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Redcurrant Shrub

Redcurrant shrub

  • Servings: 1 litre
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:
* 300 ml strained redcurrant juice (see here for how to do the straining)
* 600 ml brandy or rum
* zest of 1 orange
* 1 tsp grated nutmeg
* 300 g granulated sugar
First stage of infusion with rum

First stage of infusion with rum

Mix together the juice, rum (or brandy), orange zest and nutmeg all together and pour into a wide-necked vessel. You’ll get a sort of jelly, which is why you’ll want the wide-necked jar. Leave it in a cool, dark place for seven to ten days to infuse the flavour.

After you’ve left it to infuse pour the mix into a pan, add the sugar and heat gently to about 60 degrees until the sugar is dissolved. Then strain through a jelly bag or muslin before pouring the resulting liquid into a sterilised bottle and sealing. Leave for a few months to mature, and make sure you drink within two years. We’ve not tried it yet but have a strong suspicion it’ll be a perfect winter drink.

The name shrub describes several things, but in this case it describes the fruit liquer that results. Apparently it was particularly popular during the 17th and 18th Century in England so there’s definitely precedence there. It also describes a cocktail which was popular during the Colonial era in America, made with some form of vinegared syrup and spirits or water.

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2014 in Blending, Experimental, Recipe

 

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Potent Pressed Pineapple Experiment

Potent Pressed Pineapple label

Recipe

8l pineapple juice (no additives)

3kg Demarara sugar

juice of 1 lemon

48 hour turbo yeast

Some years ago I discovered turbo yeast. For those who don’t know this is essentially super-tough, very fast yeast which (in theory) allows someone to homebrew liquors with no need to drift into the illegal area of distilling. Since then, on occasion, I’ve experimented to see what can be made with normal wine ingredients, extra sugar and some turbo yeast. The last experiment involving this was a slightly modified wartime rum recipe – potent enough to blow people’s socks off quite comfortable (and render grandmothers rather merry indeed, if the communication at the time is anything to go by). I’ll be making more of that once squashes and marrows are easy to come by – but for now I’m giving a shot to making a pineapple rum.

This is probably the easiest, and one of the cheapest recipes. Since these tend to come out either foul or incredibly strong (for a homebrew) I generally stick to cheaper ingredients rather than risking high-quality ones on an experiment. In this case it was a simple case of picking up two gallons of pure pineapple juice (no additives, which is important), pouring them into a bucket, adding somewhere around three kilos of sugar (basically everything available), setting up a yeast starter with a couple of teaspoons of the turbo yeast and starting the brew. The rather energetic brew.

One advantage of these is that the brew time is much, much shorter than normal. In fact the yeast is supposed to be able to ferment to somewhere above 30% within a couple of days. I tend to leave it a while longer, but will be bottling up the pineapple soon (after a tasting session, naturally) and hoping for the best.

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2014 in Experimental, Liquers, Recipe

 

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