Slivovitz (Plum Brandy)

Gezuar!

Earlier this fall I came across a recipe for plum brandy in the Food Section of the Washington Post.  With only five simple ingredients, the recipe promised to produce a traditional Eastern European plum brandy. The kicker?  It had to sit for ninety days before it was ready to drink. Because plums happened to be plentiful here in Albania, decided to give this recipe a try.  For the first two weeks the brandy in the making did require minimal daily attention.  After that I put my jars on a shelf in the pantry and forgot about them.

Shortly after Christmas I dug them out and we sampled the results. Thanks in part to the inclusion of cinnamon sticks, the deep purple drink tasted like a boozy red hot candy.  Personally I found the brandy to be a bit too strong for my liking. Glenn, however, is a fan.

SLIVOVITZ

2 1/2 pounds purple plums
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 3-inch cinnamon stick
2 1-inch pieces lemon peel
4 cups vodka or Everclear grain alcohol; I used the Everclear
 
1)  Use a sharp paring knife to pierce the fruit through to the pit, cutting each plum 3 or 4 times and examining each one
      to make sure it’s perfect. (Bruised fruit ferments too quickly.)
 
2)   Pack the fruit into the jar(s) and add the sugar, cinnamon stick and lemon peel. Pour in enough vodka or grain
       alcohol to cover the plums, and cap the jar securely.
 
3)  Every day for 2 weeks, invert the jar. It’s a good idea to place the jar in a bowl, to contain any leakage, then pour the
      contents of the bowl back into the jar. At the end of 2 weeks, the sugar will have dissolved.
 
4)  Place the jar in a closet or other dark space for 90 days.
 
5)  Strain the finished slivovitz through a coffee filter and transfer it to a storage container or gift bottles.
Step One; Day One
Day Three
Three months later and ready to drink
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