Packies Plum Brandy
It’s harvest time and we like to make the most of everything we get here at brewtonic. One of our crew, Packie has a little orchard in his parents back garden in Ranelagh and one of the newest trees gives a great harvest of plums. Usually the plums get made into jam but this year he put some aside to conjure up some fermented plum brandy.
The whole process is very simple. Starting out with 3kgs of plums, halve and stone them, then cover them in 300g of soft brown sugar. The sugar draws the juice out of the plums and soon they’ll be submerged in juice. Leave this mixture in a sealed container for 2 weeks while the naturally occurring enzymes in the plums are activated by the sugar and begin to ferment and produce alcohol. Ensure that the plums are totally covered by the juice or they’ll start to oxidize and then rot!
After waiting two weeks it’s time to add the brandy. From your 3kgs of plums you should get around 3 litres of juice, add 4 litres of reasonably good brandy, 3 vanilla pods and 5 sticks of cinnamon. The result now is essentially fortified brandy, (around 60-70% abv). It’ll be ready to drink in 2 weeks but for best results leave it mellow for three months, and by Christmas the brandy will be ready for drinking. The plums then can be flambéed and eaten with ice cream.