Apricot liqueur

Apricot liqueur is a bit of a treat but it is expensive for what it is. Even the most basic apricot brandy starts at around £12 a bottle. Here's a cheaper alternative that's simplicity itself.

Apricot Liqueur

One pack (about 200-300g) dried apricots
225g white sugar
500 ml vodka*

To make:
1. Boil the apricots in the sugar with 50-100 ml water to soften. You’ll need more if the apricots are tougher, less if they’re the squishy sort.
2. Combine all ingredients in a large Kilner jar. (I’ve used a wide-necked coffee jar in the past, and it worked fine!)
3. Seal it tight and leave it alone for three weeks.
4. Drain. Filter through a muslin bag for a clear liqueur. If you’re not fussed about cloudy cocktails (anything with fresh lemon or lime goes cloudy anyway), just pour through your finest sieve.
5. Create label. Fee free to copy either of the ones reproduced.

I use cheap schnapps (from Iceland, of all places). Plain gin or vodka is fine. I see on US websites that many mixologists from across the pond use the high-proof Everclear for this type of recipe. It’s not available in the UK, as far as I can tell. If you’re not sure, stick to gin or vodka.

As for bottles, I tend to collect them. Anything with an interesting shape will do. I remove the labels by soaking first in hot, soapy water and finishing off with white spirit. It's a strong smell but it dissolves the glue in no time.

The apricots are great with cream or ice-cream. If you make your own ice-cream, whiz them in a blender and stir through a vanilla yogurt-style ice-cream before the initial freezing. It goes a lovely pastel orange.

By Pamela Kelt


  1. Yum! I have vodka and dried apricots on my fridge-list already! Great to have a use for the leftover apricots too.
    Years ago we picked cherries and tried to make cherry brandy (ie get a bottle of brandy and put the cherries in. But we forgot to take the stones out, didn't we? Nor did we add any extra sugar. The cherries were ok-ish, but the brandy was very bitter.
    Thanks for the recipe!

  2. It's a cracker, isn't it? I saw some dried blueberries and cranberries in our local Waitrose. I'm going to try and do at least one for Christmas. I'll report back. If you can get dried cherries, I'm sure those would work, too. And no stones to worry about!


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