Thursday, November 10, 2011

Winter Solstice Brew

 

Winter Solstice Brew

According to the weather forecasters, it’s going to be a cold and snowy winter.  I’m ready for it.  I made this Winter Solstice Brew from Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It: And Other Cooking Projects by Karen Solomon towards the end of the summer.   I’m kind of like a squirrel, only instead of nuts and berries, I tuck infused alcohol into every nook and cranny of my house. 

This is one that I am really excited about.  Who doesn’t love a good infused brandy, especially one infused all wintery with cinnamon and oranges and vanilla.  I imagine this is in hot tea, or in one of those cute brandy snifter glasses that make me feel all Masterpiece Theatre as I swirl my brandy around in them. 

I also have to say, that I posted this because in my notes on my calendar, it says “Post winter something for Blogher.”   I have no idea what I meant by that.  Anyone on Blogher care to enlighten me.  I really must take better notes, make sure they are complete, the old brain is not what it used to be.

The good news is that this infuses for about 5 weeks, so if you start it now, right now, you can have it in time for the holidays. 

Winter Solstice Brew

  • 4 cups brandy
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 (8-inch) piece cinnamon stick
  • 1 (8-inch) piece vanilla bean, sliced lengthwise
  • 4 small sweet navel oranges, scrubbed, dried, and chopped into 4 to 6 pieces
  • 24 black peppercorns

Combine all the ingredients in a clean, odor free wide-mouthed glass jar (all the better if you have a wonderful old canning jar).  Label the jar, cap it tightly and store in a cool, dark place for 2 weeks, shaking daily.

Strain through a fine mesh strainer or coffee filter.  Return the infusion to it’s jar, recap it, put it back in a cool, dark place, and let it continue to mellow for 3 more weeks.

Refrigerate or store in a cool dark pantry almost indefinitely!

Makes 4 cups.

25 comments:

Joanne said...

Oy. I am NOT prepared for cold and snowy! I think I need to move in with you and all of your infused alcohol. I'm going to need it.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Now that I know you hide infused booze around the house, I might just drop in for a visit! Seriously, this is a great gift idea for the holidays.

Rita said...

I know we will have snow very soon in this corner; nice way to have your brandy. I couldn't find your blog I was following; am I losing it? could be.
Rita

Kat said...

Sounds good to me!! I hope they are wrong on the winter, but I have a suspicion it will be a cold one too.

Kitchen Ninja said...

I agree with Lydia -- this would make a beautiful gift!

SusanD said...

I swear....You find the best recipes! Thanks for sharing this. Blessings, SusanD

June said...

Wow - that looks awesome and I love the idea of the peppercorns in it too. I'm off to buy some brandy!

Carolina said...

Cheers!
You'll be all nice and warm from the inside out this coming winter. Remind your loved ones to keep you well away from the fire.
All that alcohol... ;-)

once in a blue moon said...

looks so pretty, one sip and no reading that night for me...

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

Yummy! I think I'll try this one. Thanks.

Marjie said...

Ah, so the "senior moments" are beginning to attack? I just tell everyone to suck it up and live with forgetfulness. Or, I guess I could give them some of your winter brew, and they'd never notice if I forget something!

Jennifurla said...

Very nice.

CC11 said...

this just screams Christmas to me - I would love to experience a snowy Xmas!

a good yarn said...

Infuse my pretty!

Chris said...

Keep up with the jarred liquor stashed around the house and the "revenooers" might think you're Popcorn Sutton (ha!). Nice brandy, I could see using it in a flambe.

grace said...

you can keep your cold and snowy winter, pam. keep it far away from me! i know it's inevitable, though, and the flavors in this delightful brew can aid in calming me down when the storms hit. :)

CYNTHIA CRANE said...

LOVE this recipe! Just what I need with my tight budget this holiday season! I might just get to liking it so much though I'll drink it all before Christmas :-)

Cynthia Crane
www.TheCranesNest.com

Margaret aka: Fact Woman said...

I just started a jar of this brew. I also added a couple of cloves some sliced ginger and a bit of nutmeg to it. I can hardly wait for Christmas. Thanks for the recipe.

Tanya @ Lovely Greens said...

With you on this one... YUM!

Jessica said...

It sounds -- and looks -- wonderful! I saw it on Food in Jars.

I have a question about the straining step at the two-week point. All the fruits and spices get removed at that point, and just the flavored brandy gets put back in the jar to mellow? I've got a cherry bourbon that's been steeping, fruit and all, for months now, which may account for my uncertainty. Thanks!

Pam said...

Jessica - yes it all gets strained out and then the flavors just mellow. I just had some this weekend and it's good!

Jessica said...

Thanks!

Sheila said...

Thank you for sharing this. It was really yummy! And I look forward to topping our Irish Christmas cake with some of it when we head down to my family for the holidays!

Luke said...

+1 looks very interesting

Pynk said...

Peppercorn & Citrus brandy is so unique! I can't wait to try this during the chilly months. Does the citrus over power the peppercorns? Because I like it spicy & would add some more peppers to the recipe. =]