Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Vin de peche...

Oh, I forgot to add: I started another vin de maison: a batch of vin de pêche (from the excellent book aperitif by Georgeanne Brennan), using new growth from my two peach trees. I mostly used just the tips of the new growth. Six cups of leaves, five bottles of cheapo white wine, a pint of vodka and a pound of sugar. We'll see how it turns out in forty-five days.

Added: Here's a quick recipe for vin de pêche, based roughly on the one in Brennan's aperitif. Use the cheapest UN-OAKED white wine you can find (I used magnums of Sauvignon Blanc from the grocer): For every bottle of white, one cup of packed peach leaves, a half-cup of cheap vodka, a heaping third-cup of sugar (you can add more later when you're bottling). Mix them together in a well-washed crock or large jar. Shake or stir daily. Leave in the fridge for forty-five days. Bottle and enjoy immediately or store for several months in a cool, dry area.

I changed the recipe slightly by adding a few grains (less than a teaspoon) of mahleb, a spice made from the pits of a Prunus fruit, the St Lucie Cherry. (Mahleb is used in place of bitter almonds in baking. I love the flavor.) I added them because the leaves of a peach tree smell EXACTLY like mahleb, and I wanted to increase the presence of that flavor in my wine. (Peach leaves smell like fresh almonds, which makes sense, I guess, since almonds and peaches are fairly closely related.)

I tasted this for the first time yesterday-YUM! Slightly sweet, with a pleasant bitterness and very redolent of almonds, peaches and some exotic spice notes. Mmmm. Still green and a bit raw tasting, but I can imagine how it will taste in a month. My wife preferred it to the vin de pamplemousse, but she doesn't care for bitter things.

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