Cheers – It´s 4th July!

4 Jul


Cherry Brandy & Ginger Beer

Being the sort of girl who needs no excuse to raise a glass, here´s a big “Cheers” to all my new blogging pals celebrating the 4th July. Hope it´s a great day for you all.

As you know, it´s cherry season here up the mountain and after stoning far too many kilos for jam making, I decided to ring the changes and make something gorgeous for the cooler months.  I came across a wonderful recipe over on Olive and Artichokes for a cherry liqueur they have made with Eau de Vie.  We can´t get that here, at least, I´ve never come across it…but I didn´t let this stand in my way!

I bought a bottle of Spanish Brandy, not one of the rough ones might I add, and got my sugar, cherries and bottles ready.

Not many ingredients...

I followed the instructions given in the recipe, that is layering cherries and sugar and then filling the containers with liqueur. 

Get Layering...

Hopefully in a few months time I´ll have a delicious cherry flavoured brandy and some brandy flavoured cherries.  Can´t wait!

Fill....and wait!

Just over three weeks ago I started to make some alcoholic ginger beer.  If you want to give it a go, you´ll find the recipe here.

It´s very simple, all you need is a sachet of yeast, a jar of powdered ginger, sugar and a jar or jug you can loosely cover.

This is what you´ll need

After a week of adding yeast and sugar to your initial mixture (see the recipe) you´ll add water, lemon juice and more sugar to make about 7 litres of ginger flavoured drink.

Get Squeeeeeezing...

You need to leave some space in your plastic bottles for expansion, so only fill them about three quarters and then squeeze some of the air out before sealing them. If you don´t do this you´ll have exploding ginger beer all over the place and it´s very sticky.  I know this from experience!

Not long to wait now!

Once you´ve been patient you will be rewarded with gorgeous sparkling, lemony, gingery Ginger Beer.  I don´t know exactly how alcoholic it is, although it does get stronger the longer you leave it.  After about 3 months it starts to taste acidic, but I don´t suppose you´ll have it for that long as it´s delicious. And if you can´t wait 3 weeks, wait a week and mix it up with soda or water for a refreshing, non alcoholic drink.

So good, even Alfi wants to get in on the act!

Happy Independence Day!


38 Responses to “Cheers – It´s 4th July!”

  1. chaiselongue1 July 4, 2011 at 09:22 #

    Your cherries in brandy will be very good! Eau de vie is just a name for any brandy-like liquour made from the remains of the grapes after wine making, so your Spanish brandy will be fine. Here the cherries and brandy are served together in little dishes after dessert and with coffee, but they’re nice on ice cream too. Thanks for the link!

    • chicaandaluza July 4, 2011 at 10:45 #

      Phew – am glad you are hopeful! Should have asked you first about putting in the link, apologies for my lack of blogging “etiquette”. Am not wishing the summer away, but am looking forward to trying it out!

      • chaiselongue1 July 4, 2011 at 14:32 #

        I think most bloggers are glad of a link – I certainly am. I’m sure the etiquette is that you don’t need to ask first.

      • chicaandaluza July 4, 2011 at 15:48 #

        Phew – am glad I am not being a blogging “lout”!

  2. Ria July 4, 2011 at 11:03 #

    The ginger beer looks delicious – happy Independence Day everyone!

  3. gisellecagli July 4, 2011 at 11:44 #

    Wow! Nice recipe! I have never tried to make any alcoholic drink before. This seems so refreshing!!!

    • chicaandaluza July 4, 2011 at 12:29 #

      I bet you´ve been involved in some family wine making in Italy though! My parents stil make wine in London for their own consumption – they import the grapes from Italy (along with hundreds of other Italian families) in September. It´s great fun!

  4. gisellecagli July 4, 2011 at 13:53 #

    Actually I am involved in olive picking each November! My parents in law have this beautiful property in Umbria, where they have lots of olive trees. Every November we join them to hand pick olives and it is so much fun! We then take them to the frantoio (the mill) to get olives pressed and we get our own extra virgin olive oil for a year!

    • chicaandaluza July 4, 2011 at 15:47 #

      How wonderful! We picked ours in December this year and made our oil at a small old fashioned mill for the first time ever. Aren´t we both so lucky?! Nothing beats the taste of your own oil and olives.

  5. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide July 4, 2011 at 17:48 #

    Wow that looks good! I bet it will taste just phenomenal. Thanks for the fourth wishes!

    • chicaandaluza July 4, 2011 at 21:12 #

      You´re welcome – hope it´s a great day! Am looking forward to tasting this in a few months 🙂

  6. The Friendly Foodie Girl July 4, 2011 at 18:26 #

    Wow, this looks really good! I grew up drinking ginger beer so this sounds absolutely excellent! Happy 4th of July!

    • chicaandaluza July 4, 2011 at 21:13 #

      Ginger Beer is that kind of “childhood memories” drink isn´t it? It is very delicious indeed….!

