"Elysia" spiced liqueur

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If you like the taste of Jägermeister™ then I think you'll love this home-made spiced liqueur! I tried many combinations of ingredients over the years, before settling on the recipe and adopting, hopefully, a unique name for it.

[Elysia label and filled bottles]

The base is a 40% abv VS Cognac, which is available as a reasonably priced "own label" product in many supermarkets. Cheap brandy would be ok, but it's worth paying a little more, if you can, for improved flavour and strength. The liqueur is ready to drink in 4-5 weeks.


Use organic if available - complain if not!

Note: Use unwaxed fruit, peeled thinly to avoid the white pith. Two oranges and two lemons usually suffice. I like to eat an orange with breakfast, so it's convenient to add the peel on two successive days; likewise the lemons can be squeezed, e.g. over fried fish, after paring.


Add the peel and spices to the bottle of Cognac - you'll probably need to remove a little spirit to make space; keep it in a small bottle to be mixed back later. Let the infusion stand for 3 weeks, shaking it occasionally. Then decant through a tea strainer and funnel into another bottle, and add the honey. This can be a messy business from a jar; I find it best to use a dessert spoon, manipulated so that a trickle of honey drops straight down into the bottle (steady hand and quick reactions required!).

Shake the mixture during the next few days to dissolve the honey. It will become cloudy - don't worry, that's the "ouzo effect" whereby dilution of the alcohol causes oils from the spices to precipitate. Leave it for a few more days and the cloudiness will drop out as a powdery deposit, from which you can pour off the clear liqueur.

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