In the last decade or two, the general public has become ever more involved in the production of what they drink. This includes winemaking and brewing, of course, but increasingly it includes the creation of stronger spirits, some combination of distillation, steeping, maceration, infusion, and all the other techniques by which we have historically created the flavored spirits which soothed, healed, and warmed us. In Cordial Waters, Pavliuchuk has dipped into his encyclopedic knowledge of flavored spirit recipes and their histories, to give us this collection of 260 historic and modern recipes. In addition, he gives us some basic distillation recipes and procedures. For anyone who creates his own spirits, or who would like to, this book belongs on the bookshelf.
“Fruits and Berries”
All edible fruits and berries can be used to make a liqueur, it is useful to know the various ways to extract fruit and berry flavors and natural colour which can then be applied to a specific fruit or berry. Examples have been selected as a guide or because they are unusual. More complexity can be achieved by adding spices and there is much scope for experimentation. Freezing the fruit or berries and then thawing fractures the cells and helps in extracting flavour. Clear fruit spirits and liqueurs have been discussed earlier.
Alcohol and Sugar Extraction
1 kg of the fruit is macerated in alcohol for several weeks. It is then strained and the flavoured alcohol retained separately. Sugar is then added in several stages until the fruit of berries shrivel, indicating the alcohol and juice has been extracted by the sugar. This syrup is then used to sweeten the retained flavoured alcohol.
The Method in Detail…” Cordial Waters, Pavliuchuk
Pavliuchuk is the Yahoo Distillers group’s resident liquor historian, and a never-ending source of liqueur and liquor recipes and procedures, spanning 1000 years (at least). If Western Civilization ever drank it, Pavliuchuk has the recipe.