|Fresh fruit (cherries; raspberries; blackberries,a mix)|
(Tested on raspberries, blackberries and a mix of both).
Start with fresh fruit. Place cleaned fruit into a jar. Add very strong alcohol just so it barely covers all of the fruit.
-I used double distilled vodka (alcohol content probably about 55-65%).
~Beware though- Apparently operating a still is VERY illegal ;-) Let the covered jar sit for about a week and a half (it's covered so the alcohol doesn't evaporate). Note that no fermentation takes place here- all that happens is that the fruit soaks up the alcohol, and releases some of its juices. Depending on the type of fruit the level of fluid may decrease.
Once you've decided that the fruit has soaked in much of the alcohol gently pour off the fluid so as not to blemish the fruit (try one now for a taste experience :-). Call this (very strong) fluid rack #1.
During the following steps you probably should avoid blemishing the fruit if at all possible.
Replace the fruit in the jar, but layer it with sugar. How much sugar is a bit difficult to say here. I usually tried to do my best to cover almost all of the fruit with _some_ sugar. Cover the jar again. What happens now is that the sugar makes the fruit give off its alcohol and shrivel slightly. In a couple of days the level of juice in the jar should reach almost the top of the fruit. This means it is time to pour it off again, call this rack #2.
Now we repeat the layering with sugar step (getting rack #3, rack #4, etc) until only a very small amount of juice is released. I have been told that with cherries this can be kept up until only a tiny little bit of cherry skin is surrounding the pit. Each rack is sweeter and sweeter.
With rasp[black]berries I got to rack #4 and then got bored waiting for really small amounts of juice. So I took the berries, threw them into a cloth and twisted the hell out them to release the vestiges of alcohol and juice. This was rack #5. The left over pulp can be used with ice-cream.
Note that this step is entirely optional, four racks were plenty enough (but why waste alcohol
Now comes the fun part: Invite several friends (I used 5) and mix the different racks in various proportions and get some feedback on how they taste (too sweet, too alcoholic, too dry, etc). Don't use too many friends or else you won't have any left after the tasting. Now you should know what proportions to mix the final product in. Disposing of juice _not_ used in the final mix is left as an exercise to the reader (I had some sweet stuff left over and use it on ice cream).
Thoughts on the final mix: In my case the final mix was very close to the ratio of rack #1: rack #2: rack #3 etc. This was convenient because I got the maximum of liqueur with minimal leftovers.
(I. DARLENE KIRK)
From rec.food.cooking archives. Downloaded from Glen's MM Recipe Archive, .
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