Wal writes ...
Cordials (liqueurs) and punches were popular in the U.S. Originally
bourbon whiskey was quite rough, as demand did not allow for aging,
and therfore invited additional flavoring.
Southern Comfort was first
made in New Orleans by the bartender named H.W. Huron in 1870. The
taste is the result of bourbon whiskey, fruit and spice. The whiskey
provides the tastes of caramel and vanilla. The fruit is peach with
orange and some lemon. The spice seems to be just cinnamon. It comes
in 38%abv and 50%abv strengths. Could one emulate the bartender Huron?
- For 1 litre of bourbon whiskey you could experiment by macerating for
10 days and then straining:
- 1-2g cinnamon
- 3 strips of orange peel
- 1 strip of lemon peel
- 1-3 halved peaches
- 1/2 cup sugar
- caramel coloring
I came across Peach and Rose Petal Liqueur, from an 1830 cookbook:
The quantity of peaches seem excessive - 500g seems sufficient. The
quantity of honey could be halved, at least initially.
- 1 litre proof alcohol (40%abv).
- 450g honey
- 2-3 handfuls of scented rose petals
- 12 peaches, halved, with pits, and a few pits broken open
- Macerate for at least 2 weeks, then strain.
Crush peaches slightly. Place peaches and sugar in a saucepan and
heat over low heat till sugar dissolves. Pour into a jar. Add spices
and bourbon. Steep for 7 days. Strain and age for 1 month, then
strain again and bottle.
- 1 and 1/2 cups fresh peaches; peeled & sliced (another site suggests 750 g)
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 and 1/2 cups sugar
- 4 strips lemon peel
- 3 whole cloves
- 2 cups bourbon
Make a sugar syrup. Cut peaches in half, remove stones and slice thin.
Place peaches, stones and citrus zest in a clean 2 quart (2 l) jar.
Pour syrup and bourbon over peaches. Steep for 2 weeks. Strain. Let
stand for 2-3 weeks. Decant or filter into bottles.
- 2 lb (900 g) fresh peaches; stemmed and washed
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 2 and 1/2 cups bourbon
'Southern Comfort' originally was called 'Cuffs and Buttons' by the
bartender H.R. Heron in the late 1800's. The 'Fish House Punch'
recipe from the mid 1800's shows that peach flavored drinks were
known and could have been the source of his inspiration.
I don't know if the posted Peach Liqueur recipes are traditional in
line with the 'Cuffs & Buttons', or are just imitating 'Southern
Comfort'. You need to experiment. Here is another for comparison:
Peel peaches and cut in quarters. Place in large wide mouthed jar.
Combine other ingredients except sugar syrup and steep for 1-2 weeks,
shaking occasionally. Strain fruit and filter. Add sugar syrup and
age for 6 weeks.
- 12 medium yellow peaches
- 4 lemon peel strips (no whites)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 cups (750 ml) alcohol (Bourbon)
- 1 cup sugar syrup (1 cup sugar, 1 cup water)
Place fruit in a large jar. Dissolve sugar in brandy and pour over
fruit. Steep for 4-6 months. Strain.
- 4 cups fresh peaches peeled and sliced
- 1 and 1/2 cups sugar
- 750 ml brandy
Fish House Punch (Original)
Dissolve sugar in water. Stir in lemon juice and add peach brandy,
brandy and rum. Pour into a chilled punch bowl with a block of ice.
Makes approx. 50 servings.
- 3/4 lb (350 g) sugar
- 2 l dark rum
- 2 l water
- 2 cups peach brandy
- 1 l brandy
- 1 l fresh lemon juice
Dates & Raisins
(pronounced Oosùkeùbah -- Gaelic for "water of life")
- 1 qt vodka
- 1/2 cp sugar
- 2 oz licorice
- 4 oz raisins
- 4 oz dates
- 4 oz figs
- 2 oz anise seed
- 1/4 oz nutmeg (broken)
- 1/4 oz cinnamon
- 1/4 oz ginger
- 0.065g musk (use musk essence)
- 0.065g ambergris (not available these days)
Place all ingredients except musk, ambergreece, and sugar in 1 gallon
jug. Cover with vodka. Let stand in a cool place for 10 days. Shake
well twice a day. Strain into second container. Add sugar. Allow to
clear. Sources: The Queens Closet Opened, W. M., 1655, p. 23
Wal offers a slightly different alternative ..
- 1 litre brandy
- 100g sun dried raisins
- 7g cinnamon
- 7g cloves
- 7g nutmeg
- 7g cardamon
- saffron 3.5g (gives a yellow color)
- 3 strips of Seville orange (bitter orange) peel
- Macerate for 10 days, strain and add 1/2 cup raw sugar
As a whisky cordial (in pursuit of a Drambuie), he's found ..
- 1 litre proof spirit
- 250ml water
- 2g cinnamon
- 2g ginger
- 2g coriander
- 1g mace
- 1g cloves
- 1g cubeb
- Macerate and redistill.
- Steep in 250ml water for 12 hours the following:
- 3.5g English saffron
- 45g sun dried raisins
- 35g dates
- 20g liquorice
- Strain and add to the above.
Wal writes ..
Dates with a 70% sugar content are an ideal sugar source for the
distiller. Early whisky recipes also used raisins, figs and dates for
flavor and sweetness. 'Thibarine' is a Tunisian date liqueur and
'Tamara' is an Israeli date liqueur (tamar means date palm in
Hebrew). Here is a basic recipe:
Macerate dates in alcohol for 10 days, strain, add sugar syrup to
- 500g (1lb) chopped pitted dates
- 500ml (2cups) neutral alcohol 40%bv
- 125ml (1/2 cup) water (to dilute to liqueur strength)
- 125g (1/2 cup) sugar (or honey)
Daniel Rogov, a writer on food and drink
provided the ingredients (dates, crushed cumin & cardamon seeds) and
the method (steep dates, some cooked, others raw together with cumin
& crushed cardamon seeds in alcohol). I have modified the basic 'Date
Liqueur' to resemble 'Thibarine'.
Homemade Thibarine (Tunisian Date Liqueur)
Just cover 500 g of dates with water and bring to boil. Simmer
lightly for 5 minutes to extract sugars (dates are 70% sugar). Cool.
Steep raw and cooked dates and spices in alcohol for 10 days. Strain.
Add sugar or honey to taste.
- 1 kg dates
- 1 litre alcohol 40%bv
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp crushed cardamon seeds
- sugar or honey to taste
There are many varieties of dates. Some are hard and lend themselves
to boiling, while the soft varieties can be used raw. I have found
that that the above quantity of dates gave enough sweetness without