Winter Solstice Brew

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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.

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  1. says

    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.

  2. says

    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… 😉

  3. says

    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!

  4. says

    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.

  5. says

    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. :)

  6. Jessica says

    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!

  7. Pam says

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

  8. says

    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!

  9. says

    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. =]

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