Yuletide Spiced Brandy Liqueur
Adapted from the Christmas Spiced Brandy recipe in “Classic Liqueurs” by Cheryl Long and Heather Kibbey
- The zest of half of a tangerine (Only use the colored part of the peel. Avoid the white pith.)
- 4 broken cinnamon sticks
- 2 whole allspice berries
- 2 whole cloves
- 2 juniper berries
- a 2 inch piece of fresh ginger root, grated (or 2 Tablespoons dried ginger pieces)
- 2 black peppercorns
- 1 scraping fresh grated nutmeg
- 2 cups brandy
- 1/2 cup raw (turbinado or demerara sugar)
- 1/2 cup water
Add tangerine peel, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, juniper, ginger root, peppercorns, nutmeg and brandy to a clean and dry quart or half gallon mason jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake the jar and put in a cool, dark place for fourteen days. Be sure to shake the jar every other day.
On the fourteenth day, combine the water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool, covered, to room temperature.
While syrup cools, arrange a fine mesh sieve (or colander lined with cheesecloth) over a bowl or clean pan. Shake brandy one more time and then pour through the sieve. Set the spices aside* or discard them. Transfer the strained liqueur liquid to a clean jar that you can use to further age and store the liqueur.
*You can discard the spices or you can put them in a small saucepan with water over low heat to make your kitchen smell wonderful.
When the sugar syrup is cooled, pour it into the jar with the liqueur liquid. Tightly fix on the lid and shake to combine. Return to the cool, dark storage area for an additional seven days to mellow. It only improves with age, but it is ready to serve at this point.