Boozed + Infused

Infusing liqueurs at home with inspiring and seasonal ingredients


9 Comments

Boozy Spiced Sugar Plums

This time of year is very busy for food preservationists. It can be very easy to get overwhelmed with tomato projects. But this is very important. Put the tomatoes down and get yourself some plums. You know, those lovely Italian Prune-plums. The same variety we used to make Plum Liqueur.

Boozy Plums in Syrup

I have tried a lot of new canning recipes this year… but I have a favorite that I am about to share with you. And I promise you will love it!

Armed with a plethora of Italian prune-plums, I made a batch of plum sauce and then decided I wanted to make some stewed plums with a sugary-boozy sauce. We typically make boozy-sugary preserved cherries, but I didn’t make any this year so I thought this would be a good stand in for holiday gift giving. We opened up a jar last night, and it was pure heaven! I just finished mopping up the last of the sauce with a piece of angelfood cake. That is a combination that you must try.

Italian Prune Plums

Boozy Spiced Sugar Plums (makes 8 pints) adapted from Tall Clover Farm

4 to 4 1/2 lbs plums (we used the Italian prune plums, but you could probably use any variety)

1 lb. dark brown sugar

4 c. water

2 oranges

1 1/2 – 2 c. brandy (or other booze of your choice) – optional

4 cinnamon sticks, broken in half

4-8 pieces of star anise – optional

8 whole cloves

1 1/2″ piece of ginger, cut into 8 slices

Prepare a hot water bath canner, jars, lids, etc. Sterilize the jars.

Halve the plums and remove the pits.

With a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the oranges in long strips, being careful not to remove the white pith. Juice the oranges and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the water, brown sugar, and orange juice. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.

In hot sterilized jars, place the following in each jar:

1/2 cinnamon stick

1 whole clove

1 slice of ginger

1 star anise (optional)

1-2 long strips of orange zest

Pack the plums into the jars, cut-side down. Pack the fruit really well, leaving 1 inch of headspace.*

Pour 1 1/2 to 2 ounces of brandy into each jar (if using)

Pour sugar syrup into each jar, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Use a chopstick to remove any air bubbles and add more syrup if needed.

Wipe the rims of the jars, and top with jar lid and jar ring. Bring to finger-tip tightness.

Place pints in a water-bath canner and bring to a boil. After it comes to a full, rolling boil, process for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and remove the lid. Leave jars in canner for another 5 minutes. Remove from canner.

*The headspace is very important, be sure to leave a full inch.

Boozy Plums in Jars

When I was making the syrup, I was afraid it would be overly sweet. But I assure you, the finished product will be perfect. It tastes delightfully of plums, while having hints of orange and a gentle spice of cinnamon, clove and ginger. (I have not tried the ones with star anise yet…)

We made a few jars with the star anise, and a few without. We even made some jars without the brandy for those who are alcohol-free.

If you would like to try a different spirit in this, I think bourbon or rum would be very nice.

Please try making these. You will thank me later…

Related Posts:

Plum Liqueur

Prune Brandy v. Prune Bourbon

Boozy Prune Jam

Boozy Spiced Sugar Plums on Punk Domestics


28 Comments

Holiday Liqueur: Pimento Dram

I love this time of year. There are always so many fun things going on including parties, cocktails, and holiday cheer!

Earlier in the year I had read stories of people describing Pimento Dram (Allspice Liqueur) as “Christmas in a Glass”. So I knew that this would be perfect for the holidays. And if you start now, you can enjoy it for your holiday festivities.


I started this way back in May (I guess I wanted to get a jump-start on my holiday cheer) and it is amazing. So far, everyone who has tasted this agrees.

Pimento Dram starts with infusing allspice berries in high-proof rum. After straining the allspice, you add a brown sugar simple syrup and let it rest a while to allow the flavors to mellow. The final result is sweet, spiced, and very rich. It is also really lovely.

