Every household had their own secret recipes, which were handed down from generation to generation and unique to each family. The recipes that I want to share with you come from my own household, passed down from my grandmother who has learned them from her grandmother, and so on and so on.
These wines were fondly referred to as “The Ladies Wines”. Mostly, we drank them as an accompaniment to homemade desserts and pastries.
Here I am going to share with you just how to make some of these very special fruit infused wines, you may even want to pass them on to your children one day!
To start, grab 4 bottles of red wine. Next, you will want to crush about a dozen walnuts. To do this you can use a mortar and pestle, or simply use the flat side of a knife, pushing down until the correct consistency is achieved. Then, pick up an orange from the local market or grocery. Go for the organic- they taste great and add a wonderful aroma to your wine! Wash and cut the orange into small pieces. Next, pour all previous ingredients into a large glass jar, and then add 4 cups of sugar cane and 6½ liters of water spirits. Add a touch of gentian and let sit for 40 days, shaking daily. After this maceration, filter and bottle.
Clean and remove the stems of a little over 2 cups of ripe raspberries. Soak the fruit and wine for 24 hours in a large jar.
Strain through a sieve, pressing lightly. Add 4½ cups of sugar and put the juice gradually on low heat, stirring continuously. Let the liquid cool before bottling.
Provençal Bitter Orange Wine
Buy 6 large organic bitter oranges and peel leaving only the skin. Put the peels in a large bowl (discard the rest or eat). Sprinkle the peel with 6 bottles of rose wine- make sure it’s fruity and excellent in quality! Add three cloves of vanilla, some cinnamon, a glass of fruity brandy, and a small shot of Armagnac, then stir and let macerate for 21 days in a tightly sealed jar. After this, filter the liquid. In a saucepan, melt a nice sized clump of sugar with a little water. When it begins to caramelize, remove it from the flame, let cool and add to the maceration. Stir gently and bottle.
Orange Peel Infused Wine
To create a beautiful copper color, my grandmother also added a teaspoon of granulated chicory.
Close the jar and leave it for two weeks, stirring occasionally. Strain through a fine cloth, similar to cheesecloth and bottle.
First, you will need 3.5 counces of powdered cinchona bark (you can often find this in GNC or a pharmacy). Put this powder in a jar, pour a glass of brandy into the mix preferably distilled from fruit and purchased from a grower. Macerate for 24 hours. Next, add two bottles of red wine- make sure it is strong-bodied, but not woody, and add a vanilla bean and dried orange peel. Wait two weeks before filtering and bottling and voila!
Choose 2 liters of good red wine, 800g or a little less than 2 pounds of ripe black cherries, ½ liter of fruit brandy and a little over a pound of sugar.
Start by crushing the cherries, but keep the juice while grinding the flesh. Preferably, use a mortar and pestle to do this. Find a large glass container and pour all of the bits of cherry into the container. Add sugar, wine and alcohol. Stir and let it stand for 15 days, stirring daily. Be sure to indulge and taste, when the maceration is complete, filter and place into bottles. Wait at least 6 months, ideally a year before drinking, so that the wine can age and really bring out the best flavors.
In a large saucepan place 5 pitted apricots, remove the seeds and put them in the bowl, add sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and a generous splash of white wine. Place on low heat. As soon as it begins to boil, reduce heat slightly and simmer for 15 minutes; remove from heat and immediately cover with alcohol. Let it cool and cover with lid. Allow the wine to stand for 3 days. Taste and alter how you wish until you’ve achieved the perfect flavor and place into bottles. Store in a cellar or cool place, if possible.
In my experience, to properly dry apricots, use a larger quantity-about 30. Also, I tried using ½ liter of white rum in replacement of fruit. Absolutely irresistible! If you decide to do this, save your once filtered candied apricot mixture and use them for dessert, pastry, or ice cream! Parfait!
Unearth Beautiful and Old Glass Bottles
A good piece of advice that I have always followed is if you find a beautiful bottle that you like, keep it. After some time, you will have created a marvelous collection of preferably dark or decorated bottles. Great places to find these gems are flea markets and garage sales.
Once you’ve found what you are looking for, be sure to store the bottle so that you can use the to bottle your delicious homemade wine! If you are feeling creative, you can even paint or stain the glass. Do not hesitate to use magnums for cherry wine, for example. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, create your own labels with poetic and romantic phrases or saying. My grandmother always used to embellish her wine collection this way, and it is something that has remained to stand out in my memory. The embellished wine bottles really add that something to your delightful, homemade, fruit-infused wines!