The Webtender
Bartender's Handbook

A few words about making liqueurs

Fruit Liqueurs

Fruit Liqueur - Berry

(Tested on raspberries, blackberries and a mix of both).

Start with fresh fruit. Place cleaned fruit into a jar.

Add very strong alcohol just so it barely covers all of the fruit. I used double distilled vodka (alcohol content probably about 55-65%). Beware though - Apparently operating a still is VERY illegal!!

Let the covered jar sit for about a week and a half (it's covered so the alcohol doesn't evaporate). Note that no fermentation takes place here- all that happens is that the fruit soaks up the alcohol, and releases some of its juices. Depending on the type of fruit the level of fluid may decrease. Once you've decided that the fruit has soaked in much of the alcohol gently pour off the fluid so as not to blemish the fruit (try one now for a taste experience :-). Call this (very strong) fluid rack #1.

During the following steps you probably should avoid blemishing the fruit if at all possible.

Replace the fruit in the jar, but layer it with sugar. How much sugar is a bit difficult to say here. I usually tried to do my best to cover almost all of the fruit with _some_ sugar. Cover the jar again. What happens now is that the sugar makes the fruit give off its alcohol and shrivel slightly. In a couple of days the level of juice in the jar should reach almost the top of the fruit. This means it is time to pour it off again, call this rack #2.

Now we repeat the layering with sugar step (getting rack#3, rack#4, etc) until only a very small amount of juice is released. I have been told that with cherries this can be kept up until only a tiny little bit of cherry skin is surrounding the pit. Each rack is sweeter and sweeter.

With rasp[black]berries I got to rack #4 and then got bored waiting for really small amounts of juice. So I took the berries, threw them into a cloth and twisted the hell out them to release the vestiges of alcohol and juice. This was rack#5. The left over pulp can be used with ice-cream. Note that this step is entirely optional, four racks were plenty enough (but why waste alcohol :-).

Now comes the fun part.
Invite several friends (I used 5) and mix the different racks in various proportions and get some feedback on how they taste (too sweet, too alcoholic, too dry, etc). Don't use too many friends or else you won't have any left after the tasting. Now you should know what proportions to mix the final product in. Disposing of juice _not_ used in the final mix is left as an exercise to the reader (I had some sweet stuff left over and use it on ice cream).

Thoughts on the final mix:
In my case the final mix was very close to the ratio of rack#1: rack#2: rack#3 etc. This was convenient because I got the maximum of liqueur with minimal leftovers.

After a visit to a friends house in Poland and a sampling of his Cherry Liqueur (THE BEST liqueur I have EVER tasted)- I have decided to make liqueur also. Here are the directions he gave me (for cherry liqueur):

Fill a Jar with cherries.
Add alcohol to cover all the cherries.
Let sit for a week or so, the cherries should have swelled and there should be less liquid in the jar.
Pour off the liquid.
a)Layer the cherries with sugar and let sit another week.
b)Pour off resulting fluid.
c)Repeat steps a) and b) until the cherries are so small that they're just basically the pit covered with a very thin skin.

Now mix all the batches that you poured off to suit your taste. The first is most bitter, the last is the sweetest.


Fruit Liqueur - Citrus

  • Find a glass container with an opening large enough to comfortable accept a medium size orange. the small the container the better.
  • Invert a glass shot glass and center in the bottom of the container.
  • Pour a cup of Everclear into the container without wetting the shot glass top. Place a fresh orange on top of the shot glass. The orange should have a moderately thick skin, but not excessive.
  • A ground glass top is ideal, if not, a closely fitting plate will do to cover the brue.
  • Check daily as the orange "sweats" its oils. It will slow after three or four days (a week is OK but not necessary). DO NOT OPEN AT ANY TIME till done.
  • Remove orange and shot glass and pour in a cup of bar syrup. There is no magic here, find your own sweetness level, this is just for openers.
  • Pour into a regular bottle and stopper tightly (after you've tasted it, clear, crisp, intense, pure, WOW, no more of those orange liqueurs again).

This stuff is fragile so plan on using it soon and don't make more than you can use, one week is fine, after two it very drinkable but the flavor is noticeably less. And, it will get cloudy with no apparent affect.

Yes any citris will work (never tried a grapefruit), we even put two dozen mint leaves on a thread and hung over. The leaves turned black and crumbly, but the taste; sheer POWER.


Buy shakers, bartending videos, bar tools and supplies in
The Webtender's BarStore.

Home · Drink Recipes · Forums · Bookstore · Barstore · Web Index · Feedback

Copyright © 1995-2014 The Webtender.
About | Disclaimer | Privacy policy