Flavoured liqueurs are getting pretty popular lately, and though it seems you can get every flavour of vodka, brandy, etc under the sun, and though alcohol is relatively cheap in Germany, I like to make my own. It’s a great way to use fruit that’s slightly overripe, or peels, and other such things that would normally get thrown out (and as I’ve said before, I have a hate-on for waste). It’s really easy, and not as time consuming as it looks.
In this example, I’ve made lemon brandy. I also take the brandy-steeped lemon peel and make candied lemon peel, which I’ll either use in a recipe or eat on its own (it’s delicious!)….not sure which yet!
First I peeled my lemon. I just used one lemon for this recipe, but I only made a small amount:
The lemon peel went in a jar, which was topped up with brandy until the peels are covered. If you want to make a large amount, you might want to use a carafe or jug. Just make sure you cover it (plastic wrap with an elastic band will do). Just keep in mind that whatever bottle you want to keep your finished product in, you also want to leave room for the simple syrup (this keeps your finished liqueur from tasting like medicine).
Next, I left the brandy and lemon peel to steep. Usually it’s about 3+ weeks. I left it for a month.
Then I removed the lemon peel and poured the brandy into a bottle (I save bottles for such uses). I then made a simple syrup (just boil sugar and water until you get a syrup consistency) and added it. The mixture was about 3/4 brandy, 1/4 syrup. I tried it without the syrup but it tasted like medicine.
I candied the lemon peel as well. As it had been steeped in brandy, it made a really great candied peel. I chopped the peel, boiled it in sugar and water until sticky, then let it dry slightly, separated it, and the let it dry completely on some parchment paper.
(excuse the blurriness of the last photo…I had forgotten to take one of the finished peel and by this time it was late at night).
The peel can be saved in a small jar and used for baking, or eaten as a tasty candy! The brandy can be enjoyed on its own or used in cocktails