Tuesday, October 28, 2008

MoFo 28: Moonshine Monday IV (a day late)

As promised, here's my Moonshine Monday post. I know it's Tuesday, I'm sorry. But I needed the break and am feeling much better for it. Thanks for the well wishes! Ok, here we go.

As you can see in this pic of Strawberry Liqueur, sometimes there is sediment left in your final product. It doesn't really hurt anything, but if you are giving the liqueur as a gift, entering it into a county fair, or just plain anal (that would be me) then you'll want to rack the liqueur. I'm not sure why the process is called "racking" as what you're really doing is siphoning, but whatevs. Here's how it's done:

Get your liqueur and a clean bottle to rack it into. This should be the liqueur's final destination, so now is the time to break out that pretty bottle you've been saving.

You'll need a length of vinyl tubing, which is available at your local hardware store. Mine is 7/16" x 5/16" x 20 ft. You don't need all 20 feet though, at least not all at once. I cut a 3-foot length off for this purpose. I keep the extra tubing around because it's hard to clean and I end up cutting myself a fresh piece about once or twice a year.

It helps to have your liqueur sitting higher than the empty bottle you'll be transferring it into. I've got mine sitting up on a cake stand, but you may even need to get it higher than that.

Stick one end of the tube into the liqueur. Don't stick it all the way to the bottom of the jar. Remember, we're trying to avoid the sediment down there. So, do your best to hold it pretty close to the surface, but far enough down that you don't suck air and loose your flow right away.

Stick the other end of the tube in your mouth and suck. Woohoo! This'll be the first taste of your delicious liqueur. Once you get a bit in your mouth, transfer that end of the tubing into the empty bottle. Do it fast. You're going to spill a bit. It's unavoidable. The faster you make the switch, the less mess you'll have to clean up later. Also, it helps to have your mouth close to the bottle opening.

If you've ever siphoned gas (and I'm sure none of you ever have ... right?) this will be all too familiar. Maybe you've seen it done in a movie. Yeah ... let's stick with that. That's where I saw it, too.

It may take you a few tries and you'll probably need a bit of practice before you master this technique, but this is the fastest way to bottle your gorgeous liqueur without sediment.

As the level of the liqueur drops in the first bottle, lower the tip of the tube accordingly. Don't suck up the sediment at the bottom. When you get as close as you can to it without sucking it all up, pull that end of the tube up out of the liqueur. It helps to hold it high as that allows the liqueur that's left in the tube to flow into it's new home.

That's it! Label your liqueur and enjoy it or give it as a gift.

Now, as a follow-up on the Cranberry Liqueur that some of you started (I know at least one of you did, anyway), here's your final set of instructions:

After you've strained it per the last post, you'll want to let it age another month. After that, rack it and enjoy the fruits of your not-so-laborious labor. As a side-note, the longer it ages, the better it is, but it's good to go at this point.

Our Homemade Liqueurs
Originally uploaded by Marni Molina
And finally, check out my current stock of homemade liqueurs and wish like hell you were my neighbor. :) Shown are Liqueurs of Blueberry, Pink Lady Apples (vodka only), Pink Lady Apples (vodka and brandy), Triple Berry (blueberry, strawberry, and marion berry), and Strawberry. Oh yeah, baby! All but one of those bottles are repurposed - most of them were booze bottles but there's also a maple syrup bottle in there. Get creative and you can always use this as an excuse to cruise your local second-hand and thrift stores. Lots of pretty bottles can be found in stores like that.

Liqueurs make out-fucking-standing martinis for those that like a little sweet in their drink. Play with the liqueur to vodka ratio to see what you like. Start with a 1 to 1 and go from there.

Have fun and be safe, you vegan MoFos!


jessy said...

i can't wait to start making my own liqueurs, Marni! mmmmmmm! you better believe i wish i was your neighbor. were i - we could have enjoy martinis together and share glorious food (and make our spouses do the dishes. ahahahahaha!)! yay!

i'm glad you're feeling better, too! tell your boy that from now on he's not allowed to share germs! :)

allularpunk said...

can i join the party with you and jessy?

Jeni Treehugger said...

Count me in too!
Reading this has made me want a drink but I know it will be inferior to your master pieces!