No one has yet managed to systematize or at least compile a complete list of liqueurs known to the world.
Liqueurs occupy a special place among all alcoholic beverages, due to its diversity, universal cooking method.
They are healing drinks and alcohol-based delicacies.
Liqueurs are a very tasty additive in confectionery and desserts.
Exact recipes of the most famous liqueurs are kept by their manufacturers in the strictest confidence. Of course, you can try to guess them, but often from such a venture you get new and unexpectedly interesting drink recipes.
Currant liqueur - the basic principles of cooking
Currants can certainly be called Russian berries. She loves a temperate and even cool climate, which is comparable to the geographical location of Europe, North Asia and America. But the inhabitants of Western Europe never were especially interested in currants as food, and at the time America was discovered, there were already many options for using fragrant and healing currant berries in ancient Russian cuisine.
To the invention of liqueurs, as stone manuscripts testify, the ancient Egyptians laid hands. The ancient Greeks, the Romans, and then the Benedictines and other monks also participated in the further improvement of this alcohol delicacy. The improvement and invention of new recipes continues, but not only in the monasteries, but also in home kitchens, especially when the summer is very generous, berry.
Currant is rich in vitamin C and potassium, so it is a rich source of medicinal raw materials. Of course, these beneficial substances can be preserved by preserving them with sugar, or by boiling jam, but, in fact, most of the vitamin C is destroyed at 40 ° C. On the other hand, alcohol-free berries are not oxidized by exposure to air, they are not destroyed by exposure to temperature, and are not affected by the action of all kinds of bacteria.
Probably, therefore, the liqueur was invented back in antiquity. Alcohol is a solvent, and the word “liqueur” itself contains not only the name of the drink, but the method of its preparation - dissolving any vegetable components in alcohol. Given the plant's abundance of the planet, the list of new liqueurs will be replenished for more than one century. But dwell on currant liqueurs. The most common varieties are black, red and white (or golden), because it is these species that are most often found in the dacha plots and require attention to their processing methods every year.
Black currant has the most pronounced aroma. Therefore, black currant liqueur is an amateur. The red and white berry has a less intense, albeit characteristic odor. All these types of currants are better used for making liqueur drinks, both in combination with each other and with other berries.
Black currant gives the liqueur a rich dark red color, which can be adjusted by blending the raw materials before extraction, by mixing different berries, and by mixing ready liqueurs: black and white currants; black currants and gooseberries, yellow cherries, apricots, wild berries. Currant liqueur red has a bright ruby color. White currant can be combined with berries and fruits of any color.
As for the taste qualities of currant liqueurs, it should be noted that for black berries it is better to select fruits with a neutral smell, but with a lower acidity. Other types of currants are not inferior in their acidity to black currants, but less finicky in terms of compatibility of flavors. Berry acidity is an important criterion for evaluating berry raw materials for making a sweet alcoholic beverage. It is especially important to consider this indicator for the preparation of liqueur wines, since this technology provides for a certain level of acid and sugar, the presence of tannins to obtain high-quality strong wine. Currants are too high in acid, which is not very well reflected in the preparation of wine. Its berries have an acidity that exceeds the required values by more than 2 times.
Liquor strong wines are prepared as usual, in several stages:
Preparation of raw materials: picking, sorting berries (for liqueurs only mature berries are suitable, of good quality, without signs of damage from various diseases, without mold or rot). Removal of impurities includes cleaning the berries from the stem and dry inflorescences. Getting the mash is a mandatory process. Then you can do it by choice: put the fermentation wine together with the mashed berry or firstly separate the juice, pour the thicker with alcohol, and then mix the finished alcohol tincture with the wine. In the first case, alcohol is added to the finished wine in pure form.
Next comes the preparation of the wort, when the necessary amount of water is added to the raw materials to reduce the acidity. The level of sugar content is increased by adding sugar, honey. Partially, the shortage of sugar in currant raw materials is compensated for by mixing it with berries that have a higher sugar content. As a result, new types of fruit liqueurs are obtained. However, most often the berry or fruit liqueurs have a single flavor and aromatic classifier, which is subsequently mixed in cocktail drinks.
In the manufacture of liqueurs, sugar and its substitutes is also one of the main components. Actually, all liqueurs are classified according to their strength and sugar content. The minimum allowable amount of sugars is 25%, the maximum content is 60%.
The alcohol content ranges from 15-75%. The maximum amount of alcohol is contained in balms, which, as a rule, are used in small quantities and for medicinal purposes.
The second method of cooking liqueurs is the simplest. It consists in infusion of plant components on alcohol, with simultaneous or subsequent addition of sugar. The dwell time of the raw material in the alcoholic liquid most often depends on the manufacturer’s patience, but the longer the extraction process, the better the result.
White currant and raspberry liqueur
- Sugar 6.3 kg
- Berries (raspberry and white currant) 9.1 kg = 5.5 l of juice
- Alcohol 2.5 L
- Prepared berries, in equal parts or in a randomly selected proportion, combine with sugar and crush with a spatula.
