Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Squirreling Away...

I have a basement and what better way to put it to use than making fortified wines, aperativi, liquors, and all manner of tasty things? Forget the Rec. Room! Bring on the pantry, the root cellar, the home brewing apparatus! Right now there are so many different types of grapefruit available in the markets that it is silly to think of not using them for all sorts of delicious drinks for later in the Summer. Yesterday I wrote about my beloved vin d'orange and the Seville oranges. While those are luxuriating in their steeping jars, I am moving on to some lovely vin de pamplemousse. This is so refreshing to serve with little snacks, like olives, nuts, or some delicious fried peppers. Here is a great recipe if you decide to make some:

Start your vin de pamplemousse now: it takes 40 days to mature. You might as well make a large batch, so you'll have extra to give to friends. Start with a sterile 2 1/2-gallon bucket or crock. Thinly slice 3 ruby grapefruits, 3 white grapefruits and 4 lemons, and toss them in the bucket. Add a split vanilla bean along with 3 cups of granulated sugar. Pour 5 liters of white sauvignon blanc (preferably Sancerre) over the citrus and sugar. Add 1 liter of vodka, and stir. Cover the crock with tight-fitting plastic wrap, and store in a dark, cool place for 40 days. A basement is ideal; a closet is fine.
For the first week, stir the vin de pamplemousse once a day while the sugar dissolves and the citrus oils are extracted. After 40 days, strain the wine through a sieve lined with several layers of cheesecloth into another large, sterile bucket. Discard the vanilla and citrus. Have ready 8 sterilized wine bottles. Using a funnel, decant the wine into the bottles, leaving 1 to 2 inches of space at the top. Boil new corks (available at for 2 minutes to soften them, and then seal the bottles. The grapefruit wine can be drunk now, but it will improve if aged in the bottle for another month.
Be sure to let me know how it turns out! Salut!
PS You can imagine what my closets & basement smell wonder people always give me funny looks...

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