Plan six weeks in advance to make this peach liqueur before it is ready. Great for gifts.
INGREDIENTS: 1 cup sugar 1 cup water 2 pounds fresh ripe peaches, stemmed and washed 1 teaspoon lemon zest 1 teaspoon orange zest 1-1/2 cups 100-proof vodka 1 cup brandy 4 drops yellow food coloring
PREPARATION: Stirring constantly, bring sugar and water to a boil over medium-high heat. Do not allow mixture to burn. When sugar crystals are completely melted and mixture is clear, remove from the heat and let cool to warm, about 110 F.
Meanwhile, prepare peaches by cutting them in half, removing pits (reserve pits), and slicing into thin strips.
Put the peach slices and pits into a clean, 2-quart jar along with lemon and orange zest. Cover with the clear sugar syrup, vodka, brandy, and food coloring. Seal tightly with proper lid. Rotate jar once gently to mix. Place jar in a cool, dark place for two weeks.
After steeping for two weeks, strain the mixture through a fine sieve, discarding the remaining solids. Pour the liqueur into a clean glass container, seal, and let rest for another 2 to 3 weeks in a cool, dark place.
After second resting period, pour liqueur through a layer of clean cheesecloth or other filter into a clean decanter or other stoppered jar to use for serving.
Yield: 1 quart