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What is Apricot Brandy?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
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Apricot brandy is a form of brandy made from apricots. Apricots lend this liquor a very distinctive flavor, and a rich amber to orange color. Especially sweet forms of this brandy are sometimes known as apricot liqueur. This beverage can be drunk straight, used in various recipes, and added to cocktails and other mixed drinks.

Any sort of fruit can potentially be fermented and distilled to make brandy, but some fruits yield more flavorful and interesting beverages than others. Apricots, especially when they are of high quality, have a faint flavor of bitter almonds which is tempered with a natural sweetness and a complex apricot flavor. When well-handled, apricot brandy can have a very rich, complex flavor which is quite distinctive.

Brandy is made by fermenting a fruit, and then running the fermented liquid through a distiller to concentrate the flavor. To make apricot brandy, producers pulp apricots and throw them into a fermenting tank along with their skin and pits, and then allow them to ferment for roughly three months. Once fermentation is complete, the liquid can be strained off, and then distilled to make brandy. The resulting drink has a very high alcohol content, as the water partially evaporates during the distillation process.

Like any distilled liquor, apricot brandy comes in a wide range of styles, and the quality can vary significantly. Depending on what you intend to use the brandy for, cheap brands are sometimes perfectly effective, but when you plan to serve apricot brandy as a standalone drink, you may want to taste several brands and find one of especially high quality. You may also want to think about the things you will pair with the brandy, such as cheeses or desserts.

To make a version of apricot brandy at home, you can fill a gallon (roughly four liter) jar with lightly crushed whole apricots and three cups of sugar. Cover this mixture in vodka or another plain alcohol, and then replace the jar's lid. Keep the jar in a cool dry place to ferment, turning it daily for three months, and then strain the liquid through cheesecloth or another fine material.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By clippers — On Jul 30, 2012

Last year for my birthday I had an apricot brandy cake and it was amazing. I had never had it before but I saw a recipe and thought it sounded amazing so I made it.

There is really not much apricot brandy in the recipe but the flavor comes through very strongly. It has a cream cheese frosting so it is a little like carrot cake.

By backdraft — On Jul 29, 2012

I never see apricot brandy at the liquor store but it sounds amazing. Where would I go to buy something like that? Is it available online somewhere?

By vigilant — On Jul 29, 2012

A little splash of apricot brandy is really tasty in a glass of hot apple cider. It was a drink that my grandparents were big fans of and they knew what they were talking about. My grandfather ran a bar for most of his working life and he was an expert when it came to cocktails. Anything he liked must have been really good.

By anon250711 — On Feb 27, 2012

European 'Apricot brandy' is always a liqueur, most commonly with neutral base alcohol. See EU regulations (google up (EC) No 110/2008)

You can't even label clear fruit spirits as 'brandy' in Europe, because the term 'fruit brandy' doesn't legally exist (it's 'fruit spirit', but rather PDO's are used, like calvados, kirschwasser, pálinka, slivovitz, etc.).

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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