by Jason Stone on August 06, 2013
You already know by now that having a whiskey still is not just a trifle for me; it’s both a passion and a necessity. For me, my whiskey still is not just a decoration object (thou it makes a pretty good one); it is my trusted friend in creating great recipes. Which is why I am going to talk to you today about palinca, a brandy whose name means simply “distilled spirit”, which I learnt how to make when I was in Transylvania.
Hence, as I was visiting and getting acquainted with what the area has to offer (all the beautiful, medieval fortresses, as well as the Dracula’s Castle), I managed to get a live demo on how palinca is made. The result: I instantly realized the process can be easily replicated back home, too, as long as I have my moonshine still. Actually, what surprised me the most was exactly the simplicity of the process: very few ingredients, fermentation and two rounds of distillation.
And, as I always share my precious whiskey-still-related info with you guys, here is the recipe that I got: plums and water. Yes, that’s all; no sugar involved.
Now, firstly, after you select the plumbs, you need to subject them to a classical fermentation process. Leave as long as necessary, until the fruits have fermented properly. Once the fermentation is complete, you can continue with the first distillation process: put the plumbs in the whiskey still and let them boil at medium heat. This first liquid resulting is next boiled again, following the same distillation steps as for any second distillation. Make sure to discard any product that comes of the still before liquid temperature reaches 174 degree or the first 5-10 % of the total alcohol contain because it could contain methanol. Its extremely unlikely that there would be enough methanol in a 5 or 10 gallon batch to hurt anyone, but it tastes bad.
I am happy I learned something new and I cannot wait to invite some friends over this autumn and prepare some really good palinca.
Looking forward to hear your opinions after trying the recipe.