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KEY LIME LIQUEUR

3 cups key lime juice
about 3/4 cup key lime zest
1 1/2 cups water
8 cups granulated sugar
1.75 liters 80-proof vodka
green food coloring (optional)

Place zest, juice and water into a large saucepan. Add sugar and
stir well. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. When
it reaches a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove
from heat and let cool.

Pour lime mixture into aging container, add vodka and stir. Cap
and age for 4 weeks in a cool, dark place.

After initial aging, pour through a metal strainer into a bowl to
remove zest. Zest may be saved for later use in cooking. Rinse
any sediment from aging container and pour liqueur back into cleaned
container for an additional month of aging.

When completed with aging strain liqueur through fine cloth (such
as muslin). Repeat as needed. If you like, add several drops of
green food color, stirring in a few at a time until liqueur is the
desired shade. A cloudy layer may form on top even after several
strainings. This portion may be poured off and used for cooking.
Bottle and cap as desired. Liqueur is now ready to be used in
cooking but should be aged at least three more months if intended
for drinking.


TANGERINE LIQUEUR

4 cups tangerine juice
1 1/3 cups tangerine zest (about 35 tangerines)
3/4 cup lemon juice
7 cups granulated sugar
1.75 L 80-proof vodka

The procedure is the same as for the Key Lime, minus the green food
coloring and water. Also, the tangerine liqueur doesn't form a
cloudy layer on top; the sediment sinks instead of floats.


General notes:

Large glass jugs or ceramic crocks make great aging containers;
plastic will react with the alcohol. I usually use gallon glass
jugs, but I make liqueurs in large batches. :) As long as it's
big enough and has a snug lid or cap, go for it.

When a recipe calls for water, use distilled water if your tap
water is of iffy quality (like mine is).

Use a decent quality alcohol base, but avoid the really expensive
ones that should be enjoyed on their own. For example, I use
Smirnoff Vodka; Stolichnaya would be overkill. B)

Don't skimp on aging times! Most fruit and herb liqueurs hit their
best flavor after about a year of aging, if you can save them that
long. If you're planning to use a liqueur for cooking, then you
can get away with less aging.

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