Monday, 22 January 2018

Towerwater Apricot Brandy

With a healthy harvest of apricots late last year, I decided to try my hand at making apricot brandy. During an earlier lunch date with friends, we had discussed the various ingredients for cocktails that are not as readily available. Apricot brandy was one of them.

When faced with a ‘mountain’ of apricots, I decided that it was the perfect opportunity to explore the wider uses of apricots and make some cocktail ingredients.

I liked the recipe I found. It included the apricot kernels as well. I also found a recipe for apricot kernel liqueur. How is that for ‘waste not - want not’? Now I know what to do with the apricot kernels next time I make apricot jam. The broken shells can join the others in the broken apricot-pip pathways of the garden.

Apricots, sugar, brandy, apricot kernels and pimento
The recipe I used was from my trusted book, “Make your own Liqueurs - Jean Dickson (1991).” Loosely translated and transcribed, it reads as follows:

Apricot Brandy
14 ripe apricots
750ml brandy
5ml pimento
375ml sugar
Halve the apricots (keep the pips) and chop the halves into pieces. Crack the pips, remove the kernels and peel off the kernel skins. Place all ingredients in a glass jar that can seal tightly. Seal the jar and shake well. Leave to infuse in a cool dark place for a month. Pour the mixture first through a clean strainer before squeezing through three layers of fine cheese cloth. Decant the apricot brandy into dry sterilised bottles, seal and label. Store for a month before using.

I bottled my apricot brandy made with Towerwater apricots over the weekend. I love the hint of marzipan that the fresh kernels bring to the brandy.

On the second page of cocktail recipes recorded in the Savoy cocktail book of 1930, one finds the first recipe for a cocktail containing apricot brandy.

After Dinner (Special) Cocktail
½ Apricot Brandy
½ Curaçao
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

The book contains more than 44 cocktail recipes calling for apricot brandy. Proving the popularity of this spirit as a cocktail mix.

The last cocktail recipe in the Savoy cocktail book that calls for apricot brandy can be found on page 283.

Golden Dawn
1 Dash Grenadine
¼ Orange Juice
¼ Apricot Brandy
¼ Calvados
¼ Gin
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

With Towerwater apricot brandy freshly bottled, I will have to wait at least a month before trying one of these cocktails. I think it is simply splendid having so many “cocktail ingredients” growing in the Towerwater orchard.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting. I am looking forward to trying some of those cocktails.


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