- Add to the bottle, rubbed berries, alcohol and insist half a year.
- Pass the finished liqueur through the filter. Let stand for another week to, if necessary, re-remove precipitation.
- The second time it is better to remove the liqueur from the sediment, just as it is done in the making of domestic wines: strain the liqueur through a plastic tube, inserting one end into a bottle of liqueur, and the second into a clean and dry vessel.
- Try to ensure that the end of the tube does not touch the sediments at the bottom, so that you do not have to repeat this operation again, after the liqueur has settled not earlier than in a week.
- Seal the ready liqueur and store it in the bottle.
Red currant liqueur with refreshing mint
- Berry 3.5 kg
- Vodka (40%) 4.5 L
- Sugar 5 kg
- Peppermint (fresh) 500 g
- Clear fresh berries from tails and sepals, mash them with sugar.
- 1.5 l of vodka pour into a jar of finely chopped mint leaves, close tightly with a lid and remove for two weeks to infuse, away from sunlight.
- It is advisable to shake the contents of the jar every day, morning and evening. Pour the rest of the vodka into a bottle of grated currants, and also insist for at least 14 days.
- After the expiration date, squeeze the liquid and filter the tinctures from both vessels, connect them. Stir and bottle.
Strong black currant liqueur
- Sugar 3 kg
- Water 1 l
- Currant berries 1.5 kg
- Currant leaves, fresh 300 g
- Alcohol 0.9 L
- Wash currant leaves, lightly dry, chop and cover with alcohol. Remove the container for infusion.
- Prepared berries (without stalks and sepals), crush and add sugar (1 kg).
- Transfer to the bottle and add boiled and cooled to room temperature water.
- Stir the contents of the bottle and close the neck with a cotton paddle. After the appearance of foam on the surface of the berries, install the valve and keep the bottle at a constant temperature of 20-22 degrees, protecting from drafts.
- When the fermentation is over, squeeze the thick and fill the second part of the sugar.
- The tincture is also drained, removing the currant leaves, and combine with the wine removed from the sediment. Wait 7-10 days for the liqueur to settle and fine particles settle to the bottom, then remove it from the sediment and pour it into the prepared dishes.
Strong liqueur made from white currant and oranges
- Currant berries 3 kg
- Oranges, red 2 kg
- Vanilla 5 pods
- Cognac (brandy) 2x0,5 l
- Sugar 6.5 kg
- Vodka 2.1 liters
- Juniper berries, dry 50 g
- Pick a currant, wash it and smash it with a blender.
- Add orange peel and oranges pulp from the membrane to it. Mix fruit puree with sugar and transfer to bottle.
- Add the dried juniper berries and vanilla pods and pour the vodka and brandy into the mixture.
- The time of liqueur infusion depends on the patience of its manufacturer, but it is better to wait at least two weeks, shaking the bottle every day to improve extraction.
- Ready drink, passing through the filter, sealed in bottles.
Original liqueur from currants, bananas and condensed cream
- White currant 0.7 l
- Bananas 1.0 kg
- Vanilla 10 g
- Condensed cream 500 g
- Lemon tincture (40%) 1 l
- This liqueur, based on the famous “Baylis”, is prepared quickly, but it can be stored for no longer than 3-4 days, but it is better to use it immediately.
- Wipe currants through a sieve. Fresh juice pass through a filter and add banana puree, vanilla powder.
- Mix mashed potatoes with condensed cream with a blender, pouring homemade lemon juice or “Limoncello” in small portions.
- After 24 hours, the liqueur is ready to eat. Serve in tall glasses, with a straw, a cocktail cherry and a slice of lemon.
Currant and apricot liqueur
- White currant juice 1.0 l
- Apricots (pulp) 1.5 kg
- Almond essence 25 ml
- Wine yeast 5 g
- Sugar 2.5 kg
- 0.7 l water
- Alcohol 1 l
- Vanilla extract 20 mg
- Sugar syrup (thick, dark) 0.5 l
- Washed apricots, pitted, chop and pour into the bottle a mixture of white currant juice, water and sugar and yeast dissolved in them.
- Stir the wort and close with a cotton swab before fermentation, and then with a water seal.
- Remove the finished wine from the sediment and let stand until complete clarification. Repeat stripping.
- Pour sugar syrup, alcohol and essences into clarified wine.
- Stir the contents of the bottle daily for 15 days. Pack in the prepared container, and seal.
Currant liqueur - Tips and Tricks
- It is better to insist any liqueur out of the reach of daylight. At positive temperatures, extraction will be faster. In addition, it is desirable to shake the container often in order to achieve a better effect of alcohol saturation with extractive substances. Under production conditions, special equipment is used for this purpose.
- If you prepare multicomponent drinks with the use of medicinal herbs, remember that these herbs are medicinal and you need to use them as carefully as the medicine!