Liqueured Fruit

Any fruit in syrup can be preserved in alcohol and not need refrigeration. The important thing to work out is the percentage of alcohol by volume as this must be kept above 19% to prevent fermentation. What you will end up with is a small amount of fruit in liqueur. Starting with 500 ml of Brandy at 37%, gives 185 ml of alcohol. 1L of product (500mL fruit in syrup and 500mL alcohol) would give 18.5%, 900ml would give 20.5% alcohol by volume so to cover for atmospheric factors add 400 ml of fruit and syrup to 500 ml of spirit (rum, brandy, vodka, scotch).

The balance of the finished product will be affected by the balance of sugar to alcohol. With sweet fruit work on 185g of sugar in your 400 ml of syrup. More fruit can be added and less sugar if the fruit is extra sweet. I start with equal weight of fruit to sugar giving a slightly higher sugar content, so mix 200 g of fruit to 185g to 200g of sugar, leave for 24 hours to liquefy - if no liquid (a dry type fruit) add a scant amount of water and heat gently (while stirring) to above 70 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes to sterilize the syrup and liquefy the sugar. When the syrup is cool blend 400ml of fruit in syrup with the spirits, bottle and place in a dark storage space and allow to mature. The more years you leave the product the thicker it will get.

The same can effectively be done by adding dried fruit to spirit. At a guess I would add 400 g of dried fruit to the alcohol and allow to rest in a sealed jar for 12 months or longer. The longer this is kept the fruit will absorb almost all of the liquid and you will end up with a very alcoholic fruit mince for cakes. I used to keep mixed dried fruit in rum in a jar to add to cooking, just adding a spoon or two, or three to cooking as needed. With all of these the true test and trick is to mature them for at least 12 months.

Authored by: 
John King of Rainforest Liqueurs - http://www.rainforestliqueurs.com.au/
Sourced from: 
Sub-Tropical Fruit Club of Qld newsletter June July 2002
Date sourced: 
June 2002