How to Make Apricot Brandy -- And Brandied Apricots
Yes, you could buy apricot brandy from a liquor store, but it will cost you dearly. Instead, how about making your own? It's fast, easy, and requires little cooking. The apricot brandy makes a nice gift presented in glass jars and tied with ribbons. The brandy is strong, and the apricots are quite boozy. Try the brandy in coffee or tea (no more than 1 tablespoon per cup). The brandied apricots also make a fancy and special dessert served atop vanilla ice cream, drizzled with a teaspoon of the brandy, and sprinkled with a teaspoon of chopped toasted almonds or pistachio nuts. You also can use the brandied apricots chopped up in a cake and the brandy in a glaze for your cake (stay tuned for a recipe). Can you drink the brandy "as is"? Yes, but it's quite potent, so, if you do, enjoy it in very, very tiny glasses.
Apricot Brandy – Makes 8+ Cups
4 cups of sugar
2 cups of water
32 ounces of dried apricots
6 cups of vodka (the cheap stuff is just fine)
Cinnamon sticks and cloves (optional, one cinnamon stick and a few cloves for each jar)
In a large saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil, stirring the mixture often. Reduce the heat and simmer the sugar and water for 5 minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved. Cool the sugar water. Place the apricots, and if you'd like to use them, the cinnamon sticks, in clean glass jars and divide the sugar syrup and vodka among them, stirring to blend everything. Cover the jars tightly and store them in a cool dark place for at least a month, turning or shaking the jars every week (if you remember). Before serving the liqueur, strain out the apricots. The brandy keeps at room temperature for months (mine's been aging for a year) and even longer in the refrigerator.