Many of our compatriots who are not indifferent to good alcohol, but who do not have the opportunity to buy expensive drinks, are engaged in brewing. Connoisseurs have long noticed that home-made moonshine with exact adherence to technology has a more noble taste than vodka or diluted alcohol. Therefore, the view that only alcoholics make it is fundamentally wrong. Strong alcoholic drink of home production often becomes the basis for making analogues of elite alcohol. If you know how to make cognac from moonshine, you can always treat your friends with a more than worthy drink, albeit different from the classic, but with equally pleasant organoleptic qualities.
It is possible to turn moonshine into cognac in different ways, but the result will meet the expectations only if you know a few important points:
- Most often, our fellow citizens brew moonshine made from yeast and sugar. This is not suitable for making homemade brandy. For this noble drink should be made moonshine from grapes. The basis can be grapes, grape cake, or even not entirely successful grape wine. Grape moonshine has unique notes, has a more noble taste and aroma.
- For the preparation of cognac take moonshine double or even triple distillation, with the obligatory cutting off of “heads” and “tails”. The alcohol content in it should be from 42 to 45 degrees, although some recipes require the use of stronger moonshine.
- According to the classical technology, cognac is aged in oak barrels for several years, and a bouquet of the finished drink depends on the variety of oak and aging time. Substances contained in oak give cognac notes of lilac, vanilla, caramel and other products and spices that are not actually used in the manufacture of the drink. Cognac also owes its color to oak to a certain extent. Home winemakers rarely have the opportunity to stand moonshine in oak barrels for several years, so homemade brandy recipes on moonshine often include oak chips (chips). You can buy them in a specialty store or prepare them yourself, planing, soaking, steaming and burning in the oven.
- When used for making cognac from moonshine oak bark, sold in pharmacies, it does not hurt to soak for some time in warm water to remove excess tannins. Some winemakers are advised to steam up oak chips in this way.
- Oak bark cannot completely replace oak barrels and even oak chips, therefore it must be supplemented with spices and natural flavors. Given that in an oak barrel, home winemakers rarely keep the moonshine for years, in any case it does not hurt to ennoble walnut partitions, spicy herbs and similar substances.
- A pleasant cognac shade can be added to a drink made from moonshine with the help of burnt sugar. It is poured into a spoon, held over the fire, until the sugar is melted and darkened. After that, it remains to tint them homemade brandy.
Home-made winemaking does not tolerate haste. The longer you insist on moonshine aromatic raw materials, and then withstand it, the more interesting and richer his bouquet will be.
- moonshine (50%) - 3 l;
- oak bark or oak chips - 50 g;
- nutmeg - at the tip of a knife;
- cardamom - 1 pc .;
- carnation - 3 pcs .;
- sugar - 60 g.
Method of preparation:
- Pour boiling water over the oak bark, after 15 minutes, drain the water and dry the bark.
- Crush the box of cardamom with a knife.
- Hold the sugar over the fire until it melts, mix with half a glass of moonshine.
- At the bottom of a three-liter jar, place a clove and cardamom, add nutmeg, pour out the oak bark. Fill with caramel syrup, then fill the jar with moonshine and shake it several times.
- Leave the jar at room temperature, keeping in a place protected from direct sunlight. Insist for 3-4 weeks, periodically shaking. It is not worth insisting longer, otherwise the taste of the drink will turn out to be too tart.
- Strain the drink through the gauze folded in several layers. Bottled, close them tightly.
It is not worth consuming cognac prepared according to this recipe in less than six months - it will not have time to acquire a rich taste and aroma. The recipe was invented in Latgale (now it is the territory of Latvia). Already many generations of Latvians and our compatriots use it.
Cognac from moonshine in a country style
- moonshine (45%) - 3 l;
- oak wood chips 10 cm long, 4 * 4 mm thick - 6 pcs .;
- sugar - 40 g;
- wild rose berries - 15 pcs. medium size;
- black leaf tea - 5 g;
- St. John's wort (pharmacy) - a major pinch;
- raisins (optional) - 20 g;
- pitted prunes (optional) - 1 pc .;
- vanilla (optional) - a piece of pod 3 cm;
- oregano, thyme (optional) - a pinch.
Method of preparation:
- Place the sugar in a small metal container, add a spoonful of water to it. Heat over low heat until the sugar is melted and the syrup becomes caramelized.
- Rosehip and dried fruits, if you use them to make a drink, wash, dry with a napkin, put in a jar.
- Add oak chips.
- Put a piece of vanilla, add medicinal herbs.
- Pour in syrup.
- Fill the ingredients with moonshine, close the jar tightly, shake it several times, put it in a cool shaded place.
- In a week, remove prunes and vanilla from the jar. Continue to infuse the drink for 2-3 weeks.
- Strain the drink through gauze folded in several layers, then filter it through a cotton pad.
- Pour homemade brandy in bottles, close them. Put in a cool, dark place for 3 months. During this time, the aromas “make friends”, merging into a harmonious bouquet, and the taste of the drink will become softer.
- If during the time of settling brandy dimmed, filter it again and pour it into clean bottles.
Despite the simple name “country-style”, the drink according to this recipe is quite decent. Some connoisseurs even prefer it, rather than store brandy drinks. This recipe is considered a classic, as it has been known for a long time and is very popular. The most interesting bouquet is obtained using all the ingredients indicated in the recipe, but not all of them are mandatory. If you do without dried fruits and vanilla, the bouquet will be less rich, but pleasant. To obtain a harmonious taste, it is necessary to strictly observe the specified proportions and technology of preparation.
Homemade cognac “Koktebel” from moonshine
- moonshine (43%) - 3 l;
- walnut shell partitions - 30 g;
- carnation - 6 pcs .;
- allspice peas - 6 pcs .;
- vanilla - 1 pod;
- sugar - 20 g;
- raisins - 0.5 kg;
- citric acid - a pinch;
- cumin seeds - 5 g.
Method of preparation:
- Raisins, walnut-shell partitions, vanilla, cloves, pepper and cumin add in a five-liter jar.
- Pour sugar into the spoon, hold it over the fire until the sweet product melts. Add citric acid to it, pour into the bottle with the rest of the ingredients.
- Pour the brew into the bottle. Shut it tightly, shake it. For a month, put in a cool and unlighted place. After a day shake the bottle.
- After a specified time, strain the drink first through gauze folded in several layers, then through a cotton pad.
- Pour the drink into an oak barrel.
- Soak cognac in a barrel for at least two months (ideally - six months). Twice a week, turn the barrel around the axis.
- Strain the drink once again, pour it into clean bottles, store for storage. You can use brandy in a month.
Connoisseurs of cognac drinks claim that cognac prepared according to this recipe resembles the organoleptic qualities of that which is produced under the brand name “Koktebel”. In his bouquet notes of vanilla, chocolate, dried fruit and marshmallow are distinguishable.
Make cognac from moonshine is quite realistic. It will not be identical to French brandy and other branded products related to elite alcohol, but will not yield to medium quality brandy drinks sold in stores at a rather high price. If you use high-quality home-brew for making brandy and strictly observe the technology of preparation, the result will pleasantly surprise you.