Mock Apple Brandy

Jack writes ..
    Faking fruit brandy is a great way to use up any 95% sugar spirit you have laying about that you can't figure out what to do with. I found this recipe in an old distilling book and scaled it down for home use (the original makes about 100 gallons).

    Mix together:
    • 32 fl.oz. (950 mL) 95%abv sugar spirit
    • 10.5 fl.oz. (310 mL) apple cider (the sweet cloudy type bottled in milk jugs in the cooler in the produce section of the grocery store)
    • 34 grams of table sugar
    • 20 fl. oz. (600 mL) distilled water
    • 2.13 grams of cream of tartar(spice section of grocery store)
    Mix this up until everything has dissolved, then reflux this mix in a stockpot on the stove (low heat) - put the lid on the pot upside down and fill it with ice to keep the alcohol from boiling off. Bring it to a thorough boil for about 10 minutes, then lower the heat until it is just evaporating the alcohol (and the lid is condensing it). Let it cook on low for 4 hours, at the last ten minutes, bring it back up to a good boil, and hold it there while replacing the ice (you can't boil it for the entire time - you'll run out of ice).

    After the 4 hours, cool this mix and let it settle out, the stuff is ready to be treated as an "apple spirit" from here on- It's good (but sweet) straight- aging it in some charred American oak chips (not much - maybe a teaspoon - don't overdo it) will make it taste more like an "aged in wood" brandy. This is suprisingly good, considering how easy it is to make.

    If you want to use apples instead of cider: use 1 and a-half pounds (680g) for the batch size above - chop up the apples, add the sugar, one fourth of the alcohol, and 2/3's of the water, mix (blending the apples is best), and let sit (covered) in a cool spot for 8 days, then press out the liquid, mix with the rest of the water and press again, add the last of the alcohol, and proceed as above. This method also works well with pears and plums


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