If you have fresh, ripe peaches you can use them to make peach liqueur to enjoy in cocktails for months to come. Summer brings a bounty of peaches and once you've exhausted freezing them, canning them, and making them into jam and chutney, it's time to think of making some liqueur.
Once you've made this liqueur, label the bottle with the contents and the date you made it. The liqueur will have the best flavor and color for up to a year. After that, it will still be drinkable but it may begin to lose flavor over time.Three years is about the standard shelf life. Oxidation from the bit of air in the bottle is the culprit, and you may even see some separation of the ingredients. Once that happens, it's best to discard it and make another batch.
This tasty liqueur makes a wonderful gift from the kitchen.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 pounds ripe peaches (stemmed and washed)
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 1/2 cups 100-proof vodka
- 1 cup brandy
- 4 drops food coloring (yellow)
- In a heavy saucepan, boil sugar and water over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Do not let the mixture burn.
- When the sugar is completely dissolved and the syrup is clear, remove it from heat and let it cool down to about 110 F, which is a little more than lukewarm.
- Slice the peaches in half and twist the halves opposite of each other to separate and remove the pit and set it aside. Do not discard the pit, you'll be using it as well.
- Thinly slice the peaches.
- Place the peaches, peach pit, lemon zest, and orange zest into a clean 2-quart glass canning jar. Add the cooled sugar syrup, vodka, brandy, and food coloring.
- Seal with an airtight lid. Turn jar top to bottom in one full revolution to gently mix.
- Place the bottle in a cool, dark place for two weeks.
- After two weeks, strain out solids through a fine mesh sieve.
- Pour the peach liqueur into a clean jar, seal, and let stand another 2 to 3 weeks in a cool, dark place.
- Strain the peach liqueur a final time through a double layer of cheesecloth or another filter into a decanter or decorative sealable bottle.