Well, the Season Of Novelty Booze is truly upon us, so I’ve decided to share this example, something I make every year. I can’t take credit: it came from the Waitrose Christmas Drinks Guide from a few years back, which I think in turn must have fallen out of a Decanter magazine or some such.
You will need:
1 litre of vodka
3-4 apples (depending on size), quartered
150g caster sugar
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
I’ve tried it with cookers and with eaters and as far as I could tell, the results were identical.
Also, not a vodka ‘expert’, but I don’t think posh vodka would make any difference, as long as it’s not the bottom-shelf stuff that tears your oesophagus a new one.
Now, bung it all in a large Kilner jar or similar. There might not quite be room for everything, depending on the apple size/quantity, so make sure they don’t crowd out the vodka.
I’ll let Wacko tell you what to do next:
The dairy element of the toffee should start to get things nice and cloudy.
Settling down nicely here:
Give it laldy for the first 24 hours, making sure that the toffee dissolves fully, then continue to shake it shake it baby every now and again, every day for at least five or six days; I usually keep it in there a week.
Finally, sieve into bottles. I strained it through muslin once but to be honest it took forever and was a bit overkill really. There’s always gonna be a bit of gunge that settles on top, but just shake before serving to make sure that everyone gets a bit of the good stuff.
Once it’s taken on the sugar and toffee, it works out at slightly more than a litre but that’s fine: I fill a restoppable litre bottle, and the rest is, you know, to test it out, make sure it works properly
Waitrose mag suggests mixing it with ginger ale or apple juice, but really it’s mighty smooth on its own, and we have it either on the rocks or solo in the frozen granite shot glasses someone gave us as a present a few years back.