Saturday, September 7, 2013

Feeling boozy

My boss has a plum tree and, huge grin plastered across his face, gifted me with bag of its fruit.  After days of canning, his wife had all but banished them from her sight.

What the heck was I going to do with these?  My considerations:
  • I did not feel like peeling and pitting a metric butt ton of teeny tiny plums.
  • I doubted that the food mill could handle the pits.
  • I'm completely out of half-pint jars for jam or chutney, and don't want to buy more.
  • I doubt that we would eat plum jam.
  • The last time I canned plum sauce, we had more than we could ever eat and wound up throwing it away.
  • Free fruit is a perfect candidate for bartering.  BUT canned fruits and jams tend not to do well at our barters.  The most successful barter items are unique.
  • It would be nice to start putting things aside for Christmas gifts, especially since I only have 2 more paychecks until The Big Day.
My thoughts turned to preserving the plums with booze.  Or, rather, infusing alcohol with their lovely tart flavor.  I mentioned my idea to my boss, who replied, "oh yeah, slivovitz".

Slivowhowhatnow?  Slivovitz?  What the heck is that?  Turns out it's plum liquor, common in Central and Eastern Europe.  Sometimes it's made by fermenting plums and then distilling the juice.  Short of having a still, however, it seems more common that people simply infuse vodka with plums.

Pretty much all of the recipes went along the lines of "put plums and sugar into alcohol".  I used my antique half-gallon jar that probably belonged to my great-grandmother (or even her mother), and 2 quart jars.
"Atlas Mason's Patent Nov 30 1858"  I gave my grandma the Danish horse after I went there in 2006.  Her grandparents were Danes and it was something of which she was always very proud.


Into a half-gallon jar, place:
2 pounds plums, pierced with a knife 3-4 times
2 cups sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2 slivers of lemon peel (I didn't have any, so omitted this)
2 cups vodka
1/2 cup brandy

Shake to remove air bubbles.  Shake the jars every 2-3 weeks, or as you remember (do this near a sink where you can rinse off the jar - it will leak and be sticky).  The sugar will dissolve in about 2 weeks.  Store in a cool dark place for 3 months.  Filter out the solids after 2-3 months and enjoy straight from the freezer.

I'm going to pretend that slivovitz and tequila have a common ingredient.
My slivovitz is on the top shelf of my canning cupboard.  Our winter barter is scheduled for December 7, 3 months from now.  Perfect timing!
I have curtains on my canning cupboards.  Gotta protect the delicate complexions of all my goods!

Look at the color change from Friday... Sunday.

Wonder what it will look like in another 3 months?

p.s. Thanks for the mention, Marisa.  :)  You never know who's reading your posts.


  1. Why does this say "enjoy it straight from the freezer"? Isn't this shelf stable? I keep my fruity boozy infusions on a shelf in a dark cupboard???

  2. Good question, Annie. Yes, it is shelf-stable and will hold indefinitely when stored in a cool, dark place.

    I've read that the liquor tastes best when served icy cold. Enjoy yours at your preferred temp!

  3. Try ZWETSCHGENDATSCHI with plums! I try to find and translate a recipe.