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I'm getting into making liqueurs and wondering what alcohol content is needed to prevent spoilage. I know a liqueur made from extracts and sugar and bottled at 80 proof is going to be pretty much indefinitely shelf stable. But one of the products I want to make is a raspberry liqueur from fresh fruit that will have pulp and juice in it that I know can more easily oxidize or spoil. Can anyone point me in the direction of some references for determining the alcohol and sugar content needed to make a shelf stable liqueur? Are there any preservatives that anyone would recommend, e.g. citric acid or ascorbic acid?

Thank you in advance. 

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I just have a comment or two, though your question is a tough one depending on what exactly you are asking.

"Stable" can mean a lot of things. 

If you just want your liqueur to be biologically stable, i.e. microbes will not grow in it, above 20% ABV/40 proof is pretty safe unless you get some pretty exotic microbes in there.

One the other hand, if you mean stable, as in your liqueur will not change, that is a harder thing to achieve. I have found that very few natural ingredients maintain their color over time. The red from your raspberry is likely to brown over time. You can add preservatives to help slow the process, you'll have to do research to find which one works for your colorant, but they will not completely stop all color changes with time. I liked this article on anthocyanins https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1541-4337.12244

If you also mean "stable" by not developing haze or solid precipitates, there are a bunch of ways to filter or fine your product, but they often strip out flavor and/or color.

You production methods, like minimizing exposure to oxygen and light can make a big difference too.

In short, from my point of view there isn't a single easy answer to your question, that's why people resort to much more stable artificial colors.

Good luck!

 

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