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Fruit Liqueur

(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 :-).

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).

Cherry Liqueur

Fill a Jar with cherries. Add alcohol to cover all the cherries.
Let sit for a week or so, by this time 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.


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