  7. fatisrecipes July 5, 2011 at 04:02 #

    Sorry if this is irrelevant (I don’t drink), so I’ve to point out something else here…….I LOVE the bubbles in the bottom of the glasses….they’re SOOOOOOOOOOO cool 😀 And that dog of yours is too cute… He must be looking at you thinking, “ehm, where’s my pet 4th of July meal?!”

    • chicaandaluza July 5, 2011 at 09:15 #

      So glad you noticed the glass. My best friend bought them for me when she visited from a catering wholesalers we go to (sad, but we love it 🙂 ) and the glasses are called “Bubble”! And don´t worry about Alfi, he and his dog “sister” Luna both got a big bone each from the butcher yesterday – they were bigger than them, they´re still chomping awy on them today!

  8. spicegirlfla July 5, 2011 at 14:58 #

    I’m all about that cherry brandy! As easy as it is to purchase a bottle of cherry vodka or liquor, there is something so very satisfying and fresh tasting of making your own. Cheers to you!! Hope you enjoyed a great 4th weekend!

    • chicaandaluza July 5, 2011 at 15:19 #

      It makes it taste more special when you´ve made it – and then you can put it in little bottles and share it out!

  9. TBM July 5, 2011 at 15:35 #

    I love that you are always so busy doing fun stuff!

    • chicaandaluza July 5, 2011 at 15:45 #

      Any excuse for a party round here! And it´s summer…so life is outside and late into the night as it´s too hot during the day.

  10. foodblogandthedog July 5, 2011 at 16:00 #

    Wow, I bet you can’t wait! I love the idea of putting it and the cherries on ice cream. Sounds like something I would eat late at night because it’s too hot to sleep! 😀

    • chicaandaluza July 5, 2011 at 17:34 #

      Even then the ice cream would probably melt pretty quickly!

  11. JamieAnne July 5, 2011 at 17:10 #

    Wonderful!! I’ve got to put brandy on my “to buy” list.

  12. Rachel July 5, 2011 at 20:16 #

    Having had to repaint my guest room ceiling due to a brewing um, incident… I may not be brave enough to try this ginger beer recipe, but it sure does sound good! Keep us posted… but I think I’ll stick with home-made limoncello – less risk of eruption! (I know, no guts no glory… oh well! :-))

    • chicaandaluza July 6, 2011 at 08:53 #

      Oh dear, can understand your hesitation! Luckily mine was stored on a bottom shelf in the larder, so damage was limited to floor level. Looking forward to reading how you make your limoncello. I do an orange version with vodka near Christmas which is all spicy and warm. And it doesn´t explode 🙂

  13. florence and freddie July 6, 2011 at 09:42 #

    I know this is delicious! I can remember drinking it at yours last year. Thanks for the link will give it a go. Lovely to see Alfie enjoying the activities.
    Florence x

    • chicaandaluza July 6, 2011 at 14:24 #

      Where there´s food or drink, you can guarantee Alfi will show up! The ginger beer is so refreshing, am enjoying some today mixed with fizzy water. Yum!

  14. Tandy July 6, 2011 at 10:00 #

    cheers! I cannot wait to have the space to try all these sorts of things 🙂

    • chicaandaluza July 6, 2011 at 14:25 #

      Yes, you do need to be able to store and “forget about” them for a while…

  15. {Main St. Cuisine} March 26, 2012 at 23:10 #

    Thank you for sharing the technique. Once I start to see fresh cherries in the stores again, I’ll be making this. In the meantime, I’ll be thinking of some clever ways to use the finished cherries. Oh, and I’ll definitely be inviting friends over to enjoy them with me!

    • Chica Andaluza March 27, 2012 at 10:13 #

      I was inspired to do these by another blogger Olives and Artichokes and I´m so pleased I did. We are still enjoying little nips of cherry brandy and have enjoyed the cherries too…worth doing (the only hard part is to wait a few months 😦 )

  16. abdunnavi March 5, 2015 at 07:40 #

    look so fress and cool,…

  17. salima aqiqah December 14, 2015 at 04:23 #

    This post would be so petrified of the housewives who are confused should provide a good drinks menu at the natanl later ….:D


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    […] got the recipe here.  I can’t wait to see how my Ginger Beer turns out!  Hopefully they won’t end up […]

  2. Cruising the High Seas with a Tot of Something Fruity | Chica Andaluza - November 25, 2011

    […] have also now “tested” my Cherry Brandy which I made back in the summer.  Remember this?  Well, all I can say is “wow”!  I´m so pleased with how it has turned out and I know we´ll […]

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    […] And if you´re feeling like you need a little drink to go with your cake, why not try a glass of Cherry Brandy or a Cherry and Watermelon Granizada. Don´t you just love summer fruits?! Like this:LikeBe the […]

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