At the club, we found that we weren't able to extend our product range, but with a demand for 'trendy' ingredients (lychee, passionfruit, etc.) we decided to create our own.
Into an empty 275ml bottle went…
- The flesh of 4 passion fruits / flesh of one grapefruit / whole lemon (chopped up) / whole pear.
- 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar (more in some cases – adapted to taste)
The contents were steeped in vodka, leaving enough spaces so the bottles could be shaken every couple of days.
The bottles were left in the fridge for 3 weeks with the fruit inside, and then were strained out and aged for a further 2 weeks.
The liqueurs generally worked well – all that is except the pear – which just went brown and rather rank. So if anyone knows how I can get around this, please post in the comments!?!! Also, if you were going to try it out, I'd use 2:1 sugar syrup, rather than granulated sugar, which took forever to dissolve.
While we have yet to make anything with the lemon liqueur, we have played around with the passion fruit. The Passionstone cocktail was created in response to a number of young (and generally female) customers who don’t like to taste the alcohol, but want to drink something slightly more sophisticated than Malibu and coke or Sex on the Beach.
15ml Hendricks Gin
35ml Passion Fruit Liqueur
20ml Pure Cloudy Apple Juice
3-4 Lime Wedges
3 Sprigs of Mint
10ml Sugar Syrup
In a highball glass, muddle the 3 lime wedges with the sugar syrup. Remove the leaves from one sprig of mint and gently muddle in the glass using the back of a bar spoon, so as not to bruise.
In a shaker, put the gin, passion fruit liqueur, apple juice, and the leaves from the remaining two sprigs if mint. Add ice, and shake.
Fill the highball glass with crushed ice, fine strain into the glass. Stir with a bar spoon and garnish with a mint sprig.
The cocktail should be on the sweet side, but not fall into the category of sickly sweet, due to the lime juice, and freshness from the mint. We are due to make another batch of the passion fruit liqueur this week, and I think that we'll add more passion fruit to begin with to give it a stronger flavour. It's had a great response so far, especially from Ema, one of our amazing bar staff, who in the past has turned her nose up at even the smell of gin.
Next, I hope to try a lychee liqueur, and begin to start combining flavours, rather than just the one (maybe lychee and ginger), and steeping in spirits other than vodka. I've recently had a bit of a pineapple margarita addiction, so perhaps I'll try making a tequila based pineapple liqueur.
When we decided to start making our own liqueurs with different ingredients, so that we could have a larger repertoire of flavours to experiment with, I jumped at the chance of making one with pink grapefruit because it is a fruit that I am particularly fond of due to its fresh, sharp, yet sweet citrus taste and it has a smell that is so distinct and delicious. Once the liqueur was ready to use, I experimented making a cocktail with it that was gin based, which I found suited the flavour extremely well. I kept it simple, just literally using the pink grapefruit and gin, a dash of sugar syrup and shaken with ice. It also went well with a dash of lemonade/soda water (whichever takes your fancy) if you want to make it a long drink. However, I much preferred the simple version, in a small martini glass. I am yet to experiment with other spirits but that is something I intend to do next time I get behind the bar!