So you know how we suddenly live in a house with a massive assortment of delicious things growing in its yard? Well, I went and got a bottle of vodka, and started making some of those delicious things into alcoholic delicious things.
I made all of these schnappses from the recipes at danish-schnapps-recipes.com. If you have never seen this site, go browse through all the things you can make! All you need is patience, vodka, and some sort of fruit, herb, or other plant.
First up: plum schnapps. Right now, ripe cherry plums are falling off our tree into our new backyard pretty constantly. It was way too hot to make jam (although I could certainly freeze a nice selection of fruit...), but not too hot to pierce twelve or fifteen plums all over with a pin, put them into jars, and cover them with vodka. Then I just put the jars into the cupboard and shut the door to let the contents age in the dark. That's all there is to it. Schnapps accomplished!
Plum schnapps reportedly has a 3-6 month aging period before you can strain it and drink it. I find this unfortunate simply because I have no idea how my first batch will turn out, and so I'm hesitant to make more right now. But if I wait, all the fresh plums will be gone! I may end up just making another batch anyway.
In the meantime, I also had a bunch of herbs running wild in the front yard. I made lemon balm schnapps and mint schnapps. The recipe is for peppermint, and our mint is spearmint, but I'm betting I still get a good result. Same deal: cover the herbs in vodka, let steep for a set amount of time, and strain.
Herbal schnappses seem to take a much shorter infusion time than fruit schnappses, so I'l be able to report back on these much sooner than the plum. I actually strained the lemon balm one already, since the recipe specified 48 hours; however, it could clearly use some aging time in the back of the cupboard before we do a final taste test. I'm probably going to let the spearmint steep for another week or so before I strain it (and yes, I am totally going to keep it in the Grey Poupon jar; why do you ask?).
In conclusion, schnapps is both easy and awesome. You guys should make some too, and then we can all have a schnapps tasting party on the internet. YES.