeks (I left mine for four weeks), stirring the mixture every couple of days. Then pour the liquid into bottles – and remember to use clean bottles!
  4. This recipe makes ~ 2 litres of coffee liqueur, and you can keep it for 6-8 months.

Enjoy!

(adapted from Veronica’s Cornucopia)

Bonus: White Russian Recipe

To make a White Russian couldn’t be simpler. It can be a little too easy to drink so take care!

Here are the ingredients:

2 parts Coffee Liqueur
1 part Vodka
1 part Single Cream or Milk for a lighter version

Method:

  1. I like to use a glass tumbler and add some ice cubes
  2. Add the measure of vodka.
  3. To the single measure of vodka add 2 measures of your freshly made coffee liqueur
  4. Finally add a single measure of single cream/milk. Stir together thoroughly and that’s all there is to it.

I got this coffee liqueur for christmas and I have to say these white russians are great. The coffee flavour is really good and it is all too easy to drink these so take care.

Spiced Blueberry Liqueur

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There is a lot of fuss around blueberries being a superfood. All I know is they make a great liqueur and you don’t necessarily have to wait till the summer months to pick your own blueberries.

Spiced Blueberry Liqueur

 

Even in these dark and cold months it’s possible to be making fruit liqueurs to warm up a winters evening. A lot of fruit will be available in the freezer section of your local supermarket and the great thing about this fruit is that it’s usually a lot riper and has a higher sugar content than fresh fruit because it’s been harvested later. This plus the freezing process which helps to break down the fruit internally means a delicious drink is only a matter of time, all the work has been done for you already. You can of course use fresh blueberries but I would suggest to freeze these first so the flavours can leak out easier when they are steeped.

Spices and Blueberries

For my recipe I have decided to spice the liqueur to give it a bit more depth and to make it a little more warming. I have chosen to add just a couple of cloves which is quite traditional and will compliment the blueberries nicely. These cloves can of course be exchanged for whatever you fancy, maybe cinnamon or ginger or even the zest of a lemon. Whatever you use though don’t add too much. It’s very easy to overpower a liqueur with spices so err on the side of caution.

Spiced Blueberry Liqueur Recipe

Ingredients

350 grams of Blueberries Frozen
2 Cloves
350ml of Vodka – 80 proof (40% ABV)
200g White Sugar
350ml Water

  • Start by thawing the blueberries. Once thawed fully you’ll find even at this point the juices will be freeing themselves. Crush with the back of a spoon or fork and place into a clean and sanitised jar making sure you get as much as the juice as possible. I sanitised my jar by boiling it in some water for just a few minutes, be careful not to shock the glass and risk breaking it.

blueberry Liqueur

  • Pour over the 350ml of vodka and give everything a quick swirl to loosen it all up.

blueberry Liqueur2

  • Drop in the cloves and seal the jar up, store in a dark place like a cupboard.
  • Give the jar a swirl around 2 or three times a week as the blueberries may settle and clump together.

Spice Blueberry Liqueur

  • After 2 weeks or longer we are ready to separate out the solids and add the sugar syrup. Begin by boiling up the sugar and 350ml of water in a pan for several minutes ensuring it’s all dissolved, allow this syrup to cool. Whilst this is cooling get yourself another clean jar and use a fine strainer or sieve and filter out the blueberries from the liqueur into the new jar. Once completely cooled add in the sugar syrup. Leave this for a further week.
  • After this week is up, use a finer filter like a coffee filter paper or paper towel and strain the liqueur into a clean, sanitised bottle. Seal and the spiced blueberry liqueur is ready. Some suggest to leave it to mature but that’s not so easy.

Making A Lemon And Ginger Cordial

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A lot of Home Brew Answers is dedicated to making alcoholic drinks and beverages. Todays recipe is for a soft drink. Having something non-alcoholic and full of flavour in the house means you don’t get tempted into unhealthy ways.

Making something like this Lemon and Ginger Cordial at home means you know exactly what is in it. There are no artificial flavourings, sweeteners and you can dictate exactly how much of each ingredient is in it. If you love ginger put more in, grab some fresh ginger use that as well. It’s entirely up to you. I like the warming soft note of ground ginger in this recipe but feel free to tweak it.

Lemon & Ginger Cordial

This cordial recipe will hands down beat any cordial you buy from a shop and it’s one of the simplest things to do, it’ll only take 15 minutes from start to finish to make it. If you have never made a cordial before then this is the one to try I’ll be revealing an awesome trick to get maximum lemon flavour.

This recipe has so few ingredients that you’ll be amazed at the flavour that comes out in the final cordial. It only uses 6 lemons but the trick to getting the most from the flavour comes down to how you treat the skins.

