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.