In Transylvania, it's not unsual to be offered a shot of homemade brandy as a gesture of hospitality upon arriving at a home or guest house. This one has a spicy caraway flavor that balances nicely with the rich walnut cake, Chec Cu Nuca. This recipe first appeared in our March 2012 issue with Alexander Lobrano's article Eternal Terrain.
- 1⁄4 cup caraway seeds
- 1⁄3 clove sugar
- 1 (750-milliliter) bottle brandy
Using a mortar and pestle or the bottom of a glass measuring cup on a cutting board, lightly crush and bruise the caraway seeds until fragrant. Using a funnel, transfer seeds and sugar to the bottle of brandy, and seal. Let sit at room temperature, shaking the bottle every few days, for 1 month.
Pour brandy through a cheesecloth-lined strainer into a large glass measuring cup, and discard solids; clean bottle and return brandy to bottle, and seal. Serve right away or chill.