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Brewed Holiday Gift Ideas

By: Journeyman Lynnette de Sandoval del Valle de los Unicornios
November 2009

Liqueurs: Almond | Cinnamon-Coriander | Ginger | Sugar Syrup | Chocolate covered, almond stuffed, brandied cherries | Ypocras

Brandied Cherries: Chocolate covered & almond stuffed

Step 1: Make the Brandied Cherries

        2 quarts pitted Bing Cherries (approx 15 pounds of un-pitted cherries)
        1 1/4 cups blanched, slivered almonds
        1 3” cinnamon sticks (split in half lengthwise)
        3 cups white baking sugar
        3 cups Christian Brothers Brandy
        Layer cherries, almonds, and cinnamon sticks in a large container.
        Pour in the sugar, then pour in the brandy
        Gently mix the sugar on top to dissolve it, don’t stir the cherries yet.
        Stir occasionally for 10 days.
        Then remove cherries and store them in the refrigerator until needed. Save the liquid for other uses.

Step 2: Make the Chocolate covered, almond stuffed, brandied cherries

        Brandied Cherries
        Whole almonds (1 per cherry)
        Melted chocolate (Hershey Kisses, candy making chocolate, or other chocolate -- Milk or Dark)
        Slivered almonds (1 per cherry)
        For each cherry:
            Stuff with a whole almond,
            Dip into the melted chocolate to cover the cherry
            Add an almond sliver to the top as a cherry stem.


    8 quarts red wine (I used half Carlo Rossi Burgundy and half Gallo Hearty Burgundy)
    200 peppercorns (crushed)
    1 oz stick cinnamon (in small pieces)
    3 oz fresh ginger (peeled and cut up)
    5 cups honey
    Divide the wine equally into 4 containers and add each ingredient to a jar (honey in one, ginger in the second ...)
    Let them stand 4 days, shaking occasionally.
    Strain each, except the honey, and combine the 4 as taste dictates.
    Yields approx 2 gallons

Ginger Liqueur

    4 teaspoons fresh ginger
    6 cups vodka (or brandy or whiskey)
    3 cups sugar syrup
    1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

    Steep ginger and cinnamon in alcohol for 1 week, shaking occasionally.
    Strain and filter. Add sugar syrup and bottle.
    Yields approx 9 cups

(Modified from Homemade Liqueurs p.86)

Cinnamon-Coriander Liqueur

    8” cinnamon stick
    6 teaspoons ground coriander seed
    8 cloves
    3 cups vodka
    3 cups brandy
    sugar syrup

    Steep spices in alcohol for 10 days, shaking occasionally.
    Strain and filter. Add sugar syrup and bottle.
    Yields approx 8 cups

(Modified from Homemade Liqueurs p.86)

Almond Liqueur

    4 teaspoons pure almond extract (original recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon)
    1 1/2 cups vodka
    1/2 cup sugar syrup

    Combine all ingredients when the sugar syrup has cooled. Shake well.
    Let mature for a few days in a closed container.
    Yields approx 2 cups

(Modified from Homemade Liqueurs p.106)

Sugar Syrup
used in the Liqueur recipes

    Combine 2 parts sugar with 1 part water.

    Boil together for about 5 minutes, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.
    Microwave on HIGH for 45 seconds. Stir, Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir.

    Let cool.

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