Brandied fruit is a delectable treat that’s a relatively easy process to make, not to mention it can be enjoyed at any time of the year. Letting fruit soak in alcohol is not only a perfect way to preserve your extra harvest at the end of the season, but also an ideal way to prepare for any occasion involving breakfast food or dessert (like a delicious fruit tart). Since today is National Brandied Fruit Day, we want to add a DIA-twist and show you how well brandied fruit can be combined with a variety of cocktails.
But first, you must soak your fruit in brandy. All you need is ripened (or almost ripened) fruit of your choice, sugar, and brandy (the higher quality, the tastier your fruit will be). After you prepare your fruit (wash, peel, and slice if necessary), you want to fill half a container with brandy, and for each cup of fruit you add, stir in 1/6 cup of sugar. Make sure all of the fruit is submerged before you cover the container, then store in a dark place for a few days, or up to a few months depending on how strong you want your fruit to be.
Now, let’s take a look at some of our favorite cocktails that require brandied fruit:
Peaches ‘n’ Cream Cocktail (1 serving)
- ¾ oz. peach schnapps
- ½ oz. peach brandy
- 1 ½ oz. cream of coconut
- 1 scoop vanilla ice cream
- 8 oz. crushed ice
- 2-3 brandied peach slices (pre-soaked)
Mix well in a blender until smooth. Serve in a tall glass and garnish with your brandied peach slices.
Bourbon & Basil Sidecar (1 serving)
- 2 oz. bourbon
- 1 oz. Cointreau
- 3-4 basil and mint leaves (2 of each)
- 2/4 oz. lime or lemon juice
- 12 oz. simple syrup
- 2-3 brandied cherries (pre-soaked)
In a mixing glass, muddle the basil/mint leaves with the bourbon, Cointreau, lime or lemon juice and simple syrup. Shake with ice and strain into your glass. Top with bourbon and then garnish with your brandied cherries.
Ginger Apple Cider with Brandy (4 servings)
- 2 ¼ cups apple cider
- 1 Tbsp. fresh ginger (thinly sliced)
- 2 whole allspice
- 2 oz. brandy
- 2-4 thin slices of a brandied red apple (pre-soaked)
In a saucepan, bring cider, ginger, and allspice to a boil. Remove from heat and cover, letting stand for an additional 10 minutes. Skim foam and strain; throw out any solids. Ladle ½ cup of the hot cider into each mug, then top with ¾ oz. brandy each. Garnish with your brandied apple slices.
Red Sangria with Brandy-Soaked Fruit (12-16 servings)
- 1 cup brandy
- ¼ cup agave syrup
- 2 apples (1 sweet and 1 granny smith), cored and sliced into ¼ inch pieces (pre-soaked)
- 1 pear, cored and sliced into ¼ inch pieces (pre-soaked)
- 1 orange, sliced into wedges (pre-soaked)
- ½ lemon, sliced into thin rounds (pre-soaked)
- 1 lime, sliced into thin rounds (pre-soaked)
- 2 bottles of dry red wine
- 1-2 oz. orange juice
Place pre-brandied fruit into a punch bowl or large pitcher, then in another container combine brandy and agave syrup and stir until syrup is dissolved. Pour over the fruit and stir, letting sit for about 15-30 minutes. Add the wine and orange juice and stir well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours then serve chilled.