Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Making Plum Brandy

I sure will be glad when I get this blogging and tutorialing down pat. It's all a little confusing being a newbie, but I'm getting there. SLOWLY but surely. I grew up with typewriters, adding machines and dial (rotary) telephones. Even shared a party line when I was a little girl. That was some serious fun! OK...I've been making Plum Brandy which is more of a Brandy Vodka since Brandy is a type of wine. Nevertheless...that's what it's called. Would my 2 Mamaws agree with this? Absolutely. They were about anything homemade. One of them would take a small sip and the other would take my word for it. Here is a pic collage I made @picmonkey.com of all the different days and stages. I really like picmonkey so far. The first pic is my 3yr old Grand daughter picking "apples". I was sick that day & she came in my room & said, "Honey we got du a bunch of apples!" 5 gallons of apples, to be exact. That was just the first picking.
Full recipe and tutorial after the jump.

I started out with 1/2 gallon of vodka & doubled that...I had lots of plums ;)        
The original recipe is:
1/5 medium grade vodka (750ml). I used Smirnoff w/red label, 40 proof.
1 cup of brandy...not a fruit flavor. Seagram's is what I used.
*Note: 1/5 of liquor is just around 3c. & adding the brandy will make 4c.
3 cups chopped plums, no pits. You can use any fruit you like, except citrus in this recipe. (For citrus you use the skin only and it's a little different recipe.)
2 cups sugar
A glass container that will hold more than your vodka plus sugar & plums. I would say a 1/2 gallon container with a big mouth. The 2 pics in the middle on the bottom row is a 1 gallon biscuit jar I got at Walmart & it was perfect...until I doubled it. It cost $5 or so. 
*Wash & chop the plums then add to your container, a layer of plums & next a layer of sugar. Keep doing this but end up with sugar on top. It doesn't take it long to start melting together. Give it a few gentle stirs & swirls during the day. 
*Next day, make sure all the sugar is dissolved then add the vodka & brandy. For the next few days give it a gentle stir and swirl every now and then. After 2-3 days just swirl it whenever you think about it. Then basically leave it alone in a dark place. I just put it in my pantry. Leave it be for 30 days.

*When the 30 days are up (longer will not hurt it at all, just not sooner) strain the plums out. They are nasty so don't go & mess up ice cream or anything like that with them. I read you could do that, but just sayin'...not good. First thing to do is taste it. It's good! This part gets sweet, sticky & a little messy, but it will be over soon. Strain the liquid thru paper towels. You will find that it gets clogged & the liquid will start dripping slowly. When it gets like that, get a new paper towel. I didn't take pics of that part cause I forgot. I'm a newbie, remember? I put my paper towel in a large tea strainer & it went pretty fast. Now...put the infused liquid back in the container you had it in or a bottle or container of your choice...as long as it is glass. Let this sit for 30 more days. This is how mine looked after the first 30 days & I strained it once. It is a beautiful "Burma Ruby Red".

*After the 30 days are up, strain it again(straining is done strictly for getting a clear liqueur) & add 1/2 cup of 100 proof vodka. I haven't done this yet as I have not been back to the liquor store. In Mississippi (The Sip) we don't sell it in grocery stores. I'm not at all sure it's necessary, but the recipe I used said that it would smooth it out. I will add it to one of my sample bottles & see. I think this may only be necessary if you use really cheap vodka. So, on this part I will leave it to you & let you know as soon as I add mine. Oh...be sure to sample it often just to see what it's like & how the flavor changes. Some may want to add water to lessen the alcohol by volume (ABV) content. If you do this, use distilled water.

*This is a liqueur & is to be sipped or added to other ingredients to make a cocktail. I made a glass of lemonade & added about an ounce... OMG it was really good. Most of the recipes I researched said to let it age at least 4-6 months & the aging makes it amazingly better. One recipe said, "If you like it at any stage & want to drink it...then it's ready." I have lots of people on my list that want to try it so it will be good Christmas gifts in the 10oz bottles. Christmas shopping started! And it's RED!

*I am not a professional at this, as this is my first try. I don't promote any brand of anything, I only write about what I did. I made it simply for the fun of it. I can't be held responsible for headaches and upset tummies. You know..."All things in moderation." It's a fun thing & I have enjoyed it so far. I have a smaller batch of blackberry going & cherries are on sale for $2 lb. So, I am going to make Cherry. After that I will be done with my liqueur experiments & start painting for Christmas. I will update about adding the 100proof vodka, as soon as I do that. I hope you enjoyed my tutorial on this.


***Update: I still haven't added the 100proof yet but I did sample it again yesterday. I had put a small bottle in the freezer and  decided to give it a little lip action. It's amazing what a little aging has done to it. It no longer smells or tastes like alcohol. It is smooth and very flavorful, has a great mouth feel and only a little bit of a burn after your taste. It is really, really good. It says to age 4-6 months and it's even better. Can't imagine!

No comments:

Post a Comment