Fruit-steeped brandies like this one, common throughout Transylvania and Hungary, are easy to make at home: Plums and sugar are simply left to ferment for two weeks, and then infused into brandy. This recipe first appeared in our March 2012 issue with Alexander Lobrano's article Eternal Terrain.
- 4 lb. ripe plums, halved, pitted, and roughly chopped
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 750-milliliter bottle brandy
Combine plums and sugar in a 2-qt. glass jar; using a wooden spoon, crush and stir the plums and sugar together until all the sugar is moistened. Fill a quart-size resealable plastic bag halfway with water, seal it closed, and place it over the fruit; this will keep the fruit submerged as the sugar draws out its juices. Cover the jar with a triple layer of cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band. Let sit at room temperature for 2 weeks to ferment the plums.
Uncover and pour the plum liquid through a cheesecloth-lined strainer into a measuring cup; pour same amount of brandy from bottle into another measuring cup and reserve for another use. Pour plum liquid into bottle of brandy and seal. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. This drink can be served right away, but will mellow the longer it sits.