Our intent with this liqueur was really to use it as holiday gifts, but it tastes so good I’m sure we will keep a bit for ourselves and some festive cocktails. Our friends over at Putney Farm have some exceptional cocktail recipes that include an Allspice Dram, including a toddy called the Tammany Jack. I think a little of this would be excellent drizzled into about any hot toddy.

Pimento Dram (recipe adapted from The Cocktail Chronicles)

1 1/2 c. 151 proof Rum

1/3 c. Allspice Berries

1 lb. brown sugar

2 c. water

Lightly crush the allspice berries, and place them in a glass jar along with the rum. Let this infuse for about 10 days to 2 weeks. (We infused for 2 weeks.) Strain the mixture well.

In a saucepan, add the brown sugar and water and heat until dissolved to create a brown sugar syrup. Allow the brown sugar syrup to cool completely.

Add the brown sugar syrup to the rum, and allow the mixture to rest for another 2-4 weeks.

Now go enjoy your holiday cheer!

I also came across some wonderful recipes for Pimento Dram that included cinnamon stick and other spices, but I wanted to keep the flavor of allspice more pure.

We will soon be compiling some of our favorite recipes throughout the year that we feel will be great for holiday parties and gifts so get your infusing supplies ready!

Cheers!


52 Comments

Coffee Bourbon

Coffee… many of us can’t imagine a morning without it (I’m certainly one of them). And coffee liqueur… who doesn’t love a good White or Black Russian?

We knew we wanted to do a coffee liqueur, but took some time trying to decide exactly how we would do it. A lot of coffee liqueur recipes call for vodka, lots of sugar, instant coffee or brewed coffee, etc. In general, we like to use less sugar in our recipes and wanted to incorporate a different booze. So, Coffee Bourbon seemed a natural choice!

Coffee Bourbon

1/4 c. Whole Coffee Beans, Smashed (preferably dark, espresso roast)

1/2 vanilla bean, split

1 TB dark brown sugar (packed)

1 1/4 c. Bourbon

First we took the coffee beans and placed them in two plastic bags. We took a metal muddler and smashed the beans until they were gently crushed (see photo).

Place all ingredients in a small canning jar, and set the jar in a dark, cool location. Every few days, shake the jar lightly.

Infuse for about 3 weeks, or until this reaches your desired taste.

Strain and filter through cheesecloth, jelly bag (if desired) and finally coffee filters.

This coffee liqueur is so rich and delicious. You can taste all the nuances of the bourbon, and the espresso roast coffee gives it such a good flavor.

We are also going to try this same recipe with brandy.

This is a “must try”! If you love coffee, you need to make this.

Enjoy!

Related Posts:

Coffee Bourbon Milkshake: Quite possibly the best milkshake you will ever have!

Coffee Liqueur on Punk Domestics


30 Comments

Oatmeal & Brown Sugar Booze – why oatmeal is not just for breakfast anymore!

How do you like your oatmeal? Do you like it with cream and brown sugar? How about raisins and walnuts? Even if you don’t normally eat or care for oatmeal, I have a feeling you will like this…

I was inspired by an Oat and Honey Vodka recipe from Chow, which lists that it is adapted from Blue Hill at Stone Barns.

I have trouble following directions, so I didn’t follow the recipe. I really love brown sugar in my oatmeal, so we adapted it accordingly. It was hard to keep myself from putting dried cranberries and walnuts in there, but we wanted to be able to try this on its own first.

Oatmeal & Brown Sugar Booze

1 c. rolled oats

1 1/2 c. vodka

2/3 c. brandy

1/4 c. packed light brown sugar

We infused this for about 9 days, then strained and filtered well.

We did not refrigerate as the Chow recipe indicates. With the portions of ingredients we used, it was not necessary.

The oatmeal gives it a creamy flavor, and it is delicious! We have not tried it in cocktails yet, but this recipe from Chow says to add half-and-half for a Quaker Shaker.

Maybe the true inspiration for this is my college reunion (which I am not attending)… our mascot was the Quaker. Here’s a toast to dear old Penn!

Give this one a try. You won’t regret it.