Saturday, February 13, 2016

experiments: upgrading gin to pumpkin spiced liquor!

The morning after christmas leaves you often with a few things: a full stomach, a slight hangover, a kitchen full of dishes, but most important: it leaves you with a lot of leftover food and drinks. Really, A LOT.

This year, the christmas leftover did not only include a good amount of food, but also some bottles of alcohol. Dutch Gin ( jenever) to be precise. Thing is: I'm not a big drinker. I can't: anything over two glasses of wine is enough to make me grab a skateboard, lie down on it with and roll down the street while I try to persuade my friends for a game of human bowling. *Sigh* Not a pretty sight. So I tend to stay away from it.  And when I do drink, I definitely prefer wine or a nice glass of liquor over Dutch gin, which -I think- you can only drink when you wear matching corduroy trousers. So this bottle was probably going to live in my cupboard for a loooong time, until someone in corduroy trousers would eventually show up. So, then I had an idea: I upcycle clothes, furniture and basically anything: can't you do the same for alcohol?

"Yes you can!", said the internet. And there are quite a lot of recipes for doing so. Coffee Liquor, chocolate, apricot, strawberry flavor..All them possibilitiees! Since a was a little apprehensive of using fresh fruit ( risk of food poisoning if it goes bad), and I didn't find a recipe I completely liked, I made my own recipe: A liquor with pumpkin spice/ chai flavor!

Here we go!!

Two notes before you start: 
1- This recipe contains strong alcohol. So be careful when trying this recipe, and if you're underaged: don't try this at all. Not only is underaged drinking illegal, it is also very dangerous and very uncool. 

2- Be careful when making preservative drinks like this. Before posting this recipe, I have tried it a few times myself, testing the preservation to be sure it worked. My experience is that you can safely make this: the alcohol should work as a natural preservative. But even then, be careful: use your common sense and only drink it when you are convinced it is safe to do so. 


- 500 ml of Dutch Gin ( or something similar. The alcohol percentage of Dutch gin is 35%)
- 150 g sugar
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- peppercorns (I used around 20)
- a vanilla-stick
- 4 slices of dried orange
- some cloves
- star anise ( I used 2)

If you want to you can try your own variety!

- scale
- sterilized bottles or jars with a lid that you can secure. read here how to sterilize your bottles or jars.
after 4 weeks:
- a coffee filter
- a funnel
- a sterilized bottle to keep your liquor in

step 1. 
This is very easy. Measure all your ingredients and put them in your sterilized jar or bottle. I crushed the cinnamon a little. Place the lid securely on top and shake it.

step 2.
Now you have to wait. Store your jar or bottle in a dark and cool place. And keep it there for 4 weeks ( I know....) Give it a good shake every now and then.

step 3. 
After 4 weeks, filter your liquor with the coffee filter and funnel. Pour it in the new sterilized bottle. I used small coffee milk bottles.

Depending on your ingredients, it might be a good idea to leave it standing an extra week, allowing all the debris to sink to the bottom. Then you can pour it in a new bottle. In this recipe, I didn't find this necessary, since the liquor was already clean and clear.

I gave the bottles a gift tag, and voila!

And I have to say: this drink is heavenly!! It is quite sweet, It really reminds me of chai-tea and pumpkin-spiced latte. So, while I intended to make two bottles to give away, one is already almost empty. but hey: I needed to test it thoroughly! :) 
So if you'll excuse me, I have to go, I'll be in the garden playing a game of human bowling. 


ps: but OF COURSE I tried more varieties! With both good and bad results! More recipes are upcoming!

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