This winter, we decided it was time to start making liqueurs. We had got some grape marc spirit to use as the base alcohol, but you can use almost any kind of strong alcohol to make liqueurs. Vodka, spyritus, grappa... We got an old family recipe from a friend and decided to try it out.
It is actually easier that we had anticipated, but you need to be prepared to be patient.
- 1L grape marc spirit (or any other distilled alcohol without too much flavor)
- 600g white sugar
- 600 mL water
- 18 ripe tangerines, skins
If you look for other recipes online, a common advice is to remove the whitish inside of the skins to prevent bitterness. We had to test this, because it adds a lot more work to the preparation. We actually made two batches - one with inside of the skins removed and another without. We can't tell which is which now that they're done. So it really doesn't seem to make a difference and you can save yourself the trouble.
Cut the skins into tiny pieces, mix them up with the alcohol and leave to rest in a closed jar for at least 2 weeks (we actually left them 2 weeks longer).
Filter the mixture and reserve the flavoured alcohol and the skins.
It should look like this:
Put the sugar in a pan and use a strainer on top of the pan to wash the leftover skins in the cooking water that you add to the pan. You won't need to use the skins for the rest of the recipe, but we kept them (they smelled wonderful!) and used them to season other dishes. Boil the sugar and water for 5 min and leave to cool.
Add the filtered flavoured alcohol to the pan, stir, and carefully pour into some glass bottles:
And now for the real test on patience - the liqueur gets better with time, but that means refraining from drinking it in the first months. Alternatively you could fill several small bottles and taste the evolution of flavours. It is amazing!