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Jul 12, 2007 11:03 AM

Homemade liqueurs, infusions, cordials

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

    He also recommends:

    1. 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

        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

          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

            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. 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

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

          1. re: WCchopper

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

          2. 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:

            and this raspberry wine/cordial (just as soon as I get my hands on a kilo of cheap raspberries):

            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

              Have you checked on the "spirits" board?

              1. re: ROCKLES

                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

                  Here's a thread with 100 replies and plenty of discussion and ideas:

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

            2. 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

                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.