I’ve been making liqueurs for years, especially in the fall so that they are ready for gift giving at Christmas time. Initially inspired by this adorable book, I began by following recipes, and have since realized that recipes aren’t really critical at all when making a liqueur.
This book is still available on Amazon. The author is Mary Aurea Morris, and it was published in 1999.
You have to decide on the spirit you want to use, decide on the sweetness level, and then the flavor. Vodka is my go-to spirit for most all of my liqueurs, because of its “neutral” flavor. When I refer to the sweetness of the liqueur, I’m of course referring to the amount of sugar. A simply infused vodka, for example, is to me a liquor, not a liqueur. A liqueur is sweeter, and much more to my liking.
But besides berries and cranberries, citrus fruits, pomegranates, and just about all tree fruits can be used. (note to self – peach vodka next summer!)
So this fall I decided to make a pear variety. The recipe is quite simple, and is definitely less expensive than the popular Poire William. But it will be about 6 weeks before the big reveal.
Spiced Pear Liqueur
1/2 cup sugar
Small handful whole cloves
Small handful whole allspice
2 cinnamon sticks
1 ripe pear, I used red D’anjou
Few pieces of orange peel
Vodka, approximately 3 cups
Place the sugar, cloves, allspice and cinnamon sticks in a large, clean bottling jar with a lid. Slice up the pear, avoiding the core, and place wedges into the jar. Add the orange peel.
Using a funnel, pour vodka until it reaches the top. I used approximately 3 cups. Shake well until the sugar dissolves. Then store away.
I’ve marked my calendar for 4 weeks to test out the liqueur, but I’m pretty sure another 2 weeks after that will be necessary.
note: The only disaster liqueur I’ve made is one with hazelnuts, and I’d even followed an exact recipe. I ended up with a bunch of soggy drunk bit of hazelnuts, and nothing to speak of as far as the liquid. Don’t bother.