If we were to draw a line down the cocktail world to divide those who seem to appreciate apricot [flavored] brandy and those who don’t, that line would sit directly on top of most craft bars. One side, those consuming, seem to have an inherent, if not unwarranted, avoidance technique for the spirit where those on the crafting side of that bar have respect and value for it. This notion is clear when you read through older cocktail books and see how often this spirit appears in classic, great, time-tested, cocktails, yet you look around and see how few people drink it. When and why this divide occurs, I don’t know… yet.
In an attempt to experience the spirit first hand to draw my own conclusions, I realized making my own may be the best route as many an article (like “Ups and Downs of Apricot Brandy” by Jason Wilson for the Washington Post) has pointed out that not only is finding true Apricot Brandy (I.e. distilled from Apricot) stateside almost a needle in a haystack, but that many commercial brands are simply artificially flavored and over saturated with sugar. This notion convinced me to let my Infusiasm take over and make my own Apricot-Flavored Brandy. It also helps that flavored brandies can be a quality additive to Sangria’s (like this week’s DOTW: Apricot Sangria) and I am all about making better Sangria.
2 lbs. dried apricots
3 cups brandy
1 cup water
1 cup honey
– combine water and honey in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until mixture becomes fluid
– let the mixture cool, before combining it with the apricots and brandy in a mason jar (or other air-tight jar)
– stir to mix, ensuring the liquid completely covers the apricots
– store the mixture in a cool, dark place for 4 to 8 weeks, swirling once a week.
– when the brandy is to taste, double strain it through dampened cheese cloth to remove the apricots
– store in a clean, dry container
**store for about a year**