So, as someone who's only been into the whole cocktail thing for a few months, I've been gradually building a home bar based primarily on recipes that I want to try as well as spirits that seem versatile. Apricot liqueur/brandy seems to pop up quite often in recipes I want to try. The problem is that at least in the DC suburbs, Hiram Walker and Bols are the only two types of apricot brandy available. Marie Brizzard Apry and Rothman and Wells get a lot of love on these boards, but I haven't seen either around here, though there are a couple of places in DC that I plan on looking in the next week or two. Whether or not I find those products, I'm thinking about making my own.
Here's the first recipe that comes up for a Google search:
1/2 cup(s) sugar
2 tablespoon(s) honey
3 cup(s) brandy
2 pound(s) dried apricots
Make the brandy mixture: Combine 1 1/2 cups water, sugar, and honey in a small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Allow syrup to cool slightly and combine with brandy and fruit in a large, sealable jar. Store in a cool, dark place for 4 to 8 weeks.
Strain the brandy: Line a strainer with a double layer of dampened cheesecloth and strain the brandy. Discard apricots or save for another use. Transfer the brandy to a clean container and store for up to 1 year.
So, to those who make their own, how does that recipe sound? Anything you'd change? I was going to pick up a bottle of St. Remy VSOP today (on sale at $8.99) and set about making some tomorrow night. I suppose this might be better with fresh, ripe apricots, but they don't start showing up until late spring usually, and even then, they're usually not that great up here.
Also, I suppose it's worth asking whether it's more preferable to use vodka as the base spirit. I see a lot of apricot brandy recipes that use vodka and have no brandy in them, which seems odd, but perhaps it's better?