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Homemade liqueurs, infusions, cordials

WCchopper Jul 12, 2007 11:03 AM

I made an attempt at blackeberry cordial and liqueur last summer and was pleased enough with my results to want to try again,maybe with too this year. Is there a book or well-presented website, preferably with pictures to help me delve more thouroughly into the subject?

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  1. l
    Louise RE: WCchopper Jul 12, 2007 11:39 AM

    This guy has a good site with recipes, techniques, and book reviews:


    He also recommends:


    1. d
      Diana RE: WCchopper Jul 12, 2007 11:57 AM

      Of course, making liquers and cordials in the US is totally illegal. Which is why the shops sell all the ingredients and books on how to do so. That's just for the sake of study, of course. Would we break the law?

      But you can make a good amount of beer or wine.

      Sorta like how California pet shops sell ferrett supplies, when ferretts are outlawed here.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Diana
        Junie D RE: Diana Jul 12, 2007 12:25 PM

        I think the OP is referring to infusing alcohol with blackberry, and so on, not distilling.

        To the OP: I have a book called Clearly Delicious by Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz with small, well-photographed sections on "Fruits in Alcohol & Flavored Drinks" - its a Dorling Kindersley book. Chez Panisse Fruit also has a good outline for Cherry Brandy and a few others. Once you get the hang of it, however, you won't need a book.


        1. re: Junie D
          WCchopper RE: Junie D Jul 12, 2007 03:19 PM

          Thanks! Maybe I can find those in the library to get started. And although I am originally from the "Deep South" you surmised correctly that I was not interested in installing a still in the back yard ;-)

          1. re: WCchopper
            Junie D RE: WCchopper Jul 13, 2007 01:16 PM

            Nothing wrong with a backyard still though.... Another thought - there is often discussion of making liqueurs on the SPIRITS board, you might try searching there.

      2. WCchopper RE: WCchopper Jul 12, 2007 03:29 PM

        In addition, does anyone have any thoughts on the type of spirits to use? I have heard that Everclear and vodka are the best. Any specifics or personal experiences?

        2 Replies
        1. re: WCchopper
          mlgb RE: WCchopper Jul 12, 2007 05:17 PM

          The cheapest vodka you can find. There isn't any point in spending on something else.

          1. re: WCchopper
            thinks too much RE: WCchopper Jul 12, 2007 05:44 PM

            I am a big fan of brandy, again a cheap variety. I find that using vodka can create a harsh medicinal taste.

          2. BananaBirkLarsen RE: WCchopper Mar 15, 2012 11:38 AM

            I'm reviving this old thread to see if there are any new bits of wisdom out there. I'm currently attempting my first orangecello and keep finding other recipes for various infusions and cordials that look great. Is anyone else really into this stuff? Favourite recipes?

            I can't wait to try this strawberry-infused vodka: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2011/06/...

            and this raspberry wine/cordial (just as soon as I get my hands on a kilo of cheap raspberries): http://www.toomanychefs.com/archives/...

            The strawberry infusion recipe mentions that infusions lose flavour with age, while liqueurs gain flavour. Does anyone know why this is? Does this apply only to distilled liqueurs or would my orangecello, which is essentially an infusion with added sugar, grow better with age (the recipe suggests that it will)?

            4 Replies
            1. re: BananaBirkLarsen
              ROCKLES RE: BananaBirkLarsen Mar 15, 2012 01:35 PM

              Have you checked on the "spirits" board?

              1. re: ROCKLES
                BananaBirkLarsen RE: ROCKLES Mar 15, 2012 04:09 PM

                I found one thread in my initial search, but it seemed to focus less on infusions and liqueurs and more on a debate over whether such a thread belonged on the "spirits" board or the "home cooking" board. So I decided to side-step the argument and just post my questions on this thread.

                But maybe I need to look a little harder.

                1. re: BananaBirkLarsen
                  Caitlin McGrath RE: BananaBirkLarsen Mar 15, 2012 05:21 PM

                  Here's a thread with 100 replies and plenty of discussion and ideas: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/304297

                  There are a bunch of threads about limoncello and orangecello on the Spirits board.

                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                    BananaBirkLarsen RE: Caitlin McGrath Mar 15, 2012 06:39 PM

                    Thanks -- I'll have a look through that!

            2. q
              Querencia RE: WCchopper Mar 15, 2012 05:51 PM

              A few years ago there was a small electric appliance called Cordially Yours, made in Japan, that used (I think, does this sound right?) infra-red to create a liqueur from vodka plus whatever in eight hours. It was wonderful. You could make about a liter of decent liqueur for $3. I wonder if the spirits lobby got to work because Cordially Yours disappeared so fast. I have one that turned up brand-new with documentation in a thrift shop. There must still be a few around---if ever you see one, grab it.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Querencia
                BananaBirkLarsen RE: Querencia Mar 15, 2012 06:39 PM

                This sounds really interesting. I did a quick search on ebay and didn't see any, but I'll keep an eye out whenever I'm in a thrift store.

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