Sunday 6th December '09

I didn't really sleep last night. I'm not sure why though. Sometimes after a night of too many cocktails I won't sleep because of all the sugar. But I only drank beer and wine last night. I eventually got fed up of trying to sleep so I got up, had a shower and made breakfast.

I haven't cooked a proper breakfast in a while.

Bacon, Eggs, Tomato & Asparagus

I thought perhaps after a big breakfast I'd feel sleepy and need a nap. Nope.

Just as well, I needed to do the next step for my fruit liqueurs. You can read about how I started out here. They've been steeping for a month now and it's time to add the sugar syrup.

Now this is all new to me. My first attempt at making fruit liqueurs. I've done a bit of googling for different recipes to try to figure out how I'm going to do mine. That's how I learn to cook different things. I don't really follow one recipe...I find several until I'm happy enough to incorporate them all into one adapted recipe. Especially when not all the ingredients are available to me.

So, I started by making the sugar syrup. I melted white sugar and water in a pot in a 1:1 ratio. As soon as this was cool enough, I put it into the fridge to speed up the cooling process.

Next, time to strain the fruit out of the liqueurs.

I kept the original vodka bottles since they're sterile and I knew I'd be needing them to transfer the liqueurs into. I fitted a tea bag filter into a funnel to strain the liqueurs through.

I began with the smallest jar - the passionfruit.

Here's where I'm trying a bit of an experiment. I filled up two bottles with kiwi liqueur. In one, I added sugar syrup. In the other, I added just the sugar. We shall see which method makes the better liqueur!

The filter paper was clogging up too fast with the bits of fruit pulp, but I remembered that I had bought some muslin cloth from Kitchen Warehouse so I thought I'd try it. I cut a few small squares of it and it worked wonderfully! The great thing about it is that you can rinse all the pulp that it catches out, then reuse it.

For the mango, I split the two mixtures, leaving the fruit in. I added the sugar syrup to both jars.

The lemon liqueur wasn't quite ready yet so I'll let that steep a little longer.

I also just added the sugar syrup to the raspberry liqueur with the fruit remaining in it. I didn't have enough jars to run parallel experiments, but there is going to be such alot of alcohol when it's all ready!

I felt like I was working in a moonshine laboratory!

Chicken & Formaggi Tortellini Soup

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