One of the brilliant things about making a liqueur as opposed to wine is that you don’t have to wait so long to sample it! Peach liqueur is simple to make and such an enjoyable drink to impress your guests. It has the added bonus of either warming you up in the cold weather or refreshing you on a summer’s evening.
What you need:
To make the sugared water: 1 part of sugar to two parts of water
1 cup of sugar
2 cups of water
12 medium sized peaches (less if you have the bigger variety of peaches but mine were quite small and I kept a few extra which I needed as I had to cut off some bruised parts)
3 cups of vodka (I used an unflavoured, 40% proof, quality vodka)
The zests of an orange and lemon (1 tablespoon each)
Large glass jar
NB If you can, choose organic peaches or peaches that haven’t been sprayed with pesticides, and don’t use ones that are still green. Both these will affect the flavour of your liqueur.
Put the water and sugar into a saucepan and boil up being careful not to let the sugar burn. Stir in the sugar and leave to cool. This is very important as hot sugared water can cause the alcohol to evaporate so you must make sure it is lukewarm or cool before infusing with the vodka.
To prepare the peaches, you need to blanch them in hot water for around 30 seconds. Swap the peaches from the hot water into cool water and the skins come off very easily. Cut the peaches in half either by twisting them or use a knife. Make sure that any bruised areas are discarded and take the stones out. I left mine in halves but you could slice or quarter them if you prefer. When finished, place in a glass jar.
Grate the lemon and orange zest.
Place the zests into the jar with the peaches and pour over the cooled, sugared water. Add the vodka and seal with a tightly fitted lid. Give it a gentle shake. Leave in a cool and dark place.
Every so often swish around the mixture.
Wait another 2 weeks and sieve out the fruit making sure that you squeeze all the juice out and pour out the remainder of the liqueur into a clean glass jar. Place back in a dark area and leave for another further 2/3 weeks - if you can wait that long!
Filter the liqueur again and transfer into bottles. Store in the freezer if you prefer.
Serve....on its own or with champagne, sparkling wine, soda or lemonade.