Crab Apple Liqueur
Possibly have a tagline for each recipe here?
• 1-kilo ripe crabapples washed and quartered (no need to core, seed or de-stem)
• 4 cups of sugar
• 1 x 750ml bottle of vodka (keep this bottle to distil liqueur back into)
There is no need to buy an expensive bottle - Smirnoff Red is fine but as you refine and develop this recipe you may want to try different vodka's to see how flavour changes, eg: a raspberry or blackcurrant vodka.
You can reduce sugar to 3 cups which makes a more bittersweet liqueur but it is the sugar that creates a thick visceral texture of this aperitif.
• 1 x 3-litre or 2 x 2-litre glass jars with lids. We use these 3.3-litre ones from Ikea with a glass lid
• Large fine-mesh strainer
• Large bowl with pouring spout
Fill the clean, dry jar/s with chopped crabapples. Add sugar and fill with vodka. (Either place in one large jar or divide between two).
Ensure you leave room at the top (few inches) for the mixture to expand as the juice from the crab apples release over the coming weeks.
Give a good stir with the handle of a wooden spoon and secure the lid on tightly.
Store jars on a tea towel somewhere without direct sunlight (laundry good for this) for a minimum of two weeks.
Every few days, tip jar them upside down a few times to agitate the sugar. If you have a lid you can easily remove, you can give a stir with a wooden spoon. The key is to move the sugar sediment often so it can dissolve over time.
Taste your liqueur after 2 weeks - you can give it up to another 2 weeks if you want to push the flavour further. Filter mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large pouring bowl with spout. You can also choose to do a second filter through muslin if you want are a super clear mix. Pour back into your empty vodka bottle.
Once you perfect your base brew, you can start experimenting with adding other flavours by adding herbs and spices at the start of the process. A few sprigs of basil, orange rind and peppercorns, or a cinnamon stick all make lovely subtle notes.