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In this episode, Chef Andrew Lanier creates a simple fennel blossom liqueur. Wonderfully aromatic, homemade fennel liqueur ...
is easy to make and a less complex substitute for absinthe. A squeeze from a fat lemon garnish adds a bit of complexity and balance to a refreshing libation.
Tags:homemade liqueur recipe,Chef Andrew Lanier,fennel blossom liqueur,How to Make Homemade Liqueur,Inside the Kitchen Door,small screen network,how to make liqueur at home,liqueur,Sous Vide
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How to Make Homemade Liqueur
Welcome back inside the kitchen door. Today, we’ll be making some liqueur and this really wonderful fennel blossoms just picked from a garden out in Madrona real close to the restaurant here. I'm going to be stuffing this into this bottle here and filling it up with a neutral spirit to give it a nice clean spirit like an absolute vodka something that’s in a mid price point. And still a good quality. And this is going to introduce too much other flavor into your liqueur. It’s very simple technique, just stuffing the bottle with the blossoms.
Again these blossoms are really, really rich, sweet fragrant floral accent to them. Add a little sugar to the bottle, probably about a half cup in total. I don’t want it too sweet, but just enough to where it’s going to actually carry the flavor of the fennel. Now if you’re just going to use straight vodka without using any sugar, the flavor is going to be pretty flat. The sugar like when you make simple syrup, it helps to sustain and carry through all the flavors and the fennel is supposed to just one or two flat notes that the vodka will pick up itself, so a little more sugar there.
Another important note to think of when you're infusing liqueurs, you're going to be using an all glass bottle. If you use a plastic container, that’s going to pick up a lot of flavors. It transfers the flavors of what might have been in there before as well. And also, it’s just not very good for storage. So for example, for all of our juices that we use in the restaurant, we use strictly glass bottles to store them and cork them.
If you really want to pack this fennel in here, again the more you get in, the more flavor. So even though this particular bottle will hold about a fifth and a half of alcohol or probably don’t even get -- going to get about three quarters of a bottle worth of liqueur out of it in the end because of how much on this fennel blossom we’re stuffing into it. Pack it in real tight and at this point, we’ll add our absolute vodka.
Okay, I'm going to cap this off and bring it over to our immersion circulator. And that’s going to infuse it over the process of about an hour. It’s going to very gently heat it at the temperature below which alcohol boils. And again, I'm just stirring this like sort of to dissolve that sugar and make sure everything is incorporated. So bring it over to the circulator here. I'm going to very simply drop it in. and what that’s going to do is just cause to steep like a tea for example.
Now if I was just going to let that sit for a week or two weeks to infuse, it’s really going to break down that fennel. It’s going to start taking vegetal, kind of like draft of things. And this is just going to steep it really quick. We’ll strain it out and then it would be ready to use and store for about the next month or so.
So, we pulled our fennel liqueur from the water bath. It’s been about an hour and a half in there and it’s ready to go. I'm going to open this up and just drain it into another bottle. It’s important that you drain it the same day as you infuse it, so that you can store it in the refrigerator for future use. It will last for a month or two before it starts to break down. Wow, I'm just getting this really wonderful fresh fennel aroma coming at me as I'm draining this bottle.
You can see it has a very similar color to an Absinth. It got nice vibrant yellowish tinge to it. Now the way we serve this in the restaurant, it just doesn’t appear on tea. We’ll just be pouring it over ice giving a little stir and illusion the same way that absinthe does being that it has all the essential oils from the fennel blossoms in there. And I like to do a little zest of lemon on the top and serve as is.
So this actually, this is a little bourbon glass. We actually like using them for serving liqueurs as well for a pair of teas, etc. its kind of versatile glass. It’s a nice and sexy way to serve this. So you can see that immediately. It just starts to cloud up in the same way than an absinthe would. So let me get this quick little stir and being as this is vodka based and not a higher proof. You don’t really need to dilute it as much as we would if we’re actually serving an absinthe. I just like to do a little zest of lemon over the top, around on the glass and that would be that.
Let’s give this a quick taste here. It’s wonderful. It’s fantastic. And it’s our fresh fennel liqueur. The technique, you could probably use your bar as well.