This year, we're vowing to start early on our holiday gifts. First up is dried apricot liqueur with a delicious bonus: soused fruit to dunk in chocolate. Five minutes now, and we'll be golden come December. Be sure to get California-grown apricots, especially the Blenheim variety, which are head and shoulders above imported for flavor and color.
2 cups dry Riesling wine
2 cups brandy
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 pound dried Blenheim apricots, such as extra-ripe slab-style*
How to Make It
Pour wine, brandy, and sugar into 2 wide-mouth, 1-qt. jars, dividing evenly. Attach lids and vigorously shake until sugar dissolves, 3 minutes. Separate apricots and add half to each jar.
Set aside at least 2 weeks, shaking every few days; if needed, push fruit into liquid to cover.
Strain liqueur, bottle, and chill up to 3 months; shake before serving. Save fruit to make Chocolate-Dipped Apricots.
*Find at well-stocked grocery stores and andysorchard.com.