The thing about lemons is that most of the lemony flavour comes from the zest. Just take a look at this limoncello recipe, all the flavour comes from the zest and similarly this cordial recipe makes use of that principle.

The zest is full of oils which are full of flavour boiling in water is perfect for drawing these aromatics out of the lemon zest.

Maximum Lemon Flavour

The key to getting so much flavour out of the lemons is to pare off the rind without taking too much white pith (a speed peeler is great for this) and to boil the zest in a half pint of water for 6 minutes. In that 6 minutes you’ll find the water turns brilliantly yellow and intensely lemony. Check the recipe below for full details

Lemon Cordial Recipe

What you’ll need

6 Lemons
½ Pint of Boiling Water
Ground Ginger (optional)
For each ½ pint of liquid: 85 grams of Sugar

  • Begin by shaving off the outer zest of your lemons, you want to take of just the outer layer and avoid any of the white pith beneath as much as possible. A speed peeler is good for this and the larger peel is easier to remove later.

 

Lemon Zest

 

  • Put the zest into a pan with the ½ pint of boiling water and simmer gently for roughly 6 minutes.

 

Lemon Zest Boiling

 

  • Start juicing all 6 of the lemons and get as much juice out of them as possible. After the 6 minutes remove the zest from the heat and strain the to remove the zest. Add the juice and water together in a measuring jug to find out how much liquid you have.

 

Lemon Juice

 

  • Add the 85 grams of sugar per half pint of liquid so a pint would need 170 grams of sugar. Bring to the boil in a pan and ensure all the sugars dissolved.

 

Lemon Cordial Sugar

 

  • Remove from heat and pour into sterilised bottles whilst still hot.

Dilute, Serve & Enjoy

Dilute the cordial to your taste, it’s quite strong so you may only need 1 part cordial to 7 part water but of course alter to your taste.

Theses sorts of recipes can easily be made into soda’s just by diluting with carbonated water. Maybe try some sparkling water to make it more effervescent, you will notice the flavours change and are brighter with the added carbonation.

Storage and Shelf Life

Keep the cordial refrigerated and it will keep for 1-2 weeks.

How To Make Limoncello

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Today we are going to try something a little different to brewing. Occasionally I make a few liqueurs and cordials so I wanted to share this one. Everybody seems to like Limoncello, so it’s a good liqueur to make and give away as gifts to people who don’t like beer.

Limoncello

Limoncello has got to be one of the simplest liqueurs to make but nevertheless still an impressive one. A drink that will impress your friends and family but requires only a couple of very basic ingredients and a little bit of patience waiting for the flavours to infuse.

A Bit of Background On Limoncello

Limoncello is a Southern Italian liqueur traditionally made with Sorrento lemons and served ice cold as an after-dinner digestif. The key to it’s popularity seems to be that only the zest of the lemons are used which means it possesses all the bold flavours of fresh lemons with none of the bitterness or sourness, this makes Limoncello a awesomely refreshing drink on a hot day which are of course in plentiful supply in Southern Italy.

Limoncello Recipe

Like I said before this is one of the simplest liqueurs to make and has only 4 ingredients. A lot of people will say “you need 100 proof grain spirit” to make the best limoncello or “this amount of sugar” but at the end of the day it’s all personal preference, even in Italy each family will have their own recipe to make limoncello to their tastes. Once you’ve seen how simple it is to make you can experiment to find what works for you.

Ingredients

8 Lemons (preferably unwaxed) scrubbed clean
70cl of Vodka – 40% ABV
500g White Sugar
700ml Water

  • First of all take your prepared lemons and begin removing the zest with no white pith at all, this will ensure your limoncello remains lemony but not bitter or sour. The easiest way to do this I have found is to use a peeler like the one in the picture. If there is any white pith on the zest the scrape it off with a knife.

Limoncello Zest

  • Whilst this is happening clean a jar or something similar, I sanitised my jar by boiling in water for a minute or two (this isn’t strictly necessary but will ensure no spoiling bacteria can effect you liqueur).

Sanitise Jar

  • Put the lemon zest in the jar and add the vodka, this now has to steep for at least a week. The longer you leave it the more the lemon flavours are extracted.

Limoncello

  • Once the flavours have infused over the week or so the peel should have lost some of its colour. It’s now time to prepare a syrup with the sugar and water. Boil the water in a pan and fully dissolve all the sugar, simmer for a few minutes then allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Add the cooled syrup to the limoncello and leave for a further week.
  • After this infusion you are ready to strain the liqueur into bottles. If there are small bits of peel a fine sieve should remove everything.

There we have it, once the limoncello is in bottles you can leave it for as long as you dare I have kept mine for around 8 months but it usually doesn’t stick around long and you may find the flavours dull with long aging.

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