I joined Instagram. I love it. I have met some really nice people who are very talented and I’ve gotten some great ideas. One women who calls herself Fancyfarmgirl is always sharing something that I think would be fun to try. She doesn’t have a blog…yet, but if you are on Instagram you should definitely check her out. One thing she shared that caught my interest immediately was how to make fruit infused spirits.
I was all over that….why? Well, because I love.. fruit. With the holidays just around the corner (sorry) and the cold fall nights already here I thought it would be great to make up a batch of apple, pear, cinnamon and vanilla infused brandy. You can use any type of alcohol and fruit combination that your little heart desires because you really can’t go wrong with this stuff. I mean come on, we are talking fruit! You know it’s gonna be delish! The basic idea is to blend a variety of choice ingredients and flavors into a base alcohol to make up a custom flavored liquor. The most popular infusions are made with fruit but you can use herbs and spices as well. Just think of how good a hot pepper and garlic infused vodka would be as a base for Bloody Mary’s! First you need to get yourself some inexpensive alcohol. You really don’t need to use top shelf here because by the time you are done the flavor will be remarkable. In this case I used brandy. Then I looked around my kitchen and saw that I had green and red apples and some pears. I sliced those up and threw them into a really great glass jar that I got at The Yankee Candle Factory when I was there this weekend. I knew I wanted to make this stuff so I was on the lookout. Next I added a 2 cinnamon sticks, and 2 vanilla beans that I sliced in half. Then came the good stuff…I poured in 2 large bottles of cheap brandy. I gave it all a stir and closed it up.
You want to keep it in a dark, cool area for up to 2 weeks so the flavors can blend and everything can get to know each other. It’s a good idea to give it a stir 3-5 times a day to help it along and occasionally sample it so you can see how it’s doing. At any point if it tastes the way you like, if you can taste all those different flavors and it goes down smooth then you could say it was done.
What you would do then is to strain it into another jar and bottle some for your friends and family because it would make a really awesome gift. Or you can keep it all to yourself. I also happened to have 2 bottles of bourbon in the house that nobody was drinking. Apparently we don’t like bourbon, so why we even had it I will never know, but rather than let it sit there for another year or 3 I thought I might try to fix it up a little. Now calm down, I can just hear all you bourbon aficionados out there yelling. I know you think I shouldn’t mess with a good thing but, yes I can, I will and I did. I added 1/2 cup of dark roast coffee beans. Same process as the brandy. It’s sitting in a dark, cool place right next to the brandy and those coffee beans are swimming around having the time of their life.
I must tell you all that I made them both yesterday and I have already sampled them. I can taste the apple and cinnamon along with the pear and vanilla flavors in the brandy and it goes down smooooth. I also decided that I do like bourbon! Who knew! The beauty here is that you can store these just like you would any other spirit. They won’t go bad or anything. I can’t wait until our next bonfire because I will be sharing my apple pear brandy with my family and friends. Or maybe not.