I’m going to be honest, my apartment smells like a night of bad life choices… Think what you will, and maybe you should… but, a solid night out for me typically includes a couple whiskey and gingers (commonly referred to as a bourbon highball). Last January during the doldrums of winter and thus the lack of fresh fruits for tasty jelly and jam making, I started experimenting with alcohol based canned goods. To my surprise, not only was everything I made pretty damn good, but also a huge hit on the blogosphere. The main risk of canning with alcohol is spending 20 plus dollars on the booze to have it fail or not set up correctly. Plus, following the typical jelly set tests is a crap shoot because the lack of “water” causes different boiling temperatures and consistencies. The inspiration for this whiskey ginger jelly came from my cinnamon whiskey jelly that I put up last winter. I suggest using a mid-range whiskey or bourbon here as you don’t want to spend the money and have it fail, but also you don’t want the flavor of cheap booze lingering in your sugary jelly goodness.
The flavor of this whiskey ginger jelly is perfect. Smooth, not overwhelmingly boozey, yet strong in ginger flavor which would work nicely as a pork glaze or simply on a biscuit. Yum, think about it, a hot homemade buttermilk biscuit topped with jelly and some local free-range bacon strips!! While cooking this jelly down does burn off most of the whiskey, only so much can be lost from 750ml. To that end, I may advice against using this jelly for little Johnny or Sally’s lunch time PB&J. 🙂
- 750ml bourbon/whiskey
- 2 cups fresh apple cider
- juice from 1 lemon
- 1 package of liquid pectin
- 3-1/4 cup white sugar
- 1-2 inches of fresh ginger (peeled and chopped into 1/4inch slices)
- In a small-sized, non-reactive pot combine 1 cup apple cider and ginger slices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer on low-medium heat for 10 minutes.
- In a large-sized, non-reactive pot, combine cider (1 fresh cup + ginger infused cider), lemon juice, whiskey, fresh ginger, and sugar. Bring to a hard boil over high heat for 7-10 minutes, stirring regularly until jelly consistency has thickened. Add pectin. At this point the bubbles should look shinny and syrupy.
- Test the jelly set using the saucer test: freeze saucer for 15 minutes, drop 1tsp of jelly on saucer then put in fridge for 1 minute, nudge the edge of jelly drop, should wrinkle if set.
- Remove ginger slices.
- Pour jelly into prepared (hot and sterilized) jars, wipe rims, apply lids and rings (finger tight), then process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.
- Remove from water bath and let cool on a folded towel for 8-12 hours.