Anyone else use liqueur in jams?

balloonflower(5b Denver CO, HZ 5-6, Sunset 2b)June 23, 2013

I started making jams last year, and after sampling some wine & berry jams at a farmers market started adding some very reduced wine or liqueur to most of my fruit jams to develop flavors. Does anyone else do something similar? Just wondering what combos are good or interesting. Have been very happy with my results so far, and the liqueur is not overpowering at all. I generally do a lowish sugar with Pomona's pectin.

I have done:
Raspberry Zinfandel
Peach Chardonnay (with a little bit of Chambord too)
Blueberry Cassis
Fig Butter with Tuaca
Mixed Berry Moscato
Plum with Plum Wine

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I've only done a couple (for our own use), Rummy Peach and Nectarine Frangelico. Both are yummy!

Both of these use just a touch of liquor stirred in after pulling off the heat - but wine is lower in alcohol, how much do you use and when do you add it?

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 3:09PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

My concern would be how it affects shelf life? More importantly, how much it increases the costs of making what is basically a niche' jam?

Liqueurs are expensive and not something most keep on hand. For the very small amount you would use per batch I don't think I'd find the cost of buying and keeping them worth the results. Especially when the normal plain is so good anyway.



    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 3:57PM
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balloonflower(5b Denver CO, HZ 5-6, Sunset 2b)

For liqueur, I generally use a Tbsp or two in a batch that makes 5-6 half pint jars. For wines, I boil them down as far as I have the patience for. The farthest I've gone is a bottle of white zinfandel down to a scant quarter cup. It generally does take 3 hours or so on low heat to get that far boiled down without scorching.

Sometimes I add them in at the end, right before putting in jars, sometimes I add them at the beginning, when mixing sugar in the fruit to generally sit overnight before making the jam the next day.

Thus far, I haven't noticed any issues with shelf life. Just finishing up last year's jams, and most of the time we use them within 6 months.

The liqueurs can be expensive, but my husband is a chef and I do lots of cooking/baking as well, so we generally just plan out what flavors we would like to use and don't buy specifically for jams, so I don't count those into my costs for jam making. The wines, I generally just buy a cheap bottle, around $6ish and no more than $10, so they do add to a batch cost, but we like the flavor addition.

I like the Frangelico idea--I have that around because I use it in cheesecake.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 5:58PM
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There's some other ideas about liqueurs with fruit jams in the thread linked below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Plum-Cherry Jam Discussion

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 7:27PM
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Have not made it myself but love Cointreau in marmalade, and Grand Marnier in Jam.

Im glad to hear that others have had success with additions, as I was hoping to do it this year. (I add liqueur, wine or beer to everything I cook or bake) Im interested in the quantities people add.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 12:07PM
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balloonflower(5b Denver CO, HZ 5-6, Sunset 2b)

Malna--Thank you for the link to that discussion. I hadn't come across that one in my back searches and found it very interesting. It had some great explanations for things I knew intuitively, but couldn't explain that well myself.

Han--It is expensive to start with, but I highly recommend the Chambord (black raspberry liqueur). I found a half-sized bottle at my local Target (but that will depend on your local liquor laws) that was much better for this use than the full size sold at liquor stores. We originally got it for adding to sorbets, but I found that especially in the peach jams, it intensified the peach flavors wonderfully, without overpowering. This year I am also wanting to experiment with Berenjager, a German honey liqueur that I originally got for a honey caramel cheesecake.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 1:12PM
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I've made Pirate Peach Jam with rum ( you know the name). After 6 months the flavor of the rum totally disappeared. So not worth it, so now it is a "use first" jam.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 8:12PM
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Hmm, I'll have to open a jar of Rummy Peach (same idea) and see if I can still taste it. Made 2011? I think I just did Peach Vanilla Almond last year.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 6:37PM
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I generally buy the less expensive liqueurs or wait until there is a sale. I have a plum port jam recipe and port can be expensive but we wait until it goes on sale periodically or buy a less expensive brand. One would be amazed at how and already delicious a jam or jelly can become delightfully delicious with a few tablespoons of amaretto or brandy. One woman bought practically all my pear amaretto jelly she thought it was so delicious and I can assure you, it didn't last long at her home. It's fun to use liqueurs, wine and other spirits in jelly/jam making.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 3:51PM
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Didn't open the Rummy Peach since I already had peach in the fridge, but Nectarine Frangelico still tastes of hazelnut 2 yrs later.

Has anyone tried the Strawberry Margarita from Ball? I was thinking triple sec with strawberries, not sure about the tequila and the apples aren't in season. But what would you put that on (esp. with tequila in it)?

Melly's Peach Vanilla Almond tastes better than SK's Peach Amaretto and has no liquor in it.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 7:30AM
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I've made amaretto peach butter a few times, and it is wonderful. It was a fabulous treat on scones or in crepes.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 8:05AM
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