Special Instructions and Definitions in Liqueur Making

Sugar Syrup

Sliced and Scraped Citrus Peel

Alcohol Quality

Strain and Filter


Glycerine is called for in a number of liqueur recipes as a thickening agent.  Chemically, it is glycerol, a colorless, odorless, sweet-tasting substance with a thick, syrupy consistency.  It is also useful in preventing sugar crystallization in candy.  In liqueurs, it provides a certain texture to the liqueur, making it feel less thin and watery, in an effort to mimic the texture of some commercial liqueurs produced by distillation (glycerine can be produced as a by-product of fermentation).  Glycerine is available in standard, vegetable and Kosher forms, ans should be readily available in wine-making supply stores.  Many drug stores have glycerine on the shelf, but there is an ominous "not for internal consumption" warning on the boxes.  I have been unable (through next-to-no research) to determine just why that would be, but I strongly recommend a chat with the pharmacist before picking it up.  My best guess is that large quantities of pure glycerine might be harmful.  But do confirm that it hasn't been denatured or otherwise rendered harmful.  Normally, glycerine is a perfectly acceptable food additive.

That said, I don't use glycerine myself.  It somehow feels like cheating.  So anywhere you see glycerine in any of the recipes, remember that it's optional, and won't materially impact the flavor of the liqueur.  While glycerine is sweet-tasting, the quantities used are minuscule compared with the granulated sugar you'll be using.  So use it or not at your own discretion, but don't worry that it'll ruin the liqueur if you don't.

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