Apricots are one of those fruits I just never came across as a youth. As a young adult who thought I knew everything on earth, I figured because I had never had them, I must not like them. It wasn’t until I was given a piece of apricot under the guess of another fruit that I discovered they are actually pretty tasty. Unfortunately at that time, I was stubborn (some would argue that time hasn’t changed… they are wrong… like always.) and refused to give in to the wiles of the apricot.
Things changed when a co-worker of mine who was obsessed with Dog Fish Aprihop made a comment about how she would pay all of her tip monies for apricot flavored hard liquor (not to include apricot brandy). I took that challenge and failed miserably at first. But we wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t worked it out in the long run to produce a palatable apricot infusion. If only I had done so in time to collect the monies. *stares into empty wallet*
750 mL spirit of choice
2 apricots, peeled and quartered
¼ cup dark brown sugar
Peel and cut the cleaned apricots into quarters. Combine all the ingredients into an air-tight jar and close. Shake/mix the ingredients well until all the sugar dissolves. Store the container in a cool dry place for 6 days, swirling daily to mix any residual sugar. After 6 days, strain the mixture through cheese cloth to remove the solids then strain the mixture a second time through a coffee filter. Store the strained infusion in a clean jar.
This infusion is especially poignant in dark rums and bourbon. Something about the earthly feel of them compliments the subtle sweetness and hidden tropical nature of the apricot. If you are a fan of apricots you will love this infusion as apricot truly shines when accompanied by the sugar (not so much on its own as I discovered in my first attempts). Even if not an apricot lover, this is a must try infusion that may change your mind about them.
**[Semi] Pro Tip: you can substitute 2 cups of dried apricots for fresh ones. The flavor produced is a bit more subtle and earthly. Try this out in bourbon to really taste the difference. I actually prefer the dried for bourbon and fresh for all the other